A light-as-air and simply stunning dessert, the Pavlova with Mascarpone Cream will delight and impress everyone at your table with its crispy exterior, marshmallow-y interior and smooth and tasty Mascarpone Whipped Cream! Perfect for any holiday or celebration!
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” These words, attributed and popularized in the 19th century, I first heard from my late Dad, the first (and best) philosopher of my life ❤️. I don’t know how old I was, or what exactly I had had difficulty with, but I would hear these words from him over and over during my life. There were many opportunities – learning to play piano or how to drive, college classes or my first job. And there was no one prouder when I succeeded.
I have to admit, it was frustrating to hear these words sometimes, because, when we do something new, we all want to succeed and really don’t want to do all the work again, especially after a first attempt was not successful. But trying again (and again, if necessary) is how we all learn that hard work and practice are the key to success. This is what I’ve learned with the Pavlova.
Named for the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, this dessert is light and airy, impressive and beautiful. Not only that it is a symphony of textures – crispy on the outside, marshmallow-y and sweet on the inside, and topped with a pillowy whipped cream and your choice of toppings. The traditional Australian or New Zealand Pavlova is topped with fresh fruit – whatever is in season. Newer versions, like this Pavlova with Mascarpone Whipped Cream, can be topped with absolutely anything, like peanut butter and chocolate sauces and some of my favorite Homemade Peanut Butter Cups.
When I first saw a Pavlova, I knew I wanted to make one. I looked at various recipes – it seemed easy enough – and then got to work. I don’t know what happened, but it was an epic failure. Totally collapsed, flat as a pancake. It tasted ok, but was chewy all the way through. A couple months later, I tried again. Same thing happened – it was flat. Crispy outside, chewy inside. No marshmallow.
Then, several months later, I stumbled across the recipe and instruction on exactly how to make a Pavlova from Recipe Tin Eats, and it changed my life! So many useful tips and tricks that I’ve incororated in my adapted recipe. My Pavlova became perfect! So light! So marshmallow-y! I couldn’t wait to make another one! I followed her instructions for this recipe, and Voila! Perfect again! I had totally and successfully “tried, tried and tried again!”
So here’s to hoping you get it down the first try – I incorporated what I learned along the way – Pavlova with Mascarpone Whipped Cream is an impressive, but in the end, deceptively easy, recipe! And, I’m curious, is there a recipe that you’ve struggled with, tried over and over (and over) but just couldn’t get to work? Or a trick you’ve found to make it work?
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Pavlova with Mascarpone Cream
Pavlova is an impressive and sweet dessert made from egg whites – it is Marshmallowy, all sweet and gooey, with a crispy meringue exterior. Topped with a mascarpone whipped cream and your choice of other toppings. I used peanut butter sauce and chocolate sauce along with some of my homemade peanut butter cups. So so good!
Recipe Tin Eats offers many good tips and tricks that I incorporated into the directions, The Boy Who Bakes gave me trick of using lemon juice instead of vinegar, which I incorporated here. Pavlova is an impressive and sweet dessert made from egg whites! Crispy exterior, marshmallow-y interior and topped with a smooth pillowy whipped cream! Top with fresh fruit of your choice, or chocolate and peanut butter sauce! An exceptional and festive treat!
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 90 min + cooling
- Total Time: 1 hr, 45 min
- Yield: 10 servings 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Baking
For the Pavlova:
- 5 oz. (150 ml) egg whites – 4-5 lg egg whites – See Note 1
- 1 c superfine sugar (caster sugar) – regular sugar is optional, but not preferred
- 1 T cornstarch, sifted
- 1 t lemon juice (white vinegar is good substitute)
For the Mascarpone Whipped Cream:
- 1 1/2 c Heavy Whipping Cream (any whipping cream will do)
- 1/4 c granulated sugar (superfine works well here, too)
- 8 oz. Mascarpone Cheese, removed from fridge 15 mins ahead
- 1 t Natural Vanilla Extract
- (optional) fresh fruit, jam, candies, nuts, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, peanut butter sauce, coconut, lemon curd – anything you love!
Prepare a Pan to Bake Pavlova:
- Onto a sheet of parchment paper, trace the bottom of an 8” (20cm) cake pan, or draw an 8” circle. Turn the sheet upside down (pencil marks down) on a sheet pan. The pavlova will bake to be larger than the circle by up to 1 1/2 – 2 inches in width.
Make the Pavlova:
- With cold eggs, separate the whites from the yolks. Measure 5 oz of whites, or 4-5 large eggs’ worth of whites. Let warm to room temperature – this will take about 30 mins.
- Preheat oven to 300F/150C if convection, 340F/170C for standard.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, place the room temperature egg whites. Beat at Medium-High (stand mixer) or High (hand mixer) until soft peaks form. This typically takes a minute or two after eggs no longer appear foamy during beating.
- Add the superfine sugar, 1 T at a time, beating as you go. After all of the sugar is incorporated, continue beating an additional 3 mins.
- Add the cornstarch and the lemon juice and beat an additional 5 seconds, it doesn’t need to be fully incorporated.
- Carefully scoop half of the egg white mixture onto the circle and using an offset spatula or large spoon, gently coax it into the circle shape, being careful not to “smash” it. Then pile the rest of the egg white mixture on top, making it vaguely (at least) dome-shaped. Flatten the top a bit. You just don’t want the sides to be straight up, because this will increase the possibility of collapse. The “dome” should be around 2- 2 1/2” (5cm) high.
- Carefully place the baking tray into the oven, and GENTLY close the door. Do your best to keep the kitchen activity low during cooking, or you could risk the dreaded collapse of the pavlova. Immediately reduce oven heat to 210F/100C for convection, or 240F/115C for standard. Let the pavlova bake 90 minutes. DO NOT open the oven to peek, it will be fine.
- After 90 minutes, turn the oven OFF, still keeping the door closed. Leave the pavlova in the oven at least 3 hours and up to overnight. It’s best if it cools slowly.
- Gently coax it off of the paper and onto a serving plate. Top with Whipped Mascarpone Cream and any other toppings you wish!
Make the Mascarpone Whipped Cream:
- Place the cream, sugar and vanilla into a bowl. Beat at Medium-high speed until it has soft peaks. It should be thick and smooth with no stiff peaks.
- Add the mascarpone cheese and continue to beat until incorporated, but still just thick and smooth, without soft peaks only. If it gets to thick, just smooth it out with a little extra cream.
- Top the Pavlova with the whipped mascarpone cream and any fruit, sauces or candies, and serve right away! (See Note 2)
1. Best to separate egg yolks from the whites when cold – they are more likely to separate easily and fully. Then let the whites get to room temperature to get the best ability to whip them up.
2. Serve your Pavlova immediately after topping, to avoid any collapse. It will last picture-perfect for 20-30 mins, if you are lucky!
- Serving Size: 1/10 recipe