There’s so much to love about a pavlova; the delicate outer crust of meringue, the soft marshmellowy centre, freshly whipped cream and a glorious mound of fresh fruit. My pavlova recipe goes one step further by adding an extra layer of lusciousness: homemade mango sauce (easy). Pavlova with Mango Sauce is a real stand out at any dinner party.
When making a pavlova, the line between success ☺️and failure 😭can be very fine. I’ve walked that line many a time (on the failure side) in the past; but now l am very proud to say that l have TOTALLY NAILED the pavlova. And you will too!!
Some Do’s and Dont’s
There are some very specific dos and don’ts when it comes to pavlova making that you need to be aware of. My list includes advice gained from not only my experience, but that of a lovely friend who has been making pavlovas for decades (l should have asked her sooner).
- Have all you need at your fingertips. Once you start, there’s no stopping or you will compromise timing.
- Clean and dry utensils. For extra insurance, l wipe my utensils with a little white vinegar.
- No egg yolks. Not even a smidgen or it may interfere with how well the egg whites whip. The eggs also need to be at room temperature as they incorporate air more easily during whipping. There are varying opinions as to how fresh the eggs should be. I use store bought eggs rather than freshly laid eggs.
- Quantity of egg whites. Depending on the egg size, l use 4 -5 eggs to give me 150 ml / 5 oz of egg whites. This will give you 6-8 decent sized servings of pavlova.
- No grainy bits. It’s important to incorporate the sugar slowly, one tablespoon at a time.
- No smooth surfaces. During one of my experiments, l made the surfaces of my pavlova all nice and smooth. It rose into a magnificent dome shape, but unbeknownst to me, there was a giant air pocket under the dome. I don’t do smooth anymore. A rough, spiky shape as shown in the photo below gives my pavlovas more stability and fewer (if any) air pockets.
- Tray placement. To keep the pavlova as white as possible during baking, I place my tray on the lowest rack of my oven (my oven has 3 levels).
- The best advice given to me was to bake my pavlovas at a low temperature for a long period of time. I preheat my oven to 150 C / 300 F. As soon as l place my pavlova in the oven, l turn it down to 110 C / 230 F. I bake my pavlova for 90 minutes.
- Do not open the oven door. There are not many things that my husband and l argue about, but him opening the oven door when my pavlova was drying out, shoving the racks l had taken out of the oven, back in again, and then slamming the oven door shut, is one of them!!
- Humidity is not your friend. There’s much said about the impact of humidity on a pavlova. I suggest not getting too caught up in that, as long as you follow my recipe instructions, keep the oven door closed while it cools down, and allow it to dry in the oven overnight, all should be well.
This post took quite a long time to put together, which meant that l made 2 pavlovas on separate days (my featured image above the title and the one below my intro). If you notice, my featured pavlova did crack a little on the side.
l’m saying this so that you don’t get too worked up about your pavlova cracking. They’re not really cracks, they’re character lines! And there’s nothing wrong with having lots of character.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 6 – 8
- 4 – 5 egg whites (150 ml / 5 oz)
- 1 cup caster sugar (fine sugar)
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 3 tsp cornflour (note 1)
The Mango Sauce
- 1 mango (note 2)
- 375 ml / 1.5 cups whipping cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and 1/2 mango cut into thin slices (2 cm / 3/4 ” wide)
- Preheat oven to 150 C / 300 F.
- Trace a 20 cm / 8″ circle on baking / parchment paper. Place baking paper on a tray, tracing side facing down. Set aside.
- Measure out your egg whites (4 – 5 egg whites for 150 ml / 5 oz).
- Pour egg whites in a bowl. I use a
stand alonemixer on speed 8. Beat until foamy with soft peaks (roughly 1 1/2 – 2 minutes). When l only had a hand held mixer, l used the highest speed.
- Add l tbsp of sugar at a time.
Wait20 – 30 seconds between each addition (note 3). The entire process should take close to 10 minutes.
- Rub a small amount of the mixture between your fingers, if it feels grainy, continue beating for another minute and check again.
- Add the corn flour and vinegar and beat for 10 more seconds.
- Dab a little of the mixture on each corner of the tray to help hold down the baking paper. Spoon the mixture within the outline (note 4). Use a spatula to mould it into a round, spiky shape with a small lip all the way round the edge (this is so the mango sauce doesn’t drip down the sides) (note 5).
- Place the pavlova on a lower rack in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 110 C / 230 F.
- Bake for 90 minutes.
- Turn the oven off. Leave the door closed and allow the pavlova to cool, preferably overnight.
- Carefully transfer the pavlova to a serving platter. I slide a long thin pastry spatula under the pavlova to loosen it from the baking paper.
The Mango Sauce (optional)
- Peel and chop the mango into chunks.
- Place mango chunks into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a jug and refrigerate until ready for use.
The Cream Topping
- Place the cream and icing sugar in a bowl or mixer.
- Whisk or beat (medium speed) the cream until it’s smooth and silky (note 6).
- Add the mango sauce, one spoonful at a time, starting from the edges of the pavlova and working your way to the centre (you may not use it all).
- Add spoonfuls of cream over the mango sauce, allowing a rim of sauce to still be visible (you may have left over cream).
- Fold the mango slices in half and arrange in a circle over the cream. Carefully place the remainder of the fruit on top of the mango slices. Serve immediately.
- Cornflour helps stabilise the meringue. Some recipes
don’tadd any cornflour, others add more than the 3 tspswhich l suggest. I try to add as little as possible, otherwisethe outer shell becomes too thick and chalky.
- I buy my mangoes a day ahead and keep them in the fridge. The mango for the sauce will be firmer / less runny when cold. The mango used for decoration will also be easier to slice if cold.
- Sprinkle the sugar over the egg whites rather than dropping it in one spot.
- This is where you need to work fairly quickly as you want to get it into the oven pronto.
- A spiky shape is one of the key factors which helps my pavlovas avoid air pockets. I find that l have fewer cracks too (not that there’s anything wrong with cracks!)
- If the cream is too stiff, it will be difficult to smooth it over the mango sauce.