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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
For the same reason as above, don’t try to make them on a humid day.
Fill and garnish just before serving.
- 150 ml egg whites, at room temperature (approximately 4 eggs)
- pinch salt
- 1 cup caster/fine sugar (make by blitzing regular white sugar in food processor for 30 seconds)
- 1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 TBSP unsweetened coconut
- 1 TBSP cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 TBSP icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- ⅓ cup (95 g) natural Greek-style (thick) yogurt
- navel and blood orange segments cut into smallish pieces, well drained (cut from whole fruit, leaving pith behind)
- Preheat oven to 300°C.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Gradually add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting 30 seconds before adding more.
- 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).
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vinegar & coconut and whisk for 2 minutes or until glossy and combined.
- Sift the cornstarch on top and gently fold it in, trying not to lose any volume.
- Spoon 6 - 8 rounds of meringue onto your prepared baking sheet.
- Using a small spoon, make an indent in the centre of each meringue.
- Put the baking sheet in the oven, reduce the temperature to 250° bake for 30 minutes or until crisp to the touch.
- Cool in the oven for about 1 hour.
- Whisk the cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form, then stir in the yogurt until just combined.
- Top meringues with the yogurt cream and fruit.
- Dust with icing sugar to serve.
- Serves 6 - 8.
- These can be made a day or two ahead, stored uncovered at room temperature.
- Like lemon meringue pie, do not try to make these on a humid day.