Mini Pavlovas

What’s not to love about Pavlova? Meringue, whipped cream and fresh fruit – a perfect trio of textures and tastes. Named for the legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, the dessert was purportedly first created in her honour during a tour of New Zealand in the 1920s. Unlike traditional meringues which are usually soft throughout, the inclusion of cornstarch in Pavlova gives it a crispy exterior and adds to its delicate texture. In the past I have always made larger Pavlovas which can be rather tricky to serve; by shaping individual or miniature versions, that problem is eliminated and the dessert looks much prettier too! Two more great things: this dessert is gluten-free AND you can use lactose-free yogurt instead of whipped cream!

Mini Pavlovas are a fabulous dessert because they are beautiful, delicious and light.

Mini Pavlovas are a fabulous dessert because they are beautiful, delicious and light.

Ingredients

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup (85 grams) white sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (180 mL) heavy cream (or lactose-free plain or vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) white sugar
  • Few drops almond or vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120 mL) sliced soft fruit (strawberries and kiwi are my favourites)

Method

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • With an electric beater or stand mixer, whip egg whites until foamy.
  • Add sugar slowly, about a teaspoon at a time, and continue to whip until the egg whites hold stiff peaks.
  • Add salt, vinegar, cornstarch and vanilla and beat well; the mixture should be stiff enough to stand when cut (draw a knife through the mixture and the cut should hold, rather than collapsing).
  • Transfer the mixture to a small zip lock bag and seal the bag, pressing out air in the bag as you do so.
  • With scissors, snip off ¼” (.6 cm) on one corner of the bag.
  • Pipe the egg white mixture into small nests on the baking sheet by squeezing the bag gently. Start by making about a  ¾ inch (2 cm) disc (the base of each Pavlovas) and then surround that with a crown of meringue about 1 inch (2.5 cm) high. You should be able to make 8 mini Pavlovas in this fashion.
Shaping the meringue mixture into little nests makes for a very pretty presentation.

Shaping the meringue mixture into little nests makes for a very pretty presentation.

  • Turn the oven off and put the baking sheet into the oven.
  • Leave the Pavlovas in the oven until it is cold (this will take several hours).
  • When the oven is cold, remove the baking tray. The Pavlovas can be filled per the instructions below or transferred to an airtight container and stored for up to 4 days.
  • When ready to fill the Pavlovas, whip the cream until stiff. Add sugar and almond or vanilla extract and whip until blended.
  • Put a heaping teaspoonful of whipped cream (or yogurt, flavoured with a little almond or vanilla extract) in the centre of each Pavlova. Top with a few slices of fruit. Serve within 2 hours (refrigerate if not serving immediately).

Makes 8 mini Pavlovas.

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About Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.
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7 Responses to Mini Pavlovas

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have bought lactose free whipping cream at Metro.

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