It was one of the first things that caught my eye when I bought Sur La Table’s The Art and Soul of Baking. It’s at 40% off ($24 only, maybe abt $30 after shipping depending on where u’re at) now at amazon and I bought the book many years ago (about 3) at RM154.12 in one of the book stores here. Is that why Malaysians don’t read / buy books much? It’s just ridiculously priced. Anyway..pardon the Monday talk.
I scaled the recipe down and made only 3 pavlovas. I hand whisked (don’t bother hand whisking if u’re making the full recipe unless u desperately need some hand workout) the meringue and added brown sugar instead, I don’t know what was I thinking then, but here it is. My pavs looked a bit brown cause my temperature was slightly higher than normal pavlova temperature. But still crunchy outside and fluffy inside.
The main reasons of making this was, again, I bought some ingredients and tried to make ‘something’ to use the ingredient. Not oh-I-want-to-make-this-so-i-buy-the-ingredients. Totally opposite. Lol. I am the type that goes and buy random stuffs and figure, oh ok now what am I going to do with this. I find it a little more fun this way. Anyways we’re not talking about that either. The main idea of this pavlova was to use up some of the Korean Strawberries my mum bought from the market. She bought them cause I was sick haha.
That ray of light was totally unintentional. I had not realized it until I’ve uploaded the photos to my mac.
They were small but perfect looking strawberries. Very red, extremely fragrant and sweet! Make some striking red strawberry sorbet; perfect for such hot weathers. I just bought another 2 boxes, I’m hopefully going to make ichigo daifuku with this batch. The last time I made, it was very ugly cause the strawberries were ….. huge and whitish. So… yup, just watch this space for a little longer.
(But then again I’m just saying, I may make something else then lol)
Pavlova with Honey-Lavender cream and Poached Strawberries
(adapted from Sur La Table’s The Art and Soul of Baking)
(makes 8 mini pavlova)
130g caster sugar (2/3 cup)
1 tbsp corn starch
3 large egg whites (abt 80-90g
1/4 tsp cream of tartar / white vinegar / lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 box of strawberries (abt 250g); or estimate 3-4 per serving
500ml water / 2 cups
200g sugar / 1 cup
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped.(optional)
2 tbsp caster sugar
t tbsp dried lavender blossoms
250ml whipping cream / 1 cup
1 tbsp mild-flavoured honey
1. Make pavlova. Preheat oven to 120C. In a clean mixing bowl, place egg whites and cream of tartar in and whip on medium high speed until foamy. Gradually add caster sugar and salt. Continue to whisk at high speed till almost stiff peaks, add in vanilla and whisk for a little longer till its very stiff peak. Sift corn starch over meringue and lightly fold it with a spatula.
2. Baking pavlova. Use a 1/3 measuring cup and spoon the meringue out onto a lined tray (with parchment or silpat, up to you). Make a well in the center (so you have more cream later). Bake for 40-50 minutes until faintly golden and crispy on the outside. Transfer to rack and cool completely.
3. Poach the strawberries. Wash berries and pat dry. Hull each berry and cut them into half; cut 1/4 if they are huge. Place water, sugar and vanilla seeds and pod (optional but adds extra yumminess) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, until sugar is completely dissolved. Carefully transfer berries into the pot and bring to boil again. (may just take abt 1-2 minutes only) Turn off heat and cover the pot. Let berries sit in the syrup until mixture is at room temperature – about 30 minutes.
4. Make honey-lavender cream. Place sugar and lavender in a spice grinder and blend till fine. Place cream, honey and 1 1/2 tbsp lavender sugar in a clean bowl. Whisk till soft peak forms. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to assemble.
5. Assemble. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the strawberries from the poaching liquid and drain slightly. (Save the poaching liquid for cocktails / smoothie / juice) Place a meringue on each serving plate. Fill the centre of each meringue with honey lavender cream and top with strawberries. Serve immediately.
The lavender cream went really well with a what-may-be-tasteless-pavlova. Nothing much to comment about the poached strawberries, they were absolutely perfect. Poaching them introduces a mild vanilla flavour (if u’re feeling lavish and adds a vanilla pod) and reduces tartness (if the fruits aren’t very ripe). If the strawberries are small, don’t poach them for too long as it may turn all mushy looses out its texture.
*Since I’m still in the theme, I’d support the Aspiring Bakers #5 Fruity March with this entry.