Since we had our official Valentine's date early (see previous post), this year on the day we had a romantic little dinner for 6 (us + the 4 kids) at home. We had Cheesy Potato Corn chowder with extra bacon as per the oldest child's request, medallion rolls (little rolls), and mini Valentine Pavlovas.
I'm not sure if any of you have ever made pavlova, but it's a little intimidating. There are very few ingredients, but they can be temperamental especially if you're making them mini, which I always do because individual servings are so much easier to work with. They are also worth every second of work and worry.
Preheat to 350, and then you begin with making the meringue, which is not difficult at all despite how fancy it sounds.
Just beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt til they're firm (which is past foamy) then add the sugar and keep beating.
When it's reach the desired texture, fold in the corn starch and vinegar.
After this point I sometimes beat it again, which probably defeats the purpose of folding in the last ingredients, but I really want it fluffy and I worry!
Next you pipe it into the desired shape (I've done pillows for a pajama party, bones for a Halloween party, and now hearts), or just spoon it for circles. If you don't have a piping bag, just spoon it into a ziploc and cut the corner off to pipe it, it works great. Make sure you line your baking tray with parchment paper.
Then bake them at 350 for five minutes. Turn the heat down to 300 after that time and bake a further 35-40 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the door open to let the heat out and let them cool with the door ajar for at least an hour.
Hopefully they won't crack and fall. Sometimes keeping the door closed for a couple minutes after turning the oven off can help, then open it a little, but it all depends on the heat of your oven, so keep trying!
They will be pinkish when they're done. If they're brownish, they're overdone. What you have is a slightly crispy outer shell with a delightfully chewy inside, it's the best!
After they've completely cooled simply top with whipped cream (please don't insult these with cool whip), and either fresh fruit or a fruity sauce of your choice. I made a simple one with 3/4 cup OJ, 2 T. cornstarch, 1/4 (plus a little more) sugar and frozen berries. Feel free to comment for questions on the sauce.
Here's how they turned out! Enjoy!
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 C. fine sugar
1 T. Cornstarch
1 t. Vinegar
Spoon into one large mound or small individual mounds (6-8) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes then bake a further 35-40 minutes at 300. Turn oven off, allow to cool with door ajar for at least an hour.