The Pavlova Grazing Board Is The New Trend You Need To Get Onto This Christmas
We've never met a person that doesn't love a good cheese board, but if social media is anything to go by, it seems like pavlova boards are going to be a big hit this year.
Shalini Nestor, founder of Swish Biscuits in Canberra, shared the sweet hack to her Facebook page to an overwhelming response.
Shalini told 10 daily that while she's seen pavlova bars and 'stations' before, she'd never seen one done in a grazing board which is where she got her inspiration from.
"This is where all the toppings are displayed directly onto the board or table and it looks very abundant," she said.
While Shalini is a pro at putting together grazing tables for her kids' birthday parties, she'd never tried a pavlova version.
"I was in charge of putting together dessert for an early family Christmas and after a week of baking 480 cookies, I just wanted to do something simple!" Shalini said.
Shalini made the meringues the night before and her husband did a last minute shop to grab the fruit, chocolates and fresh mint leaves.
"Otherwise I used what I already had in my pantry," she told 10 daily.
While cooking the pavlova takes about and hour and preparing the fruit and making the sauces takes a bit of time, the bonus is it can all be prepared in advance.
"Actually assembling it is very quick only about 10 minutes!" she said.
Shalini's pavlova grazing board consisted of:
- Little jars filled with passionfruit, Nutella, homemade raspberry sauce, salted caramel and lemon curd.
- Lots of fruit, coconut, chocolate and fresh mint.
- Mini homemade meringue nests.
The benefit, Shalini said, is everyone gets to make their own custom pavs just the way they like them. Winning.
Shalini's raspberry sauce is made made by combining two cups of frozen or fresh raspberries in a saucepan with a quarter of a cup sugar, one tablespoon of cornflour and the juice of one lemon.
"Whisk over medium heat until it is nicely thickened, this is a great cake filling too!" she said.
The salted caramel sauce is made by putting five tablespoons of caster sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has melted and starts turning golden, Shalini said.
At this point she instructed to remove it from the heat and whisk in 100ml of thickened cream, 100g butter and a teaspoon of sea salt.
"The other sauces were lemon curd and Nutella, which were store bought on this occasion and fresh passionfruit seeds which you can buy in a tin as well to save time," Shalini said.
The trick to the perfect pav
Too scared to make your own pav for fear of failure? Shalini has her own tried and tested tips to make sure they come out perfectly.
"My tips for a no-fail pav would be to ensure your bowl for whisking the egg whites is very clean; meringue doesn’t like any added moisture or any fats so if you’re using freshly cracked egg white, make sure there are no bits of yolk," she said.
"The cornflour and vinegar combo is a trick I learned from the amazing Donna Hay; it helps to stabilise the egg whites and stop it from seeping."
Shalini also suggested to cook them low and slow in the oven.
"I baked for an hour at 120°C but you may have to turn it down a bit if they look like they are changing colour too much," she said.
"They are cooked when they are nice and dry on the outside and not shiny; and inside will be lovely and fluffy."
After cooking, allow the pavlova nests to completely cool down in the oven with the door slightly open before removing and putting them into an airtight container, Shalini suggested.
"You can make them a few days in advance," she said.
If you're catering for vegans, she also has an adapted version that's suitable too.
"Use 150ml chilled aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) instead of egg whites; and using whipped coconut cream instead of traditional dairy cream," she said.
Featured image: Supplied