For the longest time I thought that Pavlova was a classic Russian dessert. It turns out it comes from the complete other side of the world: Australia. Originally named after a Russian ballerina, the dessert was created to honor a visit to Australia and New Zealand by Anna Pavlova in the early 20th century. In fact, both countries still dispute the origin and lay claim to the popular dessert. Of course if you don’t want to make a huge pavlova cake, then these easy mini pavlova desserts are great for entertaining.
Although this is a meringue based dessert, do not think it is as difficult as macarons. In fact, I find this dessert delightfully easy. Luckily you can use a stand mixer to whip up a glossy meringue, so I just take my SMEG off the shelf and use that.
To make these mini pavlova meringue bases you only need a few ingredients. These are eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and potato starch. Some people prefer corn starch which is also acceptable. Not featured in the above picture is one of my favorite additions: Orange Bitters. Yes, the thing you add to some cocktails. Trust me.
In the stand mixer with the whisk attachment beat six room temperature egg whites. Slowly add in the white sugar a tablespoon at a time until you have a shiny stiff meringue.
Next add in a tablespoon each of potato starch, lemon juice, and orange bitters. Use a rubber spatula to fold everything in carefully, trying not to break the meringue.
Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat (better than parchment paper) and spoon down a heaping amount of meringue. Use the back of a spoon to make some peaks. This is just artistic, but I think it makes them look better.
Place the tray into an oven preheated to 115 Celsius and bake for one hour and fifteen minutes. Then turn off the oven, but do not open it. Let the meringues sit in the slowly cooling oven for another 30 minutes.
Take the tray out of the oven and check the meringues. The outside should be hard, but easy to crack. The bottoms should not be burnt. Let them cool to room temperature. While you are doing this you can whip up a quick whipped cream to top these easy mini pavlova treats.
Spoon some whipped cream over the meringues and top with plenty of fresh fruit. In fact, you can get as detailed and pretty as you want. I like just tossing on fruits willy-nilly, but that’s not always best for photography. I use bananas, kiwi, and blueberries, however you can really choose whatever you prefer. Because the dessert is sweet, I suggest using sour fruits to balance these mini pavlovas nicely.
- Baking Tray
- Rubber Spatula
- 6 large Egg Whites room temperature
- 300 grams Sugar white, granulated
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Potato Starch
- 1 tbsp Orange Bitters
- 220 ml Heavy Cream
- Powdered Sugar optional (to sweeten the whipped cream)
- Fruit your choice
- In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment begin beating the egg whites. When frothy add the sugar a tablespoon at a time.
- When you have a stiff and glossy meringue fold in the potato starch, lemon juice, and orange bitters. Be careful so as not to break the meringue.
- Spoon a dollop of meringue onto a silicone lined baking tray and use the back of a spoon to form peaks.
- Place in an oven preheated to 115 Celsius and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Then, turn off the oven but do not open the door. Let the pan sit there for another 20-30 minutes.
- Remove the meringues from the pan and let cool to room temperature.
- Whip the heavy cream and add it to the top of the meringue cakes. Add fresh fruit to the top in any way you prefer.
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