Happy Belated Birthday maksu!! I've been searching the best recipe for your birthday and I think Pavlova is the best one. Pavlova or 'pav' is a meringue cake with a light, delicate, crisp crust and a soft sweet marshmallow center that is produced by folding a little lemon juice and cornflour into stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar. This dessert is served with softly whipped cream and fresh fruit. More about Pavlova here.
Seriously, this is the most delicious dessert that I've tasted. The combination of the "melt-in-the-mouth" meringue with creamy whipped cream and the sweetness of the fruits makes this dessert worth all the effort. The original recipe is found in allrecipes.com.
Mixed Fruit Pavlova
Preparation time: about 15-20 mins
Baking time: 1 hour
Serves 4 people
Printable Recipe Here
2 egg whites (must use large eggs)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream (1/2 tsp vanilla plus 1 tsp icing sugar)
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 cup mixed fruits (I used the canned mixed fruit)
1. Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw 4 circles on the parchment paper and turn the paper over. Sprinkle cornstarch over the paper so that the meringue won’t stick.
Tip: I get my egg separating tip here. Use a clean, dry bowl. The bowl must be grease-free, because any trace amount of fat will wreck a meringue. Cold eggs separate easily, but eggs whip to a higher volume when at room temperature. The solution is to separate the cold eggs, and then set them aside for 10 or 15 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites for about 1 ¼ mins until the egg white is stiff and foamy. Gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, continue beating well after each addition.
3. Beat for an additional 30 seconds until thick and glossy. Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.
Tip: lemon juice is used to stabilize the meringue. You can also use white vinegar or cream of tartar instead.
4. Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight well in the center.
4. Bake for 1 hour until outside is dry and takes on a pale cream color. Cool on a wire rack. but leave meringue in oven for an additional 30 minutes. When cool, the meringue should be hard on the outside, and slightly moist on the inside.
5. While waiting for the meringue to bake, whip the cream and add in vanilla essence and icing sugar. Whip until the cream forms soft peaks. Put in the fridge. Prepare the mixed fruits and cut the kiwi fruit into small pieces. You can actually use any fruits that you like, the sky is the limit..strawberry, raspberry, banana, mango, pears..the choice is yours.
6. When the meringue is cool, remove carefully from the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream.
7. Top whipped cream with fruit slices. Once topped with cream and fruits, serve immediately as this dessert does not hold for more than a few hours.
Update: The meringue itself can be made the day before but must be kept in an air-tight container once cooled.
P/s: There it is, Maksu..the prefect dessert. Do try to make them sometime..I'm sure the kids will love it..hehe..