Anatomy of a dish: pavlova

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Anatomy of a dish: pavlova

Since ordering the pavlova at Café del Sol Tre in Parkhurst in Jozi late last year, food editor Abi has yet to find another meringue to measure up. Co-owner Chiara Viljoen says there’s a reason the dessert, made according to her mom’s recipe, is a bestseller…

THE MERINGUE: Café del Sol uses free-range egg whites, stabilised with vinegar and corn flour, for the meringue – the leftover yolks go towards their home-made ice creams (flavours like salted caramel, rose, basil and limoncello) and pastas. “Pavlova is all about the art of patience,” says Chiara. “The sugar needs to be added slowly, but not too slowly; and definitely not too quickly. You need to wait for the egg whites to form soft peaks before the sugar is added, and treat it with love and good intentions.”

THE BERRIES: The berries that go on top aren’t set in stone, says Chiara. “Whatever’s fresh and beautiful – and colourful! When granadillas and mangoes are abundant, we do a tropical pavlova. Imagine that with coconut ice cream…”
THE CREAM: The chantilly cream topping for the pav is made with fresh – never stabilised – cream flavoured with a touch of vanilla paste and a dash of caster sugar. “We beat it until it starts getting thick,” says Chiara. “If you overwhip you will have butter; if it’s under whipped it’ll run off.”

THE FINISHING TOUCHES: While the garnishes vary (think fresh mint, edible flowers and mini meringues), a dusting of icing sugar and a drizzle of home-made berry coulis (are standard for rounding off this showstopper.

Parkhurst Square, cnr 4th Ave & 13th Street, Parkhurst, Johannesburg; tel: 011 568 1063;

Discover more pavlova recipes here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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