Mini Pavlovas~









Earlier this summer, some friends mentioned they’d like to watch me make a pavlova. Then last week, a neighborhood friend e-mailed me asking for baking lessons and offering to PAY ME! Uh, no thanks…but I was happy to have a her over to demonstrate a couple desserts.

First on the agenda was pavlova…the yummy meringue confection topped with whipped cream and fruit from down under. I also wanted to compare two brownie recipes…cocoa vs. melted chocolate. You can see the winner of our brownie taste test on my next blog post.

A few gal pals dropped in and we started baking. These individual pavlovas were a huge hit…two friends had never eaten this beautiful dessert, but they are now huge fans!!!

Pavlova can be a little daunting, but it’s really quite simple. For a perfect pavlova, there are a few hints:

1. Separate your egg whites while the eggs are still cold. You’re less likely to break a yolk.

2. Have your egg whites at room temperature to whip. They will whip into peaks easier and faster when not refrigerator cold.

3. Use the freshest eggs available.

4. Keep your mixing bowl and beater scrupulously clean. Any bit of grease, oil or even a touch of egg yolk will prevent your whites from whipping up properly.

5. Superfine sugar works really well for meringues and pavlovas. It dissolves much easier than regular granulated sugar. If you can’t find it, you can whiz some regular sugar in your food processor to make your own.

6. If you won’t be able to eat the whole pavlova on the day you are making it, you might want to consider picking up some Whip-It by Oetker. It’s a whip cream stabilizer which prevents the cream from breaking and instead keeps it light and fluffy for days. It’s available in some grocery stores or specialty food shops.

7. Adding vinegar makes a more stable meringue.

8. Add sugar gradually as it will incorporate much better than all at once.

9. Bake low and slow…longer will make a crisp pavlova…a shorter baking time will make a chewy or “squidgy” center as Nigella calls it. We prefer a little chewy.

10. Top your pavlova with the best fruit available…traditionally strawberries, passion fruit and bananas, but it is equally irresistible with raspberries, kiwis, peaches or the ripest, yummiest fruit available.

Mini Pavlovas…adapted from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess

4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar (or make your own by processing granulated sugar in the food processor for about a minute)
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350º. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

Beat the egg whites and salt until the mixture forms satiny peaks. Keep beating while slowly adding the sugar…continue beating till the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle meringue with corn starch, vinegar and vanilla. Mix in gently.

Form meringues on the parchment paper about 4 inches in diameter (I traced 4 inch circles on backside of paper for a guide to size). I used a gallon ziplock with the corner cut off to pipe meringue onto the parchment. Make an indentation in the middle of each pavlova with the back of a spoon. Put into oven and immediately reduce the heat to 300º. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and leave pavlovas inside for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream, fresh fruit and, if you’d like, a fruit syrup.

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Comments

  1. Lizzy, these mini pavlovas are fantastic! I printed the recipe. I love the photos, and I love you precious doggie, so sweet and calm, peeking around the corner. Your lady friends look real happy too. Great photos!

  2. Lovely little Pavs Lizzie…they look delicious!
    You can never go wrong with a Pavlova in my book…a family favorite here!

  3. You should both take the plunge into the world of pavlovas! So worth it… Thanks for such thoughtful comments!!!

  4. I’ve really have been wanting to try my hand at Pavlovas, you have inspired me!

  5. Patti, go for it!
    Linda, you are the master!! And my inspiration 🙂

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