Individual Pavlovas, Tropical Style


Robust, long simmered meals cry out for a lighter dessert. Not possible in winter… you say?? I say yes it is, especially with a seriously cute ‘n sweet dessert like these Mini Pavlovas, adapted from recipes by Donna Hay & Laura Calder.

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Having just made mayonnaise, I was eyeballing the egg whites hanging out in the fridge. It didn’t take long to decide to make pavlova. Perusing the contents of my cookbook shelf I found two great recipes, and used ideas from both!

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Crispy outside, soft & gooey on the inside this adorable mini version includes coconut in the base (Laura Calder). The addition of Greek yogurt (Donna Hay) in the filling does a great job of tempering the overall sweetness (I’ve never seen this in a pavlova recipe!) and adds a wonderful new depth to the dessert. The topping of navel & blood oranges (my idea!) finishes them off. Beautifully. 

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Whether you use a stand mixer or hand mixer (I prefer the latter when whipping egg whites) it does take a while for the sugar to incorporate. Be patient and be sure to start with room temperature egg whites – but separate them while the eggs are cold, as it’s easier done.

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You can make these any size you like as individual – just have them all close to the same size, so they bake at the same time. These can be made a day or even two advance, and stored uncovered at room temperature. If you cover them they will weep, much like a lemon meringue pie that’s been hanging around too long. 

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For the same reason as above, don’t try to make them on a humid day.

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Fill and garnish just before serving.

Individual Tropical Pavlovas
Yields 6
A mini version of pavlova, perfect for any sweet ending!
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Ingredients
  1. 150 ml egg whites, at room temperature (approximately 4 eggs)
  2. pinch salt
  3. 1 cup caster/fine sugar (make by blitzing regular white sugar in food processor for 30 seconds)
  4. 1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice
  5. 2 TBSP unsweetened coconut
  6. 1 TBSP cornstarch
  7. 1 cup heavy cream
  8. 2 TBSP icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  9. ⅓ cup (95 g) natural Greek-style (thick) yogurt
  10. navel and blood orange segments cut into smallish pieces, well drained (cut from whole fruit, leaving pith behind)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°C.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting 30 seconds before adding more.
  5. Whisk for 6 minutes or until stiff and glossy, and the sugar is combined. (Test a bit between your fingers - if it feels gritty, keep beating).
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vinegar & coconut and whisk for 2 minutes or until glossy and combined.
  7. Sift the cornstarch on top and gently fold it in, trying not to lose any volume.
  8. Spoon 6 - 8 rounds of meringue onto your prepared baking sheet.
  9. Using a small spoon, make an indent in the centre of each meringue.
  10. Put the baking sheet in the oven, reduce the temperature to 250° bake for 30 minutes or until crisp to the touch.
  11. Cool in the oven for about 1 hour.
  12. Whisk the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form, then stir in the yogurt until just combined.
  13. Top meringues with the yogurt cream and fruit.
  14. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
  15. Serves 6 - 8.
Best Tips
  1. These can be made a day or two ahead, stored uncovered at room temperature.
  2. Like lemon meringue pie, do not try to make these on a humid day.
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