A Pavlova is the Perfect Dessert for Adventurous Cooks Seeking, Simple-to-Make, Pastries that Offer Plenty of Creative expression!
The pavlova cake is an airy dessert made from sweetened meringue slowly baked into a crisp, delicate shell. Once baked, the shell can be filled with either custard or whipped cream, or maybe even both of them, first custard and then a dollop of whipped cream, and just when one might think things couldn't get any better, the beautiful pavlova cakes are topped off with a variety of sweet, fresh fruits. And best of all, it is an easy to create, fool-proof, and delicious dessert that will surely impress even the most hard-to-please.
Both Australia and New Zealand claim ownership over the invention of this unique and festive cake, both insisting it originated in their country in the early 20th century. Aside from which country invented it, eventually it was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.
THE PERFECT PARFAIT
Create a Show-Stopping Parfait Simply By Using Any Broken Shells to Make a Yummy Layer of
Light'n Airy Meringue Sweetness.
4 large egg whites (room temperature)
1 ¼ cups white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pint heavy cream
Fruit and/or chocolate, as desired
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; draw a circle or circles on the parchment paper.
With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat egg whites in a large (oil-free) bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition to combine. Continue beating until thick and glossy. Gently fold in cornstarch, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
Spoon or pipe mixture inside the circle (or circles) drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the inside edges or center of the circle(s), spread mixture toward the center or outside edge taking care to build the edge higher. This should leave a slight depression in the center to hold the filling.
Bake in the preheated oven until meringue is dry and sounds hollow when tapped, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.
Beat heavy cream in a medium bowl until speaks form. Add sweetener, as desired, beat until combined, do not over beat, and set aside.
Remove meringue from the parchment paper and place on a flat serving plate. Fill center of meringue with whipped cream and top with fruit or chocolate, as desired.
Please note: This recipe makes 8 generous servings. Custard or other fillings and/or puddings can be used in place of, or along with, the heavy whipping cream.