Imagine fluffy, sweet, marshmallow-like clouds entirely surrounded with a delicate, crisp, melt-in-your-mouth shell. Now imagine that candy-like shell smothered with a decadent, cheesecake inspired, cream topping that's drizzled with a tart, fresh raspberry sauce. You won't be able to wait to press a fork longingly through each of those layers. If you are like me, you will have to lift that beautiful dessert into your mouth with your hand. As the delicate meringue melts against your tongue and you devour the remaining creamy and tart goodness, don't forget to lick the sauce off the side of your mouth - you won't want to miss out on even a drop of this dessert.
|Summer Nicole Photography|
Pavlova is an Australian dessert that originated sometimes in the 1920s. The story is told that it was created during one of tours of the famous ballerina, Anna Pavlova. Since the dessert is so light and airy, I can imagine that this dessert really was inspired by the exquisite dancing of this legend.
Mini Pavlovas with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream and Raspberry Sauce
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Oven Cool Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
6 large egg whites
1/4 + 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Fresh mint, for garnish (optional)
3 Tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp cornstarch
18 oz fresh raspberries (frozen would work too)
1/3 cup water
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Make Glazed Baby Carrots with Brown Sugar
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add egg whites** to cream of tartar and salt and whip with an electric mixer/beaters on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and slowly add in sugar mixture (Add only 1 -2 Tablespoons at a time one right after the other, otherwise your egg whites will lose their thickness), then increase speed to high and whip until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes, adding in vanilla during last minute of mixing. **Note – if the mixture doesn’t stiffen after about 7-8 minutes, you probably added the sugar too quickly or yolk or water got into the mixture (if even one tiny bit of yolk gets into the egg white, discard it and start over). You could still cook this in a lined pie dish or cake pan as a whole pie-sized dessert that you cut into slices, but the mini meringues won’t hold their shape or be as fluffy.
Spoon and dollop meringue into 3 to 4-inch circles (depending on how large you want them) onto parchment paper lined baking sheets (foil can work if you don’t have paper) then use the back of the spoon to create slight dips in their centers. Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes, then leave in oven with door closed, turn off oven and allow to rest in oven 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
To assemble, top meringues with Cream Cheese Whipped Cream then Raspberry Sauce and garnish with mint. Assemble just before serving.
For the raspberry sauce:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in 1/3 cup water. Add half of the raspberries, then cook mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and cool completely. Stir in remaining raspberries. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
For the cream cheese whipped cream:
In a mixing bowl whip heavy cream until soft peaks form then add sugar and vanilla and whip until nearly stiff peaks form. In a separate mixing bowl, whip cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese to whipped cream mixture and whip until stiff peaks form. Store in refrigerator.