Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mixed Berry Pavlova with Raspberry Sauce

I made this for a dinner Party a few weeks ago. I was excited to try something new, and it turned out perfect eventually... My first try to make these delicate cakes failed miserably! They flattened out like pancakes. As you see in the finished picture, they are not supposed to look flat but nice and puffy,on my second and third try, I felt confident that I had pavolva making down! I promise if you follow these instructions, you should have no problem making the perfect pavlova! This Recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Recipe and the Joy of Baking.

4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup super fine sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sweetened Whipped Cream, recipe follows
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
Triple Raspberry Sauce, recipe follows

{my finished product!}

Mixed Berry Pavlova

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; Once separated, cover the egg whites and let them come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes). Baking times will 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! Adapted from Joy of Baking's Pavlova recipe

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 just used an ice cream bowl to mark the rounds and I drew two circles centered on each side of one cookie sheet)

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. For my two smaller cakes I baked them for a little under an hour and left them in the oven. 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.)

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don't overbeat! Sweeten to taste..
Yield: 1 cup

Triple Raspberry Sauce:
1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce jar)
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur ( I opted not to use this and was still delish!)
Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.
Yield: 2 cups

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.


Teresa said...

it's beautiful em! is that the actual photo of your pavlova?

Emily said...

Yes its my picture, I just used my friends camera! Its my Pavlova!