Sunday, 24 August 2008

Mini pavlovas

I love meringue whether it’s the soft sort that tops pies and cupcakes or this – the crunchy kind. What has previously put me off making a pavlova is the amount of cooling time required in the oven – many of the recipes require the pavlova to be cooled in the oven, often overnight. That’s why this Nigella recipe caught my eye – the pavlovas are mini and this dramatically cuts the cooking and cooling time.

It’s impossible to make a pavlova look anything but decadent – they are the Miss Worlds of the cake world! Sweet, but light enough that you can eat loads, what’s not to love?

This tasted as delicious as it looks!

Here it is with the side off, so you can see the cream sitting in the meringue:

I topped mine with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries but any fruit would work. If the fruit is a little tart, this gives a lovely contrast to the ultra-sweet meringue as well as providing one of your five a day. One of the statements in the prior sentence was a lie – can you spot which one?

8 egg whites
Pinch of salt
500g caster sugar
4 teaspoons cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
750ml whipping cream
Fruit for topping – use whichever combination you like.

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
- Line three baking sheets with baking paper (I used non stick foil as I find it easier to remove the meringue from without breaking it) and draw 6 10cm circles on each sheet (I used a round biscuit cutter as my template). The meringues puff up on cooking so they need to be spaced apart.
- Whisk the egg whites and salt until the firm, but not stiff, peak stage.
- Gradually whisk in the sugar until the meringue is shiny then fold in the cornflour, vanilla and vinegar.
- Spoon the meringue onto the circles you have drawn on the baking paper and make the meringue bowl shaped as you need to be able to fill it later.
- Put in the oven and straightaway reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/fan oven 130°C/300°F/Gas mark 2.
- Bake for 30 minutes and then turn off the oven. Leave the meringues in the oven for a further 30 minutes before taking out and cooling on a wire rack. I had to do the baking process twice as my oven only has 2 shelves and the meringues take up 3 baking sheets! I put the third tray to one side (on a marble board) and it was fine.
- When all the meringues have cooled whip the cream until it is firm but not stiff. Spoon it into your little bowl shaped pavlovas.
- Top with your chosen fruit.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Gloria (Canela) said...

All look fantastic !! I want to make these mini paulovas, I love all mini, tarts, cakes thes look wonderful!!! xxGloria

Rosie said...

Just scrummy delightfulness C.C.

Rosie x

Dee said...

Ooh, pavlovas! Love, desire and lust all together.
The lie? Hmm...the meringue wasn't ultra sweet?