If you were going to dedicate a cake to a ballerina, you'd probably want it to be delicate, light and lovely -- right? That's exactly what happened in when it came to developing pavlova. Both Australia and New Zealand claim this creation as a national culinary treasure. A cake fit for a dancer, pavlova was originally created to honor Russian ballet superstar Anna Pavlova. A masterpiece of timing and patience, a pavlova is a meringue cake that has a crisp exterior and a soft, marshmallowy center. It's traditionally served with whipped cream and fresh fruit, but Stephanie Jaworski at "Joy of Baking" advises that tart fruits, like kiwi, raspberries and passion fruit, help balance the super-sweet meringue.
If you want to prepare a pavlova of your own, you can bake it ahead and store it in a cool, dry place until you need it [source: Jaworski].