Inspired by the Russia ballerina Anna Pavlova, this easy meringue dessert is certain make any non baker look like a French pastry chef. These mini meringue cakes have a sweet flakey shell with a pillowy marshmallow center and topped with fresh fruit and vanilla whipped cream. Despite their elegant nature, mini pavlovas are perfect for casual dinner parties.
Pavlovas: makes 8
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 1 c bakers sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar or fresh lemon juice
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream, really cold
- 1 whole vanilla bean, seeded
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 c bakers sugar or confectioners sugar
- 1 lb fresh fruit
- Preheat oven to 275*
- Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and draw 3-4 inch circles on the parchment paper.
- Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high until whites form stiff peaks, about one minute. With the whisk still on high, slowly add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Beat until thick, shiny peeks form and the sugar is completely dissolved in the mixture, about 3-4 minutes (test by rubbing a small amount between your fingers. If the mixture feels grainy, it is not dissolved).
- Remove bowl from mixer and carefully fold in the corn starch, vanilla, and vinegar with a rubber spatula.
- Spoon the meringue within each of the drawn circles forming rough disks. Transfer sheet to the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Turn off oven and open door half way allowing meringues to cool inside oven.
- Meanwhile, place whipping cream in a mixing bowl and add vanilla bean seeds. Beat on high until cream begins to thicken, then add vanilla extract and sugar. Continue to beat on high until firm. Do not over beat!
- Carefully remove pavlovas from oven and top with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Enjoy!