The Daring Kitchen’s August 2016 Challenge: Pavlova

Mini Pavlova | BakeNQuilt.com

Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina challenged the members of The Daring Kitchen to make a Pavlova this month.  A classic Pavlova is a meringue based dessert common in Australia and consists of a crisp, light meringue base topped with fruit and cream.  They can be made in large or individual sizes or even stacked like cakes.   Pavlovas are a great summer dessert with their light consistency and the variety of berries that are available.  If the weather isn’t humid, the bases can be made ahead and guests can assemble their own desserts with a variety of toppings.

I chose to make individual sized Pavlovas in small batches so I could try a variety of flavors.  For the bases, I made vanilla, chocolate and raspberry.  For toppings, I made raspberry curd, lemon curd, vanilla whip cream, chocolate sauce and fresh strawberries.  It was pretty fun to mix and match.  My favorite base by far was the chocolate (surprise, surprise).

The Daring Bakers' August 2016 Challenge: Pavlova
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Light, crisp meringue bases topped with cream, curd and fresh fruit.
Ingredients
  • For the Base:
  • 1 cold egg white
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • flavoring, as desired
  • For the toppings:
  • ¼ cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • mixed berries, washed, dried and sliced
  • chocolate sauce
  • fruit curd
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200F/93C and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon liner.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg white and cream of tarter until soft peaks form.
  3. While beating on low speed, add the granulated sugar a Tbsp at a time until combined.
  4. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Beat in any flavor additions just until combined.
  5. Using a spoon or a piping bag, divide the meringue out onto the baking sheet into 4 circles. Using the back of a spoon, make an indentation in the center. This will be where your toppings will go when the meringue is baked.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the meringues to sit in the warm oven for another hour. The meringue should seem dry to the touch on the outside. Do not open the door during the cooling process.
  7. Remove the meringues from the oven and set them on plates to cool.
  8. To serve, whip the cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  9. Place a dollop of whip cream in the center of the meringue disks and top with fruit curd, sauces and sliced fruit as desired.
  10. Variations: For chocolate meringue, beat in 10g/1 heaping Tbsp of sifted dutch process cocoa. For raspberry meringues, beat in 2 Tbsp. powdered freeze dried raspberries. For vanilla meringues, beat in a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.

 

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King Arthur Flour Bakealong: Pane Bianco

Pane Bianco | BakeNQuilt.com

Pane Bianco

King Arthur Flour has just started a Bakealong project and their first bake is this lovely Pane Bianco bread.  A simple yeasted dough is flavored with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian cheeses and chopped basil.  The impressive shape is actually very easy to do, especially with the help of the video that is available on the bakealong site.

The dough for the Pane Bianco comes together quickly in a stand mixer and is allowed to rise for an hour.  A good tip for checking if the dough has doubled is to let it rise in a large measuring pitcher or bowl.

bakealong_rising

After the Pane Bianco dough has risen for the first time, it is deflated and rolled out into a long rectangle.  The rectangle of dough is topped with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, minced garlic, shredded Italian cheeses (I used a nice Quatro Formagio blend from Trader Joe’s) and chopped fresh basil.  It smells divine even at this point!

bakealong_topped

The rectangle of dough is rolled up from the long side to enclose the filling and the edges are pinched together to fully enclose all of the goodies.  The dough log is then clipped down the middle lengthwise, starting and stopping a short distance from the ends, so that the filling is exposed.

bakealong_cut

The dough log is shaped into an “S”, keeping the cut side up, and the ends are tucked under the body of the bread form an “8”.  The dough is then covered and allowed to rise again.

bakealong_shaped

The dough is then baked, covering halfway to prevent over-browning, and allowed to cool on a rack before slicing.  Honestly, waiting for it to cool was the hardest part of the whole recipe!  The finished bread is delicious and aromatic and has a really nice, light and soft texture.  Unfortunately for my waistline, it is the kind of bread that could easily be devoured several slices at a time.  Pane Bianco is a bread I will definitely be making again and I hope King Arthur Flour’s future bakealongs are just as fun.

IMG_2995-001

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