Making a pavlova

Moodie Class: How to make a Classic Pavlova


There was never a barbeque without a pavlova when I was growing up. Mum made the best pavlovas – slathered in whipped cream, topped with strawberries, passionfruit and perhaps a kiwifruit or two. It takes me back just thinking about it….

Back then pavs were pavs – classic vanilla. Now you can choose from chocolate, caramel, nectarine, peach, mango, raspberry, lemon…. the list goes on. Whilst I love all of these, I find it hard to go past a classic pavlova and that’s what I’m taking you through in today’s Moodie Class.

You’ll Need:


4 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp white vinegar + plus a little more for cleaning your equipment
1 tsp vanilla extract


Heat oven to 150?c, spray a tray with a little oil and line it with baking paper (the spray keeps the paper in place).

Egg whites won’t form lovely soft peaks (or any peaks at all in fact) if there is fat residue on your equipment so you need to clean it. Just put some white vinegar on a paper towel and smear it over everything that your mixture will touch – beaters, bowl, spatula.

Step 1


Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks, making sure that you don’t get even a speck of yolk in your whites (it will affect the meringue). I use two bowls to do this so if I have a breakage, I’m only ever wasting one egg at a time. Crack the egg, release the egg white into a bowl, leaving the yolk in the shell. Discard the yolk (unless you make whole egg mayonnaise) and pour the egg white into your mixing bowl. Continue with the other 3 eggs.

Step 2


Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. The mixture will be loose and airy.

Step 3

Gradually add sugar one-two tablespoons at a time and beat well between each addition. If you are unsure if the sugar has dissolved, press a little of the mixture between your fingers. If you can feel grains, then it needs a little more beating. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then.

Step 4


Once your pav mixture is thick and glossy add the vinegar and vanilla and gently fold through making sure it’s just incorporated – don’t overbeat.

Step 5

Step 5

Pile your pav mixture onto the lined baking tray. I never bother with drawing circles on the baking paper because I don’t really care if my pavs are perfectly round. The more rustic the better I say, but if you want to draw a circle feel free.

Place pavlova in the middle of the oven. Reduce temperature to 120?c and bake for 80 minutes. Turn off the heat, open the door and allow pav to cool completely in the oven.

Step 6


Serve with whatever you like, but I like mine with mixed berries and perhaps a little low fat yogurt. I do beat some cream for the others though….

Tips for a Peferfect Pav

1. Always clean your equipment with vinegar before you start
2. Use room temperature eggs
3. Use eggs that are 3-4 days old – fresh eggs don’t seem to get the same result
4. Make sure there is no yolk in the egg whites, even a little will affect your pav
5. Add sugar slowly and make sure that it’s dissolved between additions
6. Allow pav to cool completely in the oven with the oven door open
7. You can store a pav for up to 3 days in an airtight container in a cool dark place without any toppings.
8. Relax! Pavs are unpredictable: they crack, sometimes they brown too much, they sink. I can use the same pavlova recipe every time, do everything the same way and get a different result each time. The guarantee is that it’s going to taste fantastic.

Do you make pavlova?

Feel free to ask any questions by making a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

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