You know what makes this Friday good (besides it literally being “Good Friday”)? Mini Pavlovas.
There is something so splendid about these little puffs of meringue that are crunchy on the outside and soft like clouds on the inside. They are the perfect canvas for a sweet Easter surprise! Fill ’em with chocolate, cookies, mini eggs or sweet summer berries! Smother ’em in lemon curd, whipped cream, salted caramel or dark chocolate! Sprinkle ’em with chopped mint, colourful sprinkles, icing sugar, toasted coconut, or edible flowers! No matter how you fill them, smother them, or sprinkle them they make the most delicious and stunning dessert for Easter!
Now, I’ve professed my undying love for pavlova many times before on this blog (four times to be exact), so I guess you could say I am a pavlova expert… or just obsessed lunatic. Either way, I have four tips you might find useful when making the perfect pavlova for Easter!
Tip #1: Don’t Use Liquid Egg Whites
I’ve tried several times and failed to turn my egg whites into stiff peaks when using liquid egg whites. If you’ve found success please let me know, but for me, using good ol’ egg whites from fresh Canadian eggs works best!
Tip #2: Say “NO” To The Sugar Rush
There are some things in life you cannot rush: a vacation, large financial commitments, and adding sugar to the egg whites. In might seem super slow to add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, but you want to give it enough time to fully dissolve (otherwise your peaks will fall flat!). To check if the sugar is dissolving, simply stop your mixer and rub some of the meringue between your fingers; if it feels gritty, the sugar has not dissolved.
Tip #3: Bake Don’t Brown
Unless your pavlova is flavoured with something brown (like chocolate or coffee) it should come out of the oven looking white and bright! My method of actively baking the meringue nests for 1 hour and then letting them rest inside the oven (sans heat) allows the pavlova to form that lovely crisp outside while remaining light and fluffy on the inside.
Tip #4: You Can Use Vinegar, But I Prefer Cream of Tartar
Now, not everyone has cream of tartar on-hand, so in a pinch, you can use vinegar, but I prefer to use cream of tartar as it helps stabilize the egg whites and creates more volume for a fluffier, lighter meringue.
These Mini Pavlova “Nests” are the perfect dessert for Easter! Fill them with fresh fruit for the adults and mini eggs for the kids… or set up a station where your guests can top their own!
6 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
1.5 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup each
Garnish: whipped cream, lemon curd, fresh mint leaves, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries, mini eggs, other Easter chocolates
- Preheat oven to 250F (120C).
- In a stand mixer beat egg whites until frothy.
- Add cream of tartar; continue to beat until whites form soft peaks.
- Gradually add sugar, pouring in 1 tablespoon at a time. Beat constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and whites hold stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in vanilla.
- Spoon or pipe meringue onto two parchment-lined baking sheets; pipping 8-10 “nests” per baking sheet. Make sure the edges are built up enough to be able to hold a filling.
- Bake until firm, about 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven with the door closed for an additional hour. Remove from oven and set aside to let cool completely.
- To assemble, place meringue nest on a plate and top with garnishes of your choice!
Tip: If you do not have cream of tartar handy substitute 1 tsp of white vinegar.
Hoppy Easter to All! 🙂