Pavlova is an Australian and New Zealand dessert that it is made primarily with egg whites. It is a naturally gluten free meringue cake, has a delicate, crisp crust on the outside, and a soft marshmallow texture inside, created by the addition of vinegar. You may top the meringue cake with sweetened whipped cream, a mixture of whipped cream and yogurt, or a Bavarian cream, which is a mixture of whipped cream and custard (my favorite). Then add your favorite fruit. To color the whipped topping, use either a natural food coloring or flavored yogurt. Enjoy!
Pavlova – Meringue Cake (Naturally Gluten Free)
A pavlova, meringue cake which is a light and naturally gluten free dessert. Top with your favorite whipped topping from cream to Bavarian cream.
For the Meringue:
- 2 cups fine sugar (or sugar processed in a food processor)
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (or potato starch)
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 8 egg whites, at room temperature
For the Bavarian Cream Topping:
- 1/2 recipe Gluten Free Bavarian Cream (or Gluten Free Pastry Cream , refrigerated overnight)
For the Sweetened Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1/2 recipe The Perfect Sweetened Whipped Cream
For the Dairy-Free Whipped Topping (optional):
- Use Rich Whip Ready Whip
For a Yogurt Whipped Topping:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup plain gluten-free yogurt
For the Fruit:
- Strawberries, halved
- Kiwi peeled, and sliced (or berries), (optional)
To Make the Meringue:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, add cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla extract; whisk until well combined; set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer add sugar and egg whites; beat on low speed just until combined, and sugar has dissolved. Increase speed to high; and beat until soft peaks form. Add cornstarch mixture to egg whites; beat on high speed until very stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; place a 9-inch round plate pan in the center of of the parchment paper; using a pencil, trace around the plate; turn the parchment paper upside down.
- Transfer the whipped meringue to the center of parchment paper; using a rubber spatula, spread the meringue to fit inside the circle, smoothing out the top and sides (or create peaks - may brown, though - okay if covering with whipped cream).
- Place the baking sheet in the oven; reduce temperature to 215°F; bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The higher temperature in the beginning helps set the meringue.
- Turn oven off and allow meringue to cool in the oven for 3 - 4 hours. The time is very important as not allowing it to slowly will cause the meringue to become too fragile and break easily.
- Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the meringue; using a pizza peel or 2 large spatulas, transfer the meringue to a serving plate.
To Make the Yogurt Whipped Topping
- In the bowl of your mixer (chilled metal one is preferred), beat the cream and yogurt on high speed until stiff peaks form. Pour the whipped cream mixture on top of the cooled meringue; using a rubber spatula, distribute the whipped cream evenly; create peaks if desired.
- Add strawberries or other chosen fruit such as berries or kiwi to the top. Cut the pavlova into slices and serve immediately.
Add a bit of lemon curd whipped into the sweetened cream. To make lemon curd add 1 large egg, and the juice and zest of 1 lemon to a saucepan. Add 1 tablespoons of unsalted butter; whisk until melted; add another 1 tablespoon of butter and whisk until melted. Continue to whisk until thickened, 10 - 15 minutes; cool completely in the refrigerator; and whisk into the sweetened whipped cream. Add additional powdered sugar, to taste.
It takes practice to make an attractive meringue cake. If your first attempt isn't so great, cover the sides of the meringue with whipped cream.
I have been using pasty cream a lot lately because it is so easy to make if you already have the flour blend made.
Stores that sell Ready Whip may be found by entering your zip code at http://www.richwhip.com/where-to-buy.php.
For ingredients in Ready Whip see: Rich Whip Liquid
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