The French already excel at their own creations, and their interpretations of international cuisine is also impressive, especially regarding desserts. They have a way of turning it up a notch without overdoing it. It’s a skill I try to learn from them everyday. The new thing, la mode, with French patissiers I’m noticing is their interpretations on cheesecakes and pavlovas. For example, we know a pavlova to be a messy thrown about blob of large meringue giving it a rustic home made look. And it’s what we love about our pavlovas, however displayed in the window of a French patisserie perhaps is not so visually appealing to the French clientele, messy lines perhaps need to be more clean. This is what I’ve tried to do here by piping rounds (as if you’re making macarons) in invdividual sizes (8cm). It’s not traditional in it’s form but still keeping to the original Pavlova texture, I’ve named this one Pavlova francaise, French Pavlova.
Pavlova francaise begins with a meringue base. Now there’s a difference between a French meringue and meringue for the Aussie/Kiwi Pavlova: In French tradition the meringue francaise is hard all the way through (it’s sold by the piece around 1 euro, sometimes there is even a sprinkle of almonds). The Aussie/Kiwi meringue for a pavlova we know to be crunchy on the exterior with a goey soft marshmellowy centre. For this creation, I’ve kept true to the texture of the Aussie/Kiwi meringue and changed only its form to meet what’s more visually expected by the French.
I left a ditch/hole in the centre of the meringue so that I can fill it with raspberry jam (confiture). A ring of raspberries (also in the centre) are accompanied by a swirly tower of chantilly made up of 35% fat French cream, mascarpone, icing sugar, vanilla liquid extract and grains of vanilla pod. A gold leaf for that little touch of old French royality (I live not far from Chateau Versailles and all that gold is very inspiring).
This is really a wonderful marriage of an Australian recipe with French technique and visual. Super light and full flavoured makes it perfect to enjoy any time of the day.