Springtime is finally here! One of my favorite spring desserts is the Pavlova. Light and chewy meringue shell topped with a creamy accompaniment and garnished with fresh berries. Here I put together some of my Pavlova Favorites, with a new edition to the “individual” family.
What’s A Pavlova?
You know, I had the very same question when I first heard of it. Simply put, it’s a meringue “crust” made simply with egg whites and sugar. This gets baked in the oven till the meringue cracks slightly and turns a hint of golden brown. Then topped with fresh whipped cream and garnished with fresh berries.
Here are two examples of designs for a larger pavlova meringue crust: Usually piped into a 10″ circle.
My first introduction to the Pavlova was via a cookbook titled, “Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs” by Gale Gand. Soon after Food Network made their debut on cable, I came across Pastry Chef Gale. She hosted a baking show called “Sweet Dreams.” Hence, led me to the discovery of her cookbook. Which by the way, has a picture of a beautiful pavlova on the cover. Couldn’t wait to try my hand at it.
Traditional Pavlova Components:
- Egg Whites
- Cream of Tartar
You can get the recipe and “how-to” here.
- Fresh Whipped Cream
- No-bake Cheesecake
- Assorted Berries
- Powdered Sugar
- Strawberry Couli or strawberry sauce- for drizzling on top
This amazing light, chewy, and creamy dessert soon became such a favorite of mine. I love using fresh fruits to garnish and it’s the ultimate spring and summer dessert!
I loved this dessert so much I made it part of my final exam in Pastry Arts class in culinary school in 2005!!!
Pavlova Favorites Collection
Here are a few ideas and Pavlova favorites in my collection. You can really take this dessert and go so many directions with it. Let fresh fruits and some of your favorite desserts or flavors be your guide. Sky’s the limit!
Traditional and Mini Pavlovas
First up in the Pavlova Favorites is this banana split version. This consists of a signature and classic meringue shell, topped with ice cream, whipped cream, cherries, pineapple, and chocolate sauce just like a good ole fashioned ice cream sundae with an added texture of chewy meringue. Delicious!
MOVE OVER HOT FUDGE SUNDAE! 🙂
You can use your favorite ice cream flavors. I really love vanilla and strawberry for this.
Second in my Pavlova Favorites are mini versions. The traditional large Pavlova gets turned into a mini dessert where you can serve individually to your guests. I’m always a fan of mini desserts and this converts nicely into one using a ring mold for a template in building the meringue before baking.
Click the link above to show you how I create it.
The meringues bake up perfect with great height that gives a stunning decorative display. Love serving this with fresh whipped cream topped and fresh berries, finished with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Super simple dessert.
Mixed Berry Cheesecake Individual Pavlova
Finally, my last in my Pavlova favorites is a cheesecake spin.
Here is Alabama, we love all the access to farms and their amazing offerings of produce and fruits. Strawberries just came in season, and I was so excited to get them home and make something fun and different.
Being spring and drooling at these amazing strawberries, pavlova dessert came to mind, it seems it always does! But I wanted to create something different with the meringue’s this year. Highlighting design element using different piping tips.
Pavlova Favorites: Piping Tips
For these super cool designs, I used three different piping tips:
- St Honore
- Star Tip
- Plain Tip
First, the plain tip was used to build the base of each individual pavlova by piping a circle of meringue on the parchment lined baking sheet. This gives the foundation for the decorative other tips.in which to build. This tip is just a large circle tip which makes piping the base perfect.
Secondly, the plain tip was also used to pipe directly onto the bottom of each individual silicone mold to make a bowl shape. It sits nicely on top while its baking.
This tip is super functional in cake decorating and used to pipe stars all around the base and sides of the pavlova for a different look.
St Honore Tip
This tip has a slash opening that allows for really amazing decorative look. I used this tip to make the swirls of meringue piped across the base of the pavlova working towards the center. I think this is my favorite design and makes the most stunning display.
No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
Once these mini’s were baked and cooled, I topped them with a no-bake cheesecake and garnished with fresh fruit. They are such an elegant look and fancy for a dinner or tea party!
The coolest thing about pavlova’s I have to say is their texture. Although they are super crispy, once you dive into them, the meringue becomes chewy and gooey and marries so well to either fresh whipped cream, no-bake cheesecake, and fruit. Moreover, you get so many textures in your mouth and its so unexpected!
Simply an amazing dessert! I’m sure I will be adding more Pavlova Favorites to my ongoing collection.
Which design you like best?