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Bake, Desserts

Candace Nelson’s Pavlova

Candace Nelson’s Pavlova
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

I remember a very, very old, dog-eared, stained copy of ‘The Joy of Cooking’ that we would turn to time and time again,” says pastry chef and television host Candace Nelson, remembering her mother’s primary source for recipes while living ... Read more

Total time: About 45 minutes, plus cooling time. Serves 12


  • 1 tsp distilled white vinegar, plus more for wiping the mixer bowl
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Step 1Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, trace a 9-inch circle in pencil onto the parchment and flip paper over. Dampen a paper towel with vinegar and wipe the inside of a stand mixer bowl to remove any excess oil, then dry with a clean paper towel.

Step 2In a small bowl, whisk together the superfine sugar and cornstarch to blend and remove lumps.

Step 3In the clean bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy — 35 to 45 seconds. Raise the speed to medium-high and begin adding the sugar-cornstarch mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has dissolved, 1 minute more. Add the vinegar and beat until the meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, approximately 10 minutes more. Using a silicone spatula, fold in the vanilla until incorporated, being careful not to deflate the whipped egg whites.

Step 4Scoop the egg white mixture into the circle you drew on the parchment paper, pushing out the sides to form a slight well in the center (to hold the cream and fruit after baking). Bake until the meringue has puffed up and cracked on the top, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and, with the door closed, let it cool completely in the oven.

Sweet whipped cream

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Step 1In the chilled bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.

Fruit topping and pavlova assembly

  • 1 mango, sliced
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup raspberries.
  • Pulp of 3 passion fruit

Step 1Gently peel the meringue from the parchment paper and set it on a serving platter. Spoon the cream into the center of the Pavlova, spreading it outward but leaving a 3-inch meringue border on the edges. Top with fruit and drizzle passion fruit pulp over the top. Serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Candace Nelson.


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