Hands off our pavlova, Kiwis warned
Hands off our pavlova, Kiwis warned

The niece and great-nephews of Herbert Sachse, the chef who Australians think created the pavlova in 1935 at the old Esplanande Hotel Perth, have a simple message for the Kiwis: hands off our pav!

The Oxford English Dictionary online edition whipped up the debate over the dessert's country of origin this week by saying the pavlova was first recorded in a 1927 New Zealand cookbook.

But Maureen Mowbray, Mr Sachse's niece, said the Kiwis' recipe was not the same as her uncle's and the pavlova name should remain Australian.

Mr Sachse's great-nephews Andrew and Mark both said it was "typical" of the New Zealanders to claim something inherently Australian.

Mark said it should remain as a true Australian icon.

The meringue-based dessert has been at the centre of cross-Tasman rivalry for decades.

Australians have immortalised it on a stamp and placed it on the same pedestal as Vegemite.

But like Russell Crowe, Crowded House and Phar Lap, New Zealanders say the pavlova is yet another locally inspired invention adopted by Australians.

Perhaps the answer to this argument should be left to the man himself.

Mr Sachse, now deceased, told the Daily News in 1971 the dessert was an improvement on a meringue cake recipe he had found in a magazine - a recipe sent in by a New Zealander.

"The pavlova as we Australians know it was created here in Perth," he said.

HERBERT SACHSE'S PAVLOVA RECIPE
6 egg whites
A good pinch cream of tartar
Few drops vanilla essence
185g sugar
3 tsp cornflour
3 tsp vinegar
1 carton cream
3-4 passionfruit

Line the bottom and sides of a 20cm springform pan with non-stick paper and sprinkle a tablespoon of both arrowroot and sugar over the paper, saving a little to sprinkle on top. Preheat the oven to very hot while you make the pav.

Place the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla essence into a bowl and beat very well until mixture becomes firm and snowy. Mix the sugar and cornflour together and fold the mixture into the egg white mix, taking the spoon to the bottom of the mixing bowl each time.

Add the sugar in two batches, only gently folding it in. As soon as the sugar and cornflour are incorporated into the egg whites, add the vinegar a teaspoon at a time, mixing in gently.

Pile the mixture into the cake tin and spread out thinly, sprinkling with a little arrowroot and sugar mixture. Place the cake on the halfway shelf then turn the oven on the lowest possible setting. The pav should show a faint tinge ob brown after 15 minutes.

Re-light after 15 minutes. After one-and-a-half hours it should be "biscuit brown" with a crunchy crust. Turn it upside down onto the serving plate, removing the paper lining from bottom, which is now the top. Cool.

Cover with whipped cream and drizzle with passionfruit pulp.

The West Australian

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