The main difference between meringue and pavlova is their texture; meringue is crispy and crunchy throughout, while pavlova is dry and crispy on the outside, but soft and light on the inside.
Both meringue and pavlova are desserts made by baking a mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar. However, these are not the same. Pavlova is a dessert consisting of a meringue base.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Meringue
– Definition, Features
2. What is Pavlova
– Definition, Features
3. Difference Between Meringue and Pavlova
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Meringue
Meringue is a type of sweet made by baking a mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar until it becomes crisp. Meringue is a common candy in French, Swiss, Italian, and Polish cuisines. They are light, airy and sweet. Most meringues have a solid and crisp texture throughout. We use meringue in various types of confectionery like cookies, lemon meringue pie, macrons, merveilleux, pavlova, and dacquoise.
Traditionally meringue is made from whipped egg whites and sugar. We sometimes add an acidic ingredient like lemon, vinegar, or cream of tartar. Some people also add a binding agent like salt, flour, or gelatin to the eggs. When you beat the eggs, egg whites expand; in fact, they can expand up to eight times in their original volume. Sugar adds sweetness to the dessert while stabilizing the eggs whites. However, sugar can also decrease the lightness and volume, so make sure to add the sugar gradually. Don’t add the sugar before you have whipped the eggs at least four times their original volume.
What is Pavlova
Pavlova is a dessert with a meringue base. It has a crispy crust and a soft, light, and moist inside. It is usually topped with fruits and whipped cream. This dessert is said to be named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.
Making pavlova involves beating egg whites to a stiff consistency while gradually adding caster sugar before folding in an acid (like vinegar, lemon juice or cream of tartar), cornflour and slowly baking the mixture, just like a meringue. However, unlike meringue, which has a solid consistency throughout, pavlova has a soft and moist centre and a crispy and crunchy outer shell. This soft centre is like a marshmallow. Some suggest that it is the addition of cornflour that results in this marshmallow-like centre. Traditionally, this dessert is topped with whipped cream and soft, fresh fruits like strawberries, kiwifruits, and passionfruit. You can also buy ready-made pavlovas at supermarkets and decorate them as you like.
Difference Between Meringue and Pavlova
Meringue is a type of sweet made by baking a mixture of stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar until it becomes crisp. Pavlova, on the other hand, is a dessert consisting of a meringue base.
Meringue is crispy and crunchy throughout, while pavlova is crispy on the outside, but soft and light on the inside.
Furthermore, meringue recipes do not use cornflour or cornstarch, but pavlova uses cornflour. Moreover, the addition of cornflour results in the marshmallow-like centre of pavlova.
Meringue is crispy and crunchy throughout, while pavlova is crispy on the outside, but soft and light on the inside. Moreover, it is the addition of cornflour that results in the light and soft centre of pavlova. Thus, this is the main difference between meringue and pavlova.
1. “What Is Meringue?” C&H Sugar, Available here.
2. “The Perfect Pavlova (Step by Step Recipe).” The Flavor Bender, 30 June 2020, Available here.
1. “Lemon Meringue Pie” By Scott Akerman – (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Pavlova postre” By Álvaro Hurtado Valdivia – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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