I have not been too active on my blog and twitter lately. So when someone asks “Are you settled in yet”, the answer is always almost. New kitchen, new city, new workplace, new new new…. But I know that I want to get back into my blogging that I love so much. So when I saw this tweet from @ledelicieux about The Great Australian Pavlova Blog Hop, I thought why not?
I did leave this challenge to the very last minute and still wondering if I really want to participate. Procrastination again. I will write more about this in another post. But after much pondering and waking up early on Sunday, I decided why the heck not. So I drag myself out of bed, headed to the supermarket and got myself some castor sugar and coconut cream.
So what is the difference between a pavlova and a meringue? Isn’t it the same? Beating eggwhites and sugar? I guess the only difference is the cornflour that is added to stablise the mixture and hence create a really nice crunch on the exterior and a fluffy chewy inside. I did more research to confirm my understanding and decided to follow the recipe from Kitchenwench. She uses cornflour in her recipe as well and I trust that they will work. There was little room for error.
Instead of using vanilla essence, I used pandan essence instead. It gives the aromatic pandan pavlova a nice pastel green colour.
Canned topical fruits like lychee, rambutan, longan and jackfruit is so iconic of Asia. It is another must have in an Asian (especially Chinese) pantry in my opinion. I reckon for this recipe, you can easily replace lychee with rambutan or jackfruit.
One tip in making these mini pavlovas is to make a dent in the middle so that fruits and cream can be stacked on top without fear of them sliding off the pav.
In my rush and procrastination, I failed in two major areas of this recipe. The flavours work but it would have been better if I prepared ahead of time and not leave everything to the very last minute. And of course, patience would have helped. The first thing was the oven. I am still getting used to this oven. I decrease the heat from 180 to 120 and left the pavlova to cook. When I checked after 30mins, the temperature was at 150C and so my pandan pavlova began to brown! I further decrease it right down but the temperature was too slow in getting down to 120. After 40mins in the oven, I turned off the oven, opened the door and allow it to cool. So remember to check your oven temperature!
Recipe adapted and taken from Kitchenwench. I made one third portion of this recipe. It yield me about four 21/2 inch size mini pavlovas.
- 6 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 2 tbsp arrowroot
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- Fresh kiwi, sliced
- Canned lychees
Coconut whipped cream (Recipe taken from Joy Tienzo)
- 1 can of coconut cream
- 1tbsp of castor sugar
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla extract into a clean, dry bowl till stiff peaks form. Add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition, then continue to beat till the meringue is thick, glossy and fairly firm. Beat in the cornflour, arrowroot and vinegar.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of whipped eggwhites onto baking paper. Leave about 2 inches of space between them. Create an indent on each so that it helps the fruit and cream to stay on
- Place the pavlovas in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 120 degrees C. Bake the pave for hour for the small, or till the outside is firm but not browned
- Once cooked, turn off the oven, prop open the door with a wooden spoon and leave till the pav has completely cooled. Once cooled, it can be stored in an airtight container (without any cream or fruit) for up to two days
Whipped coconut cream
- Chill the coconut cream unopen in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. Or alternatively, you can choose to freeze it for 20mins. Do not shake the can as you want to leave the fatty cream on top and leave the milk below. Also chill your whisk or beaters
- Remove from refrigerator or freezer, and carefully open the can. Using a small spoon, slowly skim the cream from the top, and transfer to the chilled bowl. You should get about half the can before the thin liquid appears underneath; try not to include any of this. Reserve remaining coconut milk for another use (it’s great in smoothies).
- Add sugar and begin whisking. The cream is done when it thickens and soft peaks form when a beater is lifted. Stiff peaks may be achieved if the coconut milk is particularly high-fat, but don’t whip the cream so long that it warms and begins to liquefy
Putting it together
Take one cooled down pandan pavlova. Layer with coconut cream and then top with lychee and fresh sliced kiwi. Eat immediately!
I made many mistakes with the whipped coconut cream. I shook the can, not chilled it properly, did not scoop just the fatty cream from the top and can’t be bothered heading to the shop and doing it all again. So instead I had sweetened coconut cream. I had to make do. Mister loved the dessert though and had 2 in one seating. I am happy with the flavours. It all came together really well. And actually, I am really please with the texture of the pavlova. It has a nice crunch on the outside and inside was super chewy! And does this make this pavalova vegan friendly?
I tried and I made it in time. It is not a total disaster. Edible and great for anyone with a sweet tooth
Now I shall sit back, enjoy my lovely pandan pavlova and read all these amazing creations from different bloggers. You can do the same by clicking on the thumbnail below. Happy Pavlova Day to all!