Get ready, Valentine’s Day is on its way! Are you planning something special for your significant other? If you haven’t found any gift idea yet, stay calm and bake this delicious strawberry pavlova!
To be honest, Andrea and I never really cared about it. Just to give you an exemple, we had dinner to Byron’s Hot Dog last year on February 14th! We had a lot of fun by taking selfies in front of the Obamas portraits but it was far from being romantic. Even tough we come from two of the most romantic countries in the world, Frenchies and Italians usually see Valentine’s Day as part of a huge marketing campaign. It’s not even a good night to go out: all worthy restaurants are fully booked, let’s not talk about intimacy!
Therefore, my idea of a romantic Valentine’s Day would be a homemade dinner cooked carefully with lots of love. To crown such a dinner, a light and graceful dessert: I can think only of a strawberry Pavlova. French meringue, whipped cream and strawberry all together scream love better than any pink layer cake.
Lots of French pastries are combining meringue and whipped cream such as the Merveilleux, the Mont-Blanc or the vacherin. However, the pavlova is a dessert from New-Zealand, which has been created has a tribute to a Russian ballerina: Anna Pavlova. It is very easy to bake and it won’t take you very long.
Don’t lose a minute, put your apron on and let’s bake this strawberry pavlova to surprise your loved one!
Ingredients for 6 mini strawberry Pavlova
- 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup (200g) caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 Pint (230g) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2/3 cup (150g) Mascarpone
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- Optional: scraped seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
- 12 small strawberries cut in quarters
- Optional: 2 tbsp of warm strawberry jam to coat the strawberries and make them shiny
- Pre-heat your oven to 300°F (150°C). In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice until stiff. Add the sugar a little at a time in at least 4 times until fully incorporated – about 7 minutes on high speed. Add the cornstarch at the end. The meringue should be very stiff and glossy.
- Cover a baking tray with parchment paper. Using a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip, spread the meringue on 6 nest-shape circles: draw the circle from the center to the edge, keep piping to add a second layer on the edge only.
- Reduce oven temperature to 215°F (100°C) and bake for one hour. After one hour, turn off the oven, open the door slightly and let the meringue sit there for an extra hour. You can absolutely bake the meringue the day before and keep it in a airtight container once it has completely cooled.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, put together the cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla. Whisk all the ingredients until thick. Do not overbeat it otherwise it will turn into butter! 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed are usually enough. Congrats’ you’ve just made a Chantilly!
- Using a pastry bag with a fluted tip, fill in the meringue nests with the cream. Cover them with strawberries coated in jam.
Baking tips: Don’t wait to share and enjoy this dessert. If you wait too long, the strawberries will stain the Chantilly and meringue. It will be a mess! You can also replace strawberries by all kind of berries or fruits. Choice is yours! Happy Valentine’s Day!