Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Single Serve Mini Pavlovas

I was mulling about vinegar, the secret ingredient for Weekend Wokking hosted by Blazing Hot Wok. Then, I recalled this light and airy dessert topped with strawberry and kiwi that I tasted at my friend’s house years back. The origin of this light meringue dessert is highly controversial with both New Zealand and Australia claiming it as their own. What is known is it was created to honor the ballerina Anna Pavlova on one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the early 1920's.

In the past, the pavolva recipe by Gale Gand worked well for me. My only problem was it was messy to cut up and serve. So this time I made single serve mini pavlovas instead of a huge dessert. I also replaced the whipped cream with sour cream to cut the sweetness of the meringue.

Here's my recipe loosely adapted from Gale Gand:
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 kiwi fruits, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 10 strawberries, green parts trimmed off, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a hand mixer, whip the egg whites, granulated sugar, cream of tartar and salt in a clean, dry bowl until foamy. Slowly add the cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla and continue whipping until stiff peaks form and the surface is smooth and glossy.

Spoon the egg whites onto a silicon mat/ silicon baking cups. The silicon mat works better as it makes it easier to remove the crispy meringues. In my experience, silicon baking cups may distort some so you won't have perfectly shaped rounds but the texture of the meringue will be similar to marshmallows.

Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake until the meringue has puffed up and the surface is lightly browned ~ about 45 minutes more. Turn off the oven, crack the oven door open and let the pavlova cool in the oven at least 30 minutes, to room temperature. I actually let it sit in the oven overnight so that it cools gradually to protect the delicate meringue.

Spoon the sour cream in the center of the cooled mini pavlovas. Arrange slices of kiwi and strawberry on top of the sour cream. Serve right away. Delicious.

Pavlova is relatively easy to make but the final product looks so elegant. What do you think?


Dee said...

I didn't know pavlovas used vinegar. Learn something new everyday!

I'm a big fan of personal-sized desserts. They make it easy to keep track of portion size and they look very elegant.

Anonymous said...

Lovely dessert! the kiwi must be great here!