Friday, April 13, 2007

Individual Pavlova's

This is a bit of a red letter day in our household, as I have made dessert 2 nights in a row! I very rarely make a dessert as we always end up eating way too much. However in my quest to empty out the fridge this week, we just had some store bought minestrone soup for dinner (about 160 calories per serve) with some ciabatta crostini's. Therefore I thought it would be ok to have a little dessert and all of the other food bloggers have inspired me to do a little "baking".

So, in an effort to be somewhat healthy, I decided to make individual Pavlova's as they are predominantly made of egg whites, with just a little sugar. And by doing it this way, instead of making one big one, I can control the portion size.

For those who are wondering what a Pavlova is, it is a dessert that originated in Australia in the 1920's (although some say it originated in New Zealand) and is named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. It is basically a meringue base, with fresh cream and fruit on top. In order to reduce the calories, I used fat free cool whip instead of cream and then topped with strawberries, kiwi fruit, peaches and raspberry puree. The quintessential Pavlova is topped with passionfruit and I feel like it isn't really one without it, but passionfruit is almost impossible to get in the States. I did see some at wholefoods last week and tried to get some this afternoon, but alas, they were gone :( Therefore, I decided to puree some raspberries in the food processor to make the sauce.

The only major source of calories in this dessert is the sugar, but there is not a lot, so it is quite healthy, as far as desserts go.

Rich had never had this before, when I first met him, but it is now one of his favourite desserts, so he was also very pleased to be getting a second helping of dessert this week!!!

I have no idea where I got this recipe from, as it is jotted down in a note book and I have had it for years. But it is fairly fool proof and always yields quite good results. You can double to make a single Pavlova, whatever takes your fancy :)

Individual Pavlova's
(makes 4)

2 egg whites at room temperature
1/3 cup of granulated (castor) sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup fat free cool whip (or fresh whipped cream if you're not counting calories)
fresh fruit of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 250F.

2. Beat egg whites and vinegar with a mixer (a stand mixer is preferable, but you can do it with a hand mixer...it just takes longer) until fluffy. Slowly beat in sugar until the meringue is stiff and forming peaks.

3. Add in cornstarch and vanilla and whisk a little more, being careful not to over mix.

4. Place meringue into piping bag and pipe circles onto wax paper on a baking sheet (you could just spoon it on also).

5. Place in the oven for 35-40min and then turn the heat off. Leave the meringue shells in the oven for another hour, or until completely cool.

6. Spoon cool whip onto the top of the meringue, add sliced fruit of your choice and serve promptly so the meringue doesn't become soggy from the cool whip/cream.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

I'm going to try your recipe this Easter Sunday, making 11 individual desserts. Sounds wonderful...let's hope I can do it right! Thanks for posting your recipe.