A Dessert To Honor A Ballerina: The Pavlova

While walking frantically through the grocery store, after work yesterday, searching for a delicious dessert inspiration to hit me, (We were having some friends over in a few hours (freaking out!) and they were bring the entree and I was doing salad and dessert) I came across the berry section of the produce aisle and what do you know, all the berries were on sale. Hallelujah! Berries…something with berries. Boom! It hit me. Pavlovas!

I stumbled upon this gem of a dessert a few years ago, when it struck me as unique and genius. I love meringue, right, and a pavlova is like a meringue crossed with a….a marshmallow…and I love marshmallows too, so naturally when I discovered how the two could become one, I was doomed. It gets better. The top of this miraculous ballerina cake is loaded with whipped cream and fruit. Berries by the quart. It’s so light and fresh, you can literally eat a whole half of the cake and feel justifiable.

Pavlovas are named after the Ballerina Anna Pavlovna Pavlova, supposedly created in New Zealand, or Australia by argument, in honor of the beautiful Anna.

Anna Pavlvoa. The inspiration...delicate and airy

Anna Pavlvoa. The inspiration…delicate and airy

It’s a very fitting tribute. The crisp flaky outer shell of the “cake” is delicate and ruffled like a tutu, and the center is moist and fluffy like a cloud. One bite and I feel like I could pirouette through the kitchen…stop me now.

Here’s what I did

ingredients.

ingredients.

6 egg whites ready to whip...see those beautiful yolks? don't chuck em! save them for something else!

6 egg whites ready to whip…see those beautiful yolks? don’t chuck em! save them for something else!

whisk together the cornstarch and the sugar

whisk together the cornstarch and the sugar

add the salt and the cream of tarter, then add the sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time on Med. High

add the salt and the cream of tarter, then add the sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time on Med. High

My mixer is a ballerina...look at her spin

My mixer is a ballerina…look at her spin

almost there

almost there, just added in vanilla and vinegar

the rub test

the rub test

feels a little gritty, needs to whip a few more minutes

feels a little gritty, needs to whip a few more minutes

stiff peaks

stiff peaks

no more grit

no more grit

trace an 8" circle on parchment...boy was that fun measuring all the circular items in my kitchen

trace an 8″ circle on parchment…boy was that fun measuring all the circular items in my kitchen

flipped my circle over so the pencil graphite isn't touching my cake

flipped my circle over so the pencil graphite isn’t touching my cake

plop it out into the circle

plop it out into the circle

push it out to the circle edge, flatten the top and sweep up the sides to create a stubby little volcano shape

push it out to the circle edge, flatten the top and sweep up the sides to create a stubby little volcano shape

300º preheated oven

300º preheated oven

just finished baking...now it's time to dry out

just finished baking…now it’s time to dry out

Blueberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Berries!!!!! Rinsed and Drained, gently patted dry

Blueberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Strawberries. Berries!!!!! Rinsed and Drained, gently patted dry

step 1: place dried pavlova on serving plate

step 1: place dried pavlova on serving plate

load with Fresh Whipped Cream... or Cool Whip...whatever you got time for

load with Fresh Whipped Cream… or Cool Whip…whatever you got time for

step 3: add the berries and sprinkle with powdered sugar

step 3: add the berries and sprinkle with powdered sugar…P.S. if you don’t want yours to be broken, don’t let your 5 year old “help” you get it ready. “Help” = pick apart and eat 

cue harps...ahhhh....

cue harps…ahhhh….

flaky shell with marshmallowy interior...we almost finished off the whole thing before I remembered to capture this image...close one.

flaky shell with marshmallowy interior…we almost finished off the whole thing before I remembered to capture this image…close one.

Dinner, thanks to the very talented Lorraine, was a-ma-zing and dessert, thanks to Anna Pavlova, was just as satisfying

Here’s what you’ll need…

Pavlova

1 1/4 C sugar

6 egg whites

2 Tbsp Corn Starch

1/4 tsp. cream of Tarter

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp vinegar

Whipped Cream or Cool Whip

2 pints Bluebberies

1 pint Raspberrries

1 pint Blackberries

handful of Strawberries cut up

powdered sugar for dusting

Whip egg whites until frothy then add in tarter and salt. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch. add by the Tablespoon into egg whites on medium high speed. Once stiffer, add vanilla and vinegar. Whip to stiff peaks and make sure its not gritty, by rubbing a small amount between finger and thumb.

Trace an 8″ circle onto parchment and form meringue into a flattened volcano like shape within the circle. Bake at 300ºF for 1 hour and let it rest in the oven for 2 hrs or overnight. It may crack and fall as it cools…its ok.

Fill with whipped cream and top with berries.