There is something about meringue and pavlovas that makes it looks like clouds floating in the air.
They make perfect summer desserts. Low in fat,full of the airy summer sunshine these look so pretty.
So then, an addition of Summer fruits can transform these clouds of meringue, into clouds in paradise.
They look a wee bit complicated, but believe me they are not at all . All they need is an electric mixer -a hand blender, preferably fresh roll of parchment paper and an oven whose temperature you can control.
Like I mentioned in my vegan meringue kisses, that meringue cookies are not baked, but dehydrated. So what you need to remember is that the heat must be controlled, because extra heat will burn and caramelize sugar, without really affecting the meringue. So when you over heat the meringue cookies ,you are essentially screwing with the sugar and not the egg white.The egg white can take a whole lot of heat.
Hence it is most essential to control the temperature in your oven.
Humidity is the biggest murderer of all beautiful desserts . So ensure that when you start out to make pavlovas, the day is as dry as ever or work in an air conditioned environment.You cannot refridgerate meringue cookies, especially after you fill them.They will start to get wet and the Marshmallowey centres will be lost. They are best eaten the day they are made or kept in a dehumidified controlled temperature.
You need a tiny bit of cream to cut through the sweetness of the meringue and help smooth out the tartness of the fruit.
A fruit compote or a fruit curd is essential ,because it marries all the flavours together.
Summer fruits in India would mean mango, ripe papaya….
I would not add watermelon or regular melon because it would bleed water into the meringue and your dessert would be ruined. Berries, thinly sliced grapes, Kiwis,pomegranate pearls, mint leaves maybe a few dried berries which have been macerated in vodka.
If you cannot find fresh berries that is.
No, I am not making an alcoholic out of you or forcing you to add alcohol to every dessert.
It’s just that dried berries with the addition of some vodka are amazing. I am sharing my Magic with you.
You can also make this pavlova vegan. Just follow the process and the quantities from my vegan meringue blog post here.
I used egg white from 4 eggs because the eggs available were more small than the large ones we see abroad. If you do find medium sized eggs available ,feel free to use 3.
White vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar both are fine. However , if you do use Apple Cider Vinegar, please ensure that you strain out the murky bit from the apple cider vinegar.
Vanilla,of course, a commercial essence. Or you can use a fruit essence or seasoning ,or even do what I did …..place Vanilla beans in vodka and allow the liquids to take on the flavour… use that liquid.
I had three vanlla pods. They are expensive ,you know . So I scraped out the Vanilla pods and use them in the deserts and the empty pods… half I used to make my Vanilla flavoured vodka and the other half I added to a small Jar of sugar. And thus made a jar of vanilla flavoured sugar.
To make the pavlovas you can make either giant meringue disks or small pavlovas. Small ones are easy and prettier to look at.
So of course I made the small ones.
- 4 egg whites
- 150gms or 3/4 cup ground sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tSP salt
- 1 cup lightly whipped sweetened dairy or non dairy cream. Chilled
- Chopped mango, pomegranate pearls,assorted fruit.
- 2 tbsp Lemon curd, Strawberry compote or a store bought fruit preserve.
- Icing sugar and mint leaves for final presentation.
- Make sure the eggs are at room temperature.
- Place the eggs in a squeaky clean bowl and begin to whisk slowly.
- Once the eggs begin to foam up, add the cream of tartar and the salt.
- Now gradually add the sugar into the whisking eggs a table spoon at a time.
- Remember the mixer must be beating at high.
- Lift the whisk and check, if the peaks are as stiff as the image above, carry on a few minutes.
- You should be able to get a stiff point at the top if you touch the meringue.
- Now scrape out all the meringue from the whisk.
- Sprinkle the cornflour,vanilla and vinegar over the meringue.
- Slowly fold in till no lumps remain.
- Lay out fresh parchment paper on baking sheet and pre heat oven to 100C.
- Now put some meringue into a piping bag and pipe mini meringues.
- Basically a cookie size meringue with some piped for sides. Just like what ive done.
- If you dont want to use a piping bag, just place spoons of meringue onto the paper.
- Make a dent in the centre and pop into the oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Allow to cool in the oven.
- Remove onto a platter. Spoon some cream over the centre. Top with chopped mango and mint leaves.
- Now the world is your oyester.
- Lemon curd? Strawberry jam,? marmalade?
- Just before serving sift some icing sugar over.
- And serve,
- you can brig the empty mini pavlova shells on to the dinner table with all the acouterments. Allow your guests to make their own pavlovas.
- A whole new experience and a whole new taste,
Please do try them out, with the egg or the vegan version. Remember, The meringue is just the carrier of the flavours.
Be sure to sprinkle some icing sugar over. We totally forgot.
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