A quick-assembly dessert that’s impressive and low-calorie? Count us in!
The Pavlova consists of a meringue base topped with fresh fruits. Most people buy the meringue shells at bakeries, but ambitious bakers can make their own.
In addition to individual meringue shells, the meringue can be shaped into cake layers that are alternated with fruit, for a spectacular effect (just check out “Pavlova meringue” in Google Images).
The Pavlova is one of the most popular desserts in Australia, where it’s commonly known as a Pav. The dessert is named after the legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926 and 1929. Both countries claim to have invented this dessert, and have made it their national dessert. New Zealand may have the edge: Published recipes of fruit-filled meringue shells existed there without the name Pavlova.
According to chef Herbert Sachse of the Hotel Esplanade in Perth, Australia, the “Pavlova” was born at the Hotel 1935. According to Hotel legend, it was named at a meeting at which Sachse presented the cake: either the licensee, the manager, or Sachse remarked, “It is as light as Pavlova,” who had been a guest of the hotel during her 1929 tour. Years later, Sachse stated in an interview that he sought to improve the Meringue Cake recipe that he found in the Women’s Mirror Magazine, which was contributed by a New Zealand resident. (Source: Linda Stradley, What’s Cooking America.)
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