Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A creamy Pavlova with summer fruits.


In my last post I made a sumptuously creamy creme brulée which left me with lots of egg whites! This isn't really a problem as egg whites are extremely versatile, but whenever I have a large batch of whites I almost always like to make a meringue-based recipe. The end result is a recipe that can always be tweaked to suit individual taste. Having this in mind, perhaps the best way to make use of these egg whites is to prepare a delicious Pavlova.

Making a Pavlova seems complicated, but in reality, if you know how to make a meringue, you know how to make a Pavlova. Moreover, a Pavlova is really a fun recipe. With the same base you can create endless combinations of cream and fruit toppings. This time, the creamy layer I opted for is made from mascarpone cheese sweetened with maple syrup. Add some fresh fruits and you have a summary and gluten free dessert. Replace the mascarpone or whipped cream with vegetarian whipped cream and you will have a gluten and lactose free recipe. 


So let's get started.

For 5 mini pavlovas (10cm), you need:
  • 90 g egg whites at room temperature
  • 150 g super fine white sugar
  • few drops of lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp of cornflour 
  • the beans of one vanilla pod
  • dash of salt.

First start whipping the egg whites at low speed with the salt, lemon, vanilla and vinegar, increase the speed slowly, when the whites are frothy start adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Keep beating until the sugar has dissolved and you have a stiff and shiny meringue!

Now scatter the corn flour over the meringue and with a spatula gently incorporate to the batter. You can pass the flour through a sieve to make sure the flour won't create lumps in the meringue.

Cover a baking sheet with baking paper to be ready to form the mini pavlovas. Some like to delimit with a pencil a circle on the back of the baking paper as a guide when forming the cakes and this what I usually do to get a perfect circle. 

Spoon just enough meringue over the baking sheet to make a nice serving size and then flatten with a spatula but do make sure that the edges are higher so as to have a central depression which you can fill with the cream and fruits after the meringue is baked. Alternatively, you can use a pipping bag to form more elegant and uniform meringues but just make sure to pipe more meringue over the edges to elevate them in comparison to the center.

Bake the pavlovas in a preheated over (between 100 and 120C) for at least an hour. They will be ready when they are firm to touch and they can be detached easily from the baking paper. Leave them to cool off completely before using them.


For the mascarpone cream, you need:
  • 200 g mascarpone (at room temperature)
  • a tbsp spoon of maple syrup (just enough to sweeten the cheese, remember the pavlovas are really sweet)
  • use any king of fruits you like for topping, I used strawberries and cherries
  • grated dark chocolate

I added some balsamic vinegar to the strawberries, but you can use them as they are. Mix the cheese with the maple and spoon over  the baked meringue. Finally, add the fruits and the chocolate and you are ready to enjoy a delicate, creamy, light and delicious dessert!

2 comments:

  1. It looks delicious! Pavlova has been on my to-cook list for a long time.

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    1. Give it a try, it´s really easy and the result is delicious!

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