Pavlova (Disclaimer: Many chicken fetuses were harmed in the making of this project.)
1. Cracked two eggs in a bowl. One was too runny and got yolk in the mixture. This mixture has to be pure. Scrapped.
2. Made it to the end of the whipping stage. Thought something was strange since pavlova is supposed to be cloud-like, and, well, mine was soup. Decided it was because my eggs weren’t at room temperature to start. Scrapped. But I got some cool bubble shots.
3. Left two uncracked eggs in a bowl to rest overnight. My mom threw a tantrum after accidentally breaking one of them, demanding what kind of sane person leaves eggs out. (THIS girl does.)
4. Many eggs later… Attempt #?
It worked when I A) Used room temperature eggs and B) Whipped it in a stainless steel bowl.
It is easier to separate your eggs while they are cold. Once separated, cover the eggwhites and let them come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).
A better meringue is produced when superfine sugar (caster) is used, as it dissolves faster into the eggwhites than regular granulated white sugar.
You can make a pavlova several days in advance. Just store it in a cool dry place and in an airtight container. Also, I already reduced the lavender from the original recipe because it was a little too pronounced imo. These are light as air and melt in your mouth, as meringues often do. Top with whipped cream and some kinda fruit compote for a yum-time.
Serves 4. Recipe adapted from Kitchen Fiddler
1/2 cup superfine, caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms
2 egg whites at room temperature
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
Berries, strawberries or blueberries (I used canned blueberry filling only because I had it for months and this seemed like the only time I could really use it without feeling bad. )
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 4 round 3-1/2 inch circles on the parchment paper. Turn the paper over so that the circles will still be visible but the pencil marks will not touch the meringues.
Combine the sugar and lavender buds in a food processor and process until ground very finely, about 30 seconds.
Make the meringues by beating the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Very gradually add the ½ cup of lavender sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat the egg whites until stiff and shiny, about another 2-4 mins. The mixture will have tripled in volume and stands up when the beaters are lifted. Sift the cornstarch over the egg white mixture and add the vinegar, very carefully folding in so as not to deflate the egg whites. It should look cloud/marshmallow-like.
Spoon the meringue mixture equally over the four circles, making a slight depression in the centers.
Place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 300°. Bake for 1 hour. When done, turn off the oven and leave the door slightly ajar, allowing the meringues to cool completely inside the oven. (The meringues can be baked a day in advance and stored in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature.)
Once everything is cooled and done: Whip the cream until soft peaks are formed and incorporate sugar. Place each meringue on a plate, topping with whipped cream and berries.