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Make a Beautiful Pavlova, Australia’s Most Famous Dessert, in Honor of Australia Day

What better way to celebrate Australia Day than with a recipe for Australia’s most famous dessert, believed to have been created in Australia (or New Zealand) in the 1920s in honor of the visit of Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Whatever its origins, this airy confection is very much associated with Australia, and has since become a favorite dessert around the world. Using little more than egg whites, vinegar, sugar, and salt, the pavlova is perhaps the lightest and least calorific of sweets. Chef Waya Araos-Wijangco learned how to make the recipe below when she was living in Melbourne. She says the trick to making the perfect pavlova is to ensure that the meringue center is completely cooked. You can do this by leaving the baked meringue overnight in an oven that’s been shut off, with a wooden spoon wedged in the door to allow air to circulate inside the oven. If you don’t have the time to make it yourself, make sure to try Chef Waya’s pavlova at her lovely restaurant, Gourmet Gypsy Art Café, on Roces Avenue in Quezon City




Serves 6 to 8

  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups whipped cream
  • 1/2 cup passionfruit curd
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 kiwi, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Using an 8-inch bowl as a guide, trace the perimeter of the bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper. Transfer parchment paper, pencil side down, to a baking sheet. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt together until glossy peaks form. With mixer running, add sugar in 3 additions, beating until meringue is stiff and glossy. Sprinkle in cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla. Gently fold to combine.

3. Mound the meringue in the center of the 8-inch circle. Using a spatula, evenly spread meringue out towards the edges. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 250°F. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes.

4. Turn off oven and let meringue cool completely in oven. When meringue is cool and completely dry, top with whipped cream, passionfruit curd and fruits.


This recipe was first featured in FOOD Magazine, Issue 1, 2016 

Photo by Paulo Valenzuela

Styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz