Mixed Berry Pavlova Dessert- Meringue Cake


mixed-berry-pavlova
"Pavlova", a famous Australian dessert, is basically a meringue cake with a light, delicate, crisp crust and a soft & sweet marshmallow center that is produced by folding a little vinegar and cornstarch into stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar. This dessert is then served with whipped cream and some fresh fruits. Named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, this dessert is as beautiful as the ballerina herself. Light and airy, this Meringue Cake is a wonderful way to make use of seasonal or frozen fruits and a bundle of eggs that no baking recipe will be able to utilize! Inspired by a recipe I had seen some time back, and determined to master the meringue-making process, I set forth last weekend to bake this beautiful Mixed Berry Pavlova. It wasn't all child's play, but at the end, I knew I had baked something I could be proud of!

Pavlova is a meringue, and it is important when making any meringue that the egg whites reach maximum volume, so make sure your mixing bowl and whisk are clean and free of grease. Since we need just the whites of the eggs, the eggs will need to be separated. It is easier to do this while the eggs are still cold; I generally use the EggCracker for this and it works pretty well. Once separated, cover the egg whites and let them come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

I have to say that Deb's first-hand instructions about baking the meringue helped me overcome my initial disaster; also, it is definitely advisable to follow the temperature and size suggestions in the recipe, as baking times would vary quite a bit depending on the size of the cakes, making it hard to get the "perfect" texture, which essentially means firm and light on the outside, soft and marshmallowy on the inside!

Ingredients
Adapted from Joy of Baking's Pavlova recipe

Meringue Cake
4 large egg whites
1/2 tspn salt
1 cup superfine castor sugar
1 tspn white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tbsp cornstarch (or cornflour, or arrowroot powder)

Berries and Whip Cream Topping
1/2 cup strawberry or raspberry sauce
1 cup frozen mixed berries (thawed)
1/4 cup regular Whip Cream

Method
Preheat oven to 250°F (130°C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper. (I ust used an icecream bowl to mark the rounds)

Pour the vanilla and vinegar into a small cup. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.

In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.

Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar. Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.

Gently spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center. (You want a slight well in the center of the meringue to place the whipped cream and fruit.)

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Check on meringues at least once during the baking time. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.)

Assembling the Pavlova
Just before serving, gently place the meringue-cakes onto a serving plate. Whip the cream in your until soft peaks form. Sweeten with the sugar and vanilla and then mound the softly whipped cream into the center of the meringue. Arrange the thawed mixed berries on the top, then drizzle some raspberry sauce over it. Serve immediately as this dessert does not hold for more than a few hours.

This Mixed Berry Pavlova is a delicious yet light dessert to cater to your sweet tooth. Try with other fruit toppings, or even nuts, but this traditional version definitely works the best! This was a learning experience for me indeed, and if you are a first-timer too, try my Meringue Recipe Tips to make this a bit easier for you!

Related Recipes:
Mango Cake with Streusel Topping
Mixed Berry & White Chocolate Pudding
Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries

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32 comments :

Manggy said...

Nice new layout Manisha! It's been a while since I've made pavlovas, it sure is a great way to get rid of extra egg whites :)

Sonu said...

Hi Mansi,

Nice dessert recipe...it's just mouth watering! and ur upgraded blog look so decent and beautiful.
BTW, how much Vanilla we have to need in the recipe...???

Aparna said...

This is fabulous, Mansi. Looks beautiful.
I just ate one with nuts yesterday.
My daughter has been asking me to make meringues,but I never had the confidence till I joined the DBs.

Sangeeth said...

girl before saying something abt the recipe....i luv ur new template!It is more easy reading!and the recipe is new to me and is really very inspiring...

arundati said...

looks wonderful.....never made meringue cake....

cyndi said...

what a wonderful-looking pavlova! you brought back fond memories mansi! my nanny used to make these tiny pavlovas that we could carry in our tiffins, and I just so miss them!!

I think it's time I baked some myself:) thanks for the precise directions!:)

~cyndi

Mansi Desai said...

sonu - I've added the vanilla in the ingredient list..sorry for the typo:)

aparna - i used to be scared of meringues too, and yeah, I had my fair share of disasters before I could bake decent ones:)

glad you all liked the recipe!:)

Sireesha said...

Awesome and mouthwatering dessert Manasi:))

New template looks cool and beautiful.........

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

A new color for your blog.Wow! looks very much like spring. Meringue cake is something I am very intimidated about preparing.Nice that you have tried it out.

Rachel said...

First and foremost..I just love the blues and greens of your new template..I haven't been able to view ur page for the last few posts..

As for the pavlova..I was always hesitant about the eggy taste I imagined it would have until I tasted one...I love the idea of whipped cream and berries...neat!!!

Vanamala Hebbar said...

amazing .... really I feel like eating this

mitr_bayarea said...

Mansi-

Meringue cake looks like a great dessert, beautiful presentation.

Mansi Desai said...

thanks for the feedback on the new template folks! I think its better too, and I changed 3 designs before my husband said this one is goof as its not so "girly"!:)D

Nithu said...

That's a lovely dessert. Nice pic. Your new template is nice.

Anonymous said...

my kids love meringue, and this sounds fabulous! I've had pavlova once before, and I can say its indeed a treat!

great new look mansi! have been a silent reader for some time, but had to come out and tell you that I love your blog and i love the new design:)

-susan

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Pavlovas are so great to serve during Summer! And yours came out beautiful!

Grace said...

i've never been brave enough to attempt making pavlova, but it sure looks and sounds delightful. maybe i'll work up the nerve soon. :)

Pearlsofeast said...

Great ones Mansi, the pavlovas are one of the favorite dessert in Australia too.I love the meringue.

Cris said...

This is gorgeous... I have never tried to make one...

Cham said...

I love the color change! I am not a sweet tooth person, but the berry pavlova looks cool !

Usha said...

Like your new template,the meringue looks delicious,I have never tried this ever, would love to sometime:)

Swati said...

Lovely and drool worthy pavlova...
Its always a pleasure to see you over Mansi.. :))

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Pretty pavlovas.

I love the new look of the site too.

Pirouette said...

Absolutely gorgeous recipe and post; it was funny as well. Let me know if you have any other contests!! :)

Cynthia said...

Looks gorgeous.

Kevin said...

That berry pavlova looks so good!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Looks yum yum. Great picture of the recipe.

katiez said...

Definitely something to be proud of. I love them but have never attempted one. But if they can make them in damp, old England I should be able to do it here!

Suganya said...

Pavlova is on my to-try list for a loong time. Little apprehensive about working with the meringue. You make it look easy :)

Mansi Desai said...

Sugs - I have to tell you, its NOT that easy:) I didn't get the meringue right the first time, but the second batch came out decent, thanks to Deb's tips:) but I'm sure you'll nail it!

Jude said...

I love pavlovas -- I think meringues and berries were made for each other. It's such a good summer recipe.

propastrygal said...

Hey Mansi-I LOVE making pavlovas! The strawberries at the farmers market are pretty yummy and peaches are still good too-love doing it with a chocolate sauce on the side too, to amp up the flavor a tad (yes, i know this isn't the traditional way)! One thing to make it easier is to use packaged egg whites (that's what we used in the pastry shop I worked in. Eggology egg whites are the best I have found and whip up perfectly!