Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Strawberry Pavlova

A pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Ánna Pávlova. It is a cake similar to a meringue with a crispy crust and a soft, light center. It has got to be one of the easiest things to bake! Which is probably why I don’t make it very often; I like to be challenged. But there’s an advantage of making something so simple. You can do this in a very rushed-up, fuzzy way. The trick is to keep the meringue as white as possible, therefore you need to bake them at a very low heat. I got six of out this batch. Six pavlovas might not seem much, but these can only be kept for up to 1 day, so it’s probably best not to make a large amount. Rating: 5 out of 5.

Strawberry Pavlova recipe: adapted from Martha Stewart's 'Pavlovas with Mixed Berries' - Baking Handbook & Nigella Lawson's 'Mini-Pavlovas' - How To Be A Domestic Goddess

Ingredients:
- 2 large egg whites (I used 3 medium egg whites)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 3 large strawberries (or more if you like), sliced in half

Instructions:
- Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 6 circles of approximately 4 inches on the parchment-line baking sheet; set aside.
- Whisk the egg whites with the salt on high speed until they’re holding firm peaks but are not stiff. Gently add in the sugar, spoonful after spoonful, still beating, until you’ve got a bowl of gleaming, satiny, snowy meringue. Add a few drops of vanilla and fold in to combine.
- Using a large spoon, scoop six fluffy mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. Using the back of the spoon, form a well in the center of each mound, being careful not to make the meringue too thin in the center.
- Bake until just dry to the touch but still white in color, about 1 ½ hours. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let meringues cool completely before carefully easing them off the parchment. Meringues can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.
- When ready to serve, whip cream until it holds firm peaks and add the confectioners' sugar. Divide whipped cream among meringues, dolloping it in the wells. Garnish with fruit.
- Side note: Meringues are baked on very low heat so they stay perfectly white. It’s a good idea to check them periodically to make sure they don’t take on color. To test if the meringues are done, try lifting one off the parchment – if it comes away easily, it is ready; if not, continue baking , checking every five minutes. Moisture will cause meringues to soften, so avoid making them on particularly humid days.


I adore the rough shapes pavlovas have, and I love the first bite of one;
crisp & crunchy crust, with a soft & squishy interior.


Just when I wanted to photograph these beauties, the weather took a turn for the worst and resembled much like a storm ... in mid-May!! So I took my plate right next to window and shot a few flicks; the only way to get a hint of light.


I hate throwing food away, so I made some pastry cream out of the egg yolk left-overs.
Maybe I'll make a Boston Cream Pie this week. Any recipes?

13 comments:

Cornflake said...

Beautiful, you are such an inspiration!

Lucie said...

Love how cute these are! A great way to showcase yummy strawberries :)

mr. pineapple man said...

wow that looks delicious! really want to try one now~~~~

Chele said...

Individual portions so no sharing! LOVE IT!

ParisBreakfasts said...

Those are gorgeous!!!
I thought you had to be Australian to make them...but maybe you are!
:)

Eliana said...

These look so lovely. Another winning recipe from Nigella.

M.A.the2nd said...

Looks so yummy! I always thought pavlova was also very Aussie. Would you like some quintessential Australian recipes? I have so many! hugs Frances

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

You inspire me to try my hand at baking;-)

Ingrid said...

I've been wanting to make pavlovas since forever...thanks for the nudge and the recipe. Btw,yours look wonderful!
~ingrid

SabinePsynopsis said...

This looks so delicious!! I can nearly taste it. Pavlova, come to me, please!

Natalie... said...

Oh wow your strawberry pavlovas look so so tasty and extremely light! Strawberries are so in season at the moment mmm :D

ABowlOfMush said...

I love pavlova! These strawberry ones looks so incredibly yummy!

Lovely pics!

Bumpkin on a Swing said...

I can do this? Really you think?
I'm going to try, I will feel so Parisian.