Here it is: The total escalation of oriental pleasure decadence. Originally, the original Pavlova comes from Australia or New Zealand (here the countries argue about the origin) and was named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. Anna won the hearts of the audience with her performance and apparently inspired the chefs as well. What does this have to do with Lebanese cuisine? Pavlovas are sugary sweet and beautiful - and the Lebanese are absolute sweethearts.
But is pavlova called pavlova in Lebanon? I did a test with my mum and told her what recipe I was planning next. "Please what? What's that? Are you doing politics now?". I don't know how she came up with politics, honestly. I told her about the components: A base of fluffy meringue, a layer of whipped cream on top and an escalation of fruit, nuts and chocolate on top.
"We just call it meringue! We don't call it pavlova."
Bam! Why give something a name when you can just name everything the same. That's so typically Arabic ... on the one hand, there are a million ways to say "I love you": My eyesight, my soul, you starlight in my eyeball ... But when it comes to differentiating species: Möööp! Birds are apparently all just called "bird" here - except for the birds you can eat, of course. How do you think I reacted to the song "All the birds are already here" in kindergarten ... A revelation!
Sorry, I'm rambling. My "Petit Pavlova" comes with a hint of cardamom and rose water in the meringue. And on top there's whipped cream, pistachios, fresh fruit and chocolate.
Recipe for Petit Pavlova
Chocolate ganache (optional)
- 25 g Dark chocolate
- 25 ml Cream
- 250 ml Cream
- 1 Persimmon / Sharon fruit
- 50 g Blackberries (or fresh mulberries)
- 15 g Pistachios chopped
- 2 TBSP Pomegranate seeds
- 2 Figs
- A few mint leaves
Meringue (the base)
You can also prepare themeringue the day before.
- Preheat the oven to 120 °C convection oven.
- Separate the egg yolk from the egg white.
- Mix the sugar with the starch.
- Whisk the egg whites together with the salt until they are stiff and fluffy. It is important that you do not use a plastic bowl. Use either stainless steel or glass. The bowl must be clean and free of grease. (Grease residues can be deposited in scratches in a plastic bowl).
- Continue beating the egg whites and now slowly add the sugar-starch mixture by the tablespoonful. The sugar must dissolve completely in the beaten egg white. You can rub some of the mixture between your fingers. Then you will immediately notice if there are still sugar crystals.
- Now mix in the cardamom, vinegar, vanilla flavouring (or essence) and rose water.
- For baking, you need 1 baking tray and baking paper. To shape the pavlovas on the baking tray in peace, fix the baking paper to the baking tray with a small blob of beaten egg white.
- Divide the mixture into 4 equal-sized blobs on the baking paper and use the back of a spoon to shape the pavlovas round with a small "crater".
- Bake the pavlovas in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
- Then leave the pavlovas to cool for about 1 hour in the closed oven. Please do not open the oven door, as the pavlovas will crack or collapse.
- Take the pavlovas out of the oven and let them cool completely.
Chocolate ganache (optional)
- Dissolve the chocolate in the cream over a water bath. The result is a wonderfully creamy chocolate sauce.
- Whip the cream until stiff. (Without sugar, the pavlova is sweet enough).
- Top the meringue bases with the cream and then garnish with the fruit, pistachios and chocolate ganache.