ok, maybe “forced” is too strong a word. impelled. compelled. anyways, i had to, because i couldn’t let 6 fresh egg whites go to waste.
let me back up a bit – i had 6 egg whites because i was trying my hand at making the mille feuille, a french pastry that requires 6 egg yolks. ergo, leftover egg whites, and there was no way i was gonna make macarons, or bleaugh – egg white omelettes, which are totally. the. worst.
so, pavlovas. mini ones, because “mini” means you get your own, and you get to eat the whole thing.
you can make it completely gluten and dairy free (cos that’s so hot right now) if you use two or three cans of coconut cream that have been chillin’ out in the fridge for a few hours. but if you are
unprepared spontaneous like me (because seriously, who uses prime fridge acreage for canned goods), use one can of semi-chilled coconut cream and about one cup of whipping cream that’s one week past its ‘best before’ date but still smells more or less okay. i like to live dangerously.
the meringue takes a while to dry out in the oven, four to six hours!! the recipe said. i was too impatient for that and kept turning up the heat and forgetting about the time. so my meringue got a bit toasty. be patient, and the result will be a pristine white, un-cracked meringue shell, ready to cradle the coconut cream and cuddle the fresh fruit.
the toasty meringue still did its job though. everyone enjoyed the pavlova, even – dare i say especially – darren. that’s a success in my books.
p/s: if you are forced to go the other way and want to make the pavlovas and don’t know what to do with six leftover egg yolks – make creme brûlée! 😀
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 or 2 cans coconut cream, chilled
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3 – 4 tablespoons icing sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
- about 2 cups of any variety of fresh fruits, diced. (i used blueberries, strawberries, and mango.)
- preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine the egg whites and sugar. clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. heat the mixture, stirring to melt the sugar, until it reaches 140 degrees f. transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. whisk on high speed until the meringue is fluffy and has cooled to room temperature, 70 to 75 degrees F.
- while waiting for the meringue to cool, draw four 5 to 6 inch circles on each parchment paper, using a small bowl or something similar as a guide.
- flip the parchment paper over, and when meringue is at room temperature, pipe or dollop the meringue in each circle.
- spread the meringue to fit the circle, creating a nest-like shape, with a dent in the middle.
- bake in oven for 2 to 3 hours, drying them out till crisp but not browned.
- let cool completely.
- skim the chilled cream from the top of the can, saving the remaining liquid for a smoothie or some other use.
- place in stand mixer, along with whipping cream, and whip on high speed till soft peaks form. add 3 tablespoons of icing sugar, and whip in till fully blended.
assembling the pavlova:
- fill the meringue with coconut cream, then top with fresh fruit, and serve immediately.
meringue recipe is adapted from the miette cookbook.