This is a fantastic dessert, you can’t resist loving it. Chewy yet crispy fragile meringues with whipped cream and your favourite fruit. Or with ice cream and shaved chocolate. Or with rhubarb preserve. Or… There is no end to all wonderful combinations you can make up with these little meringues. The name of the Pavlova origins from the great Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, who was said not to dance but to soar as though on wings. And these light meringues are supposed to symbolize that lightyness. There’s apparently a controversary with Australia and New Zeeland as both countries claim to have invented this airy dessert. But why bother, just eat it!
I actually wasn’t planning on making mini Pavlovas, oh no. My plan was to bake an advanced Carribean chocolate and mango cake. A recipe using a lot of egg yolks for the mango brûlée which was going inside the cake. Unfortunately my baking mold leaked water during the oven water bath and as I didn’t want to start all over I recalled the delicious mini Pavlovas we had at Anne’s last midsummer. So I made merengues, which are much easier to make than that Carribean cake! And I know that I was going to give the pączki a new try, but I was so busy with the disasterous cake that I didn’t feel like frying doughnuts. But I’ll probably bake them during the next weekend and will then post a most likely modified recipe.
(Makes 18. Recipe Nigella Lawson)
8 egg whites
a pinch of salt
500g caster sugar
4 tsp corn flour
2 tsp white wine vinegar (makes the meringues chewy inside)
1 tsp vanilla extract (I didn’t have any so I just substituted 100 gram of the above 500 gram caster sugar with my own vanilla sugar, which basically is a jar of caster sugar to which I add scraped used vanilla pods instead of throwing them in the trash).
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
Beat the egg whites and salt until the miixture form satiny peaks. Keep beating the egg whites while adding sugar little at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle over the corn flour, vinegar (and vanilla extract, if using). Fold in gently.
Form round meringues on the trays lined with baking paper, around 10 cm a cross and 1.5 cm high. Make an indentation in the middle of every pavlova with the back of a spoon. Put in the trays in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150°C. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the Pavlovas inside for 1.5-2 hours.
Serve the Pavlovas with whipped cream, fresh fruit and a nice fruit syrup.
Mini Pavlova with different fruits (“Frukt och Bär”, the new frozen fruit mixture from Ica, and blackberries) together with raspberry syrup and whipped cream.