It’s strange how in the world of food and social media that every so often, there will be a food item that literally every chef, foodie, home-cook et cetera et cetera starts making or blogging about. I suppose it’s because of summer when berries are in season, but recently, this food item has been Eton Mess. If you don’t know what it is, it was a dessert started at Eton College in England and basically consists of berries and whipped cream, topped off with crumbled pieces of meringues. Sometimes, there is a fruit sauce in there as well, but that’s really about it.
Some of you looking at those ingredients might think, “Man, that seems a whole lot like a pavlova, doesn’t it?? - only like, all mushed and bunched together?” Well, I had the exact same thought two nights ago when I saw yet another post on social media talking about Eton Mess. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a neat dessert - I love things casual, but it was just that one too many people were doing it.
So what did I decide to do? Give you the exact same thing, but refining it - thus making…the pavlova. Named after a famous Russian ballerina in the 1920s, the pavlova basically has the meringue act as a layer of cake and you top off the meringue as you would a cake - with cream and berries. I decided on a ginger raspberry sauce to cut the sweetness of the meringue and add some extra fruit flavor. The spice from the ginger really adds a nice punch to the otherwise sweet and simple dessert.
Glossy meringue at stiff peak
Some tips on this recipe would be that instead of just adding granualated sugar to the meringue, I find that a mix of half granulated and half powdered sugar really stabilizes the meringue for when you bake it. It also helps that the meringue has time to dry - I had mine in the oven overnight - so that it doesn’t get too soft when you add the cream. In terms of the whipped cream, you don’t want to over sweetened it, and instead, would probably prefer an unsweetened whipped cream as you will be getting a fair amount of sweetness from the meringue shell. Finally, instead of just piling the meringue on a cookie sheet, I found it easier to use a piping bag and then to pipe an edge around the meringue disk for the cream and berries to go later.
Anyways, hope you all enjoy this pavlova. And if happens to break or fall apart as you’re cutting in, well…you know what you can always turn it into.
1. Combine granulated sugar with powdered sugar.
2. Whip egg whites till frothy and add in sugars. Continue whipping on high till stiff peaks. Fold in cornstarch and vinegar.
3. Pipe 8-inch disk with meringue. Then pipe a circular edge on top of disk.
4. Bake in 180 degree Fahrenheit oven for 2 hours. Turn off oven and let dry for 4 hours or overnight.
5. In a pot, cook berries, sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until berries pop and sauce thickens. Turn heat off and add in powdered ginger and ginger juice. Let sauce cool.
5. In another bowl, lightly whip cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks.
6. To assemble, spread whipped cream onto disk. Drizzle ginger raspberry sauce onto cream.
7. Top with berries and powdered sugar.
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
For Ginger Raspberry Sauce: - half pint of rapberries - 3 tbs sugar - 1 tbs lemon juice - 1 tbs fresh ginger juice - 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
For Whipped Cream: - 1 cup heavy cream - 1 1/2 tbs sugar - splash vanilla