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my pavlova went poof!

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so i discovered this dessert at the beginning of the summer. the first one i made was nigella's chocolate pav, which turned out pretty well.

for the second i followed her plain pav recipe and baked it at a slightly lower temperature because i think my oven runs hot. let it cool in the oven, as per her instructions. it came out, well, not flat as a pancake, but only just shy of. it had nearly completely dried up in the center. did i cook it too long? overbeat the eggs pre- or post-sugar? anyone have insights as to what makes a fluffy, marshmallowy base of meringue for all that delicious whipped cream and fruit? (i think the chocolate one would be delicious with strawberries/balsamic, but now i'm a bit worried to try it for guests again!)

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  1. I've had a couple Pavlova problems, and I think it has to do with the amount of cream of tarter you use to stabilize the whites. Too much, and it tastes funny, too little and they don't hold there shape.
    Did you use a stabilizer of any kind?
    Oven temps could be a factor, too low or opening the door a lot seems to contribute to weeping.
    Now I want some, but I'm afraid to turn my oven on even that low. It's hot here in SF!

    1 Reply
    1. re: rabaja

      i used cornstarch, but not cream of tartar. i also have a hard time resisting the temptation to open the door, because i don't have a window on this oven (hooray, student living).

      is 'weeping' the term for when your sugar falls into a chewy patty? my grandma used to make old meringue pies topped with the soft variety, and i always thought 'weeping' was when you got gooey droplets on top of the soft meringues. oh, the mystiques of egg whites...

    2. There was a long discussion on merinque on a previous thread. Hope it is helpful for your pavlova.
      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...