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Cute mini berry pavlovas with strawberry sauce

Cute mini berry pavlovas with strawberry sauce

It doesn't have to be Australia Day for you to make everyone's favourite - the pavlova - this new gorgeous red, white & blue addition to the basic recipe it's even more cause to make those delightful meringues.  Why make a boring old sponge cake when you can create individual light & airy meringue shells with a vibrant strawberry sauce, fresh whipped cream and bundles of super sweet summer berries. Andddddd - this recipe is gluten-free ;)

Even in Australia - the land of the pavlova - it always surprises me that not only is this beautiful dessert not more popular, but that not every single Aussie has sampled its simple decadence.  Airy yet oh-so-filling with  its whipped cream & fresh fruit and, of course, that texture unique only to the meringue - crisp and soft all at the same time.

Whether you're making one big shell or mini pavlovas, one is just as easy as the other.  Using parchment paper, I simply trace circles around the top of a large drinking glass then turn the paper over and evenly spread the whipped meringue over each circle.  This way you end up with 8 meringue nests - each dessert individually portioned just the right size, and if you don't need them all they are easily frozen for up to 1 month.

The berry on top these sugary sweet meringues you might say is the strawberry sauce.  You need something with a little tartness to cut through all that sugar and balance everything out.  So, once you've added the strawberry sauce, lavished it with whipped cream and selected your favourite mixed summer berries to adorn the top you will have a dessert divine enough for adults and more than appealing to the child in all of us.

INGREDIENTS:
500gm strawberries, quartered
Half cup full cream
Quarter cup granulated sugar
One tab/sp powdered sugar
One tea/sp lemon juice
One tea/sp vanilla extract
Eight mini pavlova shells, baked & cooled

Two cups fresh berries (combination of your choice)

How to make them: 

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the strawberries, granulated sugar and lemon juice. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, leaving the remaining liquid simmering.

2. Remove liquid from heat and allow to cool slightly.
3. Use a blender to thoroughly mix your strawberries into a smooth sauce.  Transfer this sauce into the fridge and allow to cool (Strawberry sauce can be made & refrigerated for up to three days in advance).
4. Using an electric mixer, whip your cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
5. Now to assemble: Place a pavlova shell on a plate, topped with a lavishing of whipped cream and spoonful of strawberry sauce followed by an adornment of your favourite berries. Repeat again with remaining shells.  Serve immediately.

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