|Berry Passionate Pavlova & the long stretch of desserts|
The last few days have been amazing for me as an aspiring baker; I did my first full on dessert table order for a friend I made over the internet (yay, internet buddies!). She rang me around a month ago to say that she was throwing an engagement party for 60-odd guests and whether I could do a dessert table for her. So me being the over-achieving consultant that I am, said yes immediately! Only to think of the time it would take to actually execute (lol execute, I really am a bloody consultant, aren’t I?) the items in the order much later.
|the lovely couple & an incomplete shot of the dessert table|
- 1 small two-tiered cake (beetroot chocolate with my new favourite cream cheese frosting)
- 3 6-inch cakes (vanilla cake with strawberry champagne filling, hummingbird cake, strawberry cake)
- 24 mini tiered cakes (chocolate cake with swiss meringue buttercream)
- 24 mini pavlovas (strawberry pavlova with freshly whipped cream, and a passionfruit syrup topping)
- 24 cupcakes (earl grey tea cakes with aforementioned new favourite cream cheese frosting)
- A tray of chocolate brownies (the recipe of which I have yet to share)
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tsp distilled white vinegar
- 1 tsp strawberry extract (I used a clear extract, then coloured with a drop of Wilton’s Dusky Pink gel colouring)
- Preheat the oven to 150C, and line a few baking trays with parchment paper
- Beat egg whites in a free standing mixer using the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form, start at the lowest speed and gradually (but rather quickly) increase the speed to medium-high. This should take around 5 – 8 minutes, depending on the humidity of the room you’re in
- Then slowly add in the sugar, I like to allow it to trickle into the bowl while it’s mixing
- Once the sugar is incorporated, add the cornflour, beat for a bit more, then add the vinegar… beat a bit more
- Then finally add the strawberry extract and colouring / OR you could just not and have plain meringue pavlovas
- To make mini bite-sized pavlovas, transfer the meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto the baking trays. I used a Wilton 1M tip to create a rose effect, however you may also just do dollops in a bag or with a spoon (whatever is easiest for you, you don’t need to go out and buy tools and tips if you don’t have them).
- Pop them in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. Start watching them around 35 minutes cos the smaller they are, the faster they bake, and you want to retain a marshmallowy centre with a crisp outer shell. At this point, what I do is just tap the sides with the back of a butter knife to see if they are hard and crisp. If they are, then I like to take them out at that point
WOW long winded instructions, lol but these are REALLY surprisingly darned easy to make
Then once the meringues have cooled, you may choose to enjoy them as is or top with freshly whipped cream and fruits. I chose to drizzle some passionfruit syrup over it that I had leftover from previous recipes.