A pavlova is a naturally gluten-free cake made with some meringue and filled with whipped cream along with berries or fruit. I did not want to make a post about regular pavlovas so I made some mini pavlovas filled with balsamic strawberries and whipped cream mixed with mascarpone cheese.
These taste fairly light and they are something that I would recommend having after a heavy meal or in some hot weather. Some sparkling wine or champagne would compliment these cakes nicely, if you feel like it.
Once again I would advice that everyone adjusts this recipe according to their own taste, use just whipped cream for example and just the kind of fruit you like, you could also adjust this to be dairyfree with some whipped coconut cream for example- I myself absolutely love balsamic strawberries and mascarpone so that is what I will be using. I had a combination of balsamic strawberries along with mascarpone at a restaurant a long time ago; me and my sister both had the same the dessert and we went on and on talking about the dessert for the rest of the evening - it is really so ridiculously tasty.
Mini Pavlovas recipe
Serves 4-6 people
-4 egg whites
-2,5 dl or 1 cup caster sugar
-2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vinegar
Preheat the oven to 125 C or 257 F. This is very important since you can not leave the meringue waiting for the oven to be hot enough.
Make sure your eggs are room temperature; this is also of the utter most importance when making this.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks. It is important not to get any water on the egg whites and also no yolk should be present. If you happen to get some yolk into the egg whites you can take some kitchen paper and put that on the yolk part and it will get sucked into the paper and your meringue will not be ruined.
Place the egg whites into a bowl that is dry and made out of glass or steel, if you use a plastic one it might have some fat stuck to it and that will ruin the meringue.
Beat the egg whites with a hand held mixer or by hand, but then you would need to make sure that your whisk is round and made out of steel so that it captures enough air into the meringue.
When the egg whites have turned foamy measure half of the sugar and pour it into the bowl slowly, mixing everything at high speed at the same time. It helps if you have someone helping you out in the kitchen at this time, but this can be done alone too, it’s just a bit harder that way.
Measure the other half of the sugar and mix it together with the cornstarch. Pour them into the bowl once again mixing at the same time.
Beat everything together until you have a shiny and hard mixture.
Lastly mix in the vinegar. Now you can make the traditional meringue test and hold the bowl over your head and see if anything falls on your head; it’s done if nothing falls.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and spoon the meringue on to the baking tray, make small circles with the spoon and make the edges rise higher than the middle of the cake making a small nest in the middle. If you are making a big pavlova then draw a circle on to the baking paper and spoon the meringue on to the baking tray using the circle as help and form a big round meringue cake; you will need to make the nest in the middle with the bigger version too. You can lift the meringue with a spoon around the edges to make it look fluffier.
If you are aiming for a more professional looking pavlova you will need a round tipped piping tube and using that you can pipe the meringue into a perfect circle. I myself don’t mind if mine look like they were hand made.
Bake the mini pavlovas for 1 1/2 hours. Let them cool before taking them of the baking tray.
Fill them with your choice of filling and remember to fill them just before serving, they are not as good as they should be if you leave them to wait.
This is how I separate egg whites; I crack the egg open onto my hand.
I let the egg whites drop away from the yolk which is on my hand.
The yolk usually remains nicely without any trouble, I find this to be the easiest way in which to separate egg yolks.
The finished meringue should look like this after you have added the vinegar to it; it is shiny and very white.
Test the meringue by turning it upside down, it’s done of it sticks. I prefer to not test it above my head.
Spoon the meringue onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Make small nests by spooning the meringue higher on the sides.
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 1 tbls balsamic vinegar, it is fine to use the cheaper variety
- 2 tbls honey or 2 heaping tbls sugar
Mix everything together and let it sit for 1 hour. Add some freshly ground black pepper if you feel like it.
Whipped cream with mascarpone
-1 part whipped cream
-1 part mascarpone cheese, something like Philadelphia is fine too
- sugar and vanilla extract according to taste
Whip the cream until it is light and fluffy and then mix in the cheese, sugar and vanilla extract.
Another naturally gluten-free dessert which also very easy, and takes less than 10 minutes to make, is some cream quark with berries or fruit.
- 500 grams quark
-2,5 dl or 1 cup cream
- 2 cups chopped fruit or berries
- 1 dl or 0,4 cup sugar, you can also use honey or something like stevia
-2 tsp vanilla extract
Whip the cream and then fold in the berries, sugar, vanilla and quark.
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