Here is a light and fresh recipe to start the summer off right! I omitted the whipped cream of the traditional pavlova for a lighter version, though it would be delicious either way. Check out my previous pavlova post here.
Mini Pavlovas with Strawberries and Chocolate
For the meringue:
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 small pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (170 grams) superfine (castor) sugar (or granulated sugar blended in a food processor for a few seconds)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)
For the topping:
- 17 oz (500 g) strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3.5 oz (100 g) dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
For the meringue: Preheat the oven to 300°F/150ºC and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and draw 4 circles with a diameter of about 4 inches (10 cm) on each sheet, using a large glass or small bowl as your guide. Turn the parchment paper over so the circles are on the reverse side.
Beat the egg whites with the salt until they hold soft peaks, using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or hand beaters. Add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well after each addition to make sure it is fully incorporated. Continue to beat on high speed until the meringue holds very stiff and shiny peaks. The meringue should feel smooth between your fingers; if it feels grainy the sugar has not fully dissolved, so continue beating until it feels smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Sprinkle the vinegar and cornstarch on top of the meringue and gently fold to combine. Spread the meringue inside the circles drawn on the parchment paper, spreading and smoothing the edges, making a small indention in the center of each using the back of a spoon.
Place in the preheated oven and bake undisturbed for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off without opening the door and leave them in for another 30 minutes, then remove from oven to cook completely.
To assemble: Combine the chopped strawberries in a bowl with the sugar, salt and lemon juice; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Spoon a generous helping of chopped strawberries into the center of each pavlova “nest” and drizzle with melted chocolate.
Makes 8 servings.