This recipe for decorating pavlova cakes are the method my family have used for three generations, which has changed a little since my grandmother's pav. When she came to Australia, she fell in love with this cake, but kiwi fruit wasn't that readily available, and she used gelatine to stablize and thicken her cream. This is the way my family likes to eat and present pavlova. Best Pavolva cake recipe
500mL thickened cream
2 packets cream stabiliser (if you can get it)
1 heaped teaspoon icing sugar
2/3 cup of canned crushed pineapple (in syrup preferably)
½ punnet of strawberries
1 kiwi fruit
4-5 Tablespoons canned passionfruit or fresh passionfruit
½ of a 220g can sliced peaches
1) Cut and slice all your fruits and put each fruit into separate bowls to make decorating with them easier.
2) I like to make all the fruits the same thickness (0.5 cm thick or ¼ inch) to make sure that the topping doesn't sink into the pavlova, it's easier to cut and for presentation.
3) I use canned peaches so they do not release their juices when cut into the cream or oxidise and discolour, make sure you drain them well and pat dry with paper towelling as the syrup or juice will make the cream sloppy.
4) Whip the cream, stabiliser and icing sugar until stiff. Put 1/3 of the cream into a piping bag with a large star nozzle, place the whole bag into a clean container or freezer bag and put in the fridge to keep cool, don't do this too ahead of time for piping your cream as the cream may sweat and curdle, despite adding the stabiliser if it is a very hot day.
5) Drain the crushed pineapple really well and absorb as much of the liquid with paper towelling as you can, other wise your cream will be sloppy. I prefer to use crushed pineapple canned in syrup, reason being that I find it to be less acidic and will not break down the cream as quickly. Gently fold in the pineapple to remaining cream. Smooth the pineapple cream on top (and around the sides if you wish). Pipe a pattern with your cream and arrange the sliced fruits on top.
Most recipes will recommend that you serve it immediately. I find that I prefer the dessert to be a little chilled, and so that the flavours of the fruits and cream meld a little. I put it in the fridge in a covered cake container- a must for any fresh creamed cake for at least ½ hour to 1 hour before serving. Drizzle or spoon over the passionfruit before serving or it can melt the crisp meringue and make it soggy, particularly if it drizzles over the sides of the pav. I prefer to use canned passionfruit as fresh passionfruit can be unpredictably sour.
How does your family decorate a pavlova cake? Please share your delicious toppings here in the comments