We’re almost a month into spring, yet we still haven’t seen a glimpse of that cool breeze or the infamous spring sun. It’s been raining non-stop for almost a week now, and it’s even colder than when it was winter! Not that I’m complaining or anything, I personally LOVE the rain, but a bit if sun would’ve been refreshing.
Last week I finally handed in my thesis paper, which is actually an accomplishment I pride myself with! Thanks to my procrastination, I had only three days to write the whole thing, including the research and actually choosing what I wanted to write about! But all in all it went pretty smoothly.
Sunday came. The day I anxiously wait for to relax, get my thoughts straight, and plan for the week ahead (which is mostly me browsing foodgawker and pinterest). I’m starting this food-watch diet plan, since my current sedentary lifestyle doesn’t allow any time for workouts, and summer is around the corner, the infamous season for weddings and occasions, and I still need to look good in those little dresses!
The plan is to basically monitor what I eat. No starvation, no food limits, just eat healthier and watch the servings. And most importantly, NO cutting out desserts!
So from now on my posts will be, well relatively, healthier (Just a little bit).
I know pavlovas are kind of light and are totally non-fat, but I had always been afraid of trying them. I must mention here that I am very intimidated by egg whites. I mean they’re just so delicate and easily ruined. But what is life without a bit of venturing?
So I did my usual research, and went to it!
Some tips to get you ready for working.
- Make sure ALL your utensils are clean. And I can’t begin to emphasize how clean they should be! The smallest amount of dirt or fat will prevent your egg whites from foaming.
- if you can, use a steel or glass bowl.
- Make sure the eggs are at room temperature.
- When separating the eggs, it is important not to get any water on the egg whites and also no yolk should be present.
- If you do get a bit of yolk inside the whites, use a paper towel, put it on the part where the yolks are, and it will suck it.
- To know when your mixture is beaten enough, 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. (I personally put it away from my head, you know, just in case)
Those are the basics to get you started. Now comes the fun part!
Pavlovas are so versatile, that you can pair them up with whatever you want, from seasonal fruits that are available at hand, to curds and even sorbets! Just be creative.
Mini Pavlovas with Pomegranate seeds and Balsamic Strawberries (Little Clouds of Heaven!)
This makes 6-8 mini pavlovas.
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup (200 grams) confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 tsp cornstarch (sifted)
- 1 tsp vinegar
- Start by preheat the oven. This is very important since you can not leave the meringue waiting for the oven to be hot enough.
- 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.
- Beat the egg whites with a hand held mixer or by hand until foamy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake the mini pavlovas for 1 1/2 hours in a 150 C oven. You’ll know when they’re done if they turn a bit into a pale creamy color with just a bit of cracking.
- Turn the oven off and leave them there with the oven door closed! Leave them for up to 4 hours so they can dry out properly and aren’t sticky when you touch them.
- Let them cool before taking them off the baking tray.
Once you take them off the baking tray, you can get as creative as you like with the filling! Add a layer of pastry cream and whatever kind of fruits you like.
For my Filling
- 1 cup of diced strawberries.
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- seed of 1 pomegranate
- 1 sachet of whipping cream (150 ml)
Mix strawberries, vinegar and sugar together, and let sit for almost an hour.
When ready and the pavlovas are perfectly dried, assemble topping it with a dollop of whipped cream, pomegranate seeds and the strawberries. I finished it off with a bit of chocolate shavings.