I remember making my first Pavlova – the one you can see on the photos. I was excited and terrified in the same time. I’m a master of making baking mistakes, just because I never stick to the recipe and tend to “simplify” the methods if I feel like something can be done easier or quicker. And most of the times in baking recipes all the methods are not used without a reason. That’s why I always thought I’m just not good with baking. And it’s not truth, I’m just not bothered to stick to the recipe (if you’re curious what baking mistakes I always make, and maybe you make them as well, have a look here).
So when I was making my first pavlova I kept telling myself: for God’s sake stick with the recipe! Came out not perfect, but it was perfect for me as I was making it for the first time. I love pavlova. I love meringue that’s crispy on the outside and fluffy and creamy on the inside. And that’s how this one came out. I could say that the shape is not the best, and slightly beige in colour. But thanks God it’s not Hell’s Kitchen and Gordon Ramsay won’t come to smash my freshly baked piece of art.
I don’t know if anyone else has such a deep affection to pavlova as I have, cause it’s just egg whites whipped with sugar, some whipped cream and fruits, and it’s simply sweet as hell. But for me mix of textures and sweetness braked slightly with sour fruits, makes the best dessert I could think of. And unfortunately I can’t see keto replacement for this. And I think I mentioned about this before, but as you can try to replace some of the foods with their keto substitutes, but in most cases you won’t get the same results. Keto pizza won’t taste like real pizza, cauliflower rice won’t taste like real rice (if you like the taste of rice) and so on. So for me it makes no sense to try to make keto food that will pretend to be not keto. At least it doesn’t work for me. So my special occasion sugar bomb dessert – will be pavlova. No regrets, no guilt 🙂
But remember – stick to the recipe, do not make short-cuts and don’t rush her, pavlova is a quite sensitive girl and if you don’t treat her right she might show you the middle finger. So read the recipe couple times, prepare all the ingredients in advance and keep your fingers crossed when it will be in the oven.
And if somehow something goes wrong, always have a plan B. Eaton mess for example 🙂
NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass
INGREDIENTS for quite large meringue:
- 6 egg whites
- 1½ cup fine sugar
- 1 tsp potato starch
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- pinch of salt
INGREDIENTS for toppings:
- 250ml whipping cream
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 200g fresh raspberries
- about 2 tsp potato starch
- wee bit of water
Separate egg whites from the egg yolks, be very careful with that, as if accidentally some egg yolk stay in egg whites, you might not be able to whip it properly.
Set the oven to 180°C so that the the egg whites won’t need to wait too long. Prepare baking tray and a piece of baking paper. You can use a bowl or a plate to draw a round shape, so it will be easier to form the egg whites.
In a large bowl or pot beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt using a handheld mixer, starting with low speed, and then increasing until egg whites become stiff. Be careful not to over-beat the egg whites. Then start adding sugar, little by little, and mix until all sugar is dissolved. Egg whites should become more white, shiny and creamy, and you should get stiff peaks. At the end add a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of potato flour.
Using a spatula transfer the egg whites to a baking tray and try to make a nice round mountain with a slightly flat top.
Place baking tray in the oven and set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lower the temperature to 140°C and set the timer for 90 minutes. I have to say that’s for me the most difficult part, as the rest depends of the oven. And depending of how it distributes the heat, if you have top and bottom heater or only top, if you have a fan or not – everything can happen. If you know your oven well, it will be easier to control the heat. So depending of your oven you might need to adjust the starting and drying temperature and drying time. If you see that meringue starts getting gold quickly it meand your temperature is to high. During baking it will also start breaking – that means that the outer surface is ready. If you’re not sure if 90 minutes was enough, in my opinion it’s alway better to wait a little bit longer, rather than switch off the oven too early. If meringue is not baked enough inside egg white might become liquid when it cools down. So it’s better to keep it another 15-30 minutes drying, than switch it off too early.
Another thing – do not open the oven straight away. Wait couple minutes so the temperature will start dropping slowly. Slightly open the oven and let it cool down completely.
If you’re lucky enough you’ll get crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, nicely white or creamy in colour decent piece of meringue.
Now only the simple things left. Whip the cream with two tablespoons of powdered sugar. Choose couple prettiest raspberries and set them aside. Put the rest in a saucepan adding two tablespoons of water. Dissolve potato starch in a little bit of water and pour it over the simmering raspberries stir it quickly. If you find it too thick or too thin, you can either add a little water or tiny bit more potato starch mixed with water. Let cool down completely.
Spread the whipped cream on the meringue, then add raspberry “jelly” and fresh fruits on top. Now it’s ready to be served.
Store it in the fridge for about 2-3 days maximum. It’s the best when fresh as it becomes soft in the fridge and easily catches other smells.