Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day Mini Heart Pavlova's

Hi! I'm glad I got this post out before the big day! (Valentine's Day, that is) I love this day! Not only because everything is pink and sparkly (and now GOLD!!!) but also because it's a day to remind you to enjoy the moments and savor your loved ones. Do you agree?

 With a little time, you can show your love with this recipe!

A few months ago, my sister brought a dessert to our place when we were having a little family get together. It was incredible. A large meringue platform with a generous portion of freshly whipped cream and piles (literally) of chopped fresh fruit such a raspberries, strawberries and kiwi creating a colorful and delicious dream come true. I had no idea this existed. 

Welcome, Pavlova, into my life. :)

Thus we had came up with this idea for our mini heart shaped Pavlova. (Yes, I did just said "thus") It is easy to assemble, easier to bake to perfection than the large one and the perfect wow-factor to end a romantic dinner. My amazing sister is behind this genius-ness; I just pretended to be a photographer.:)

This recipe is so simple and versatile, I know you will have fun with it.

To make the meringue:
  4 egg whites (room temperature is better, or you can let them stand in a bowl of warm water for 10 mins)
  1 Cup Sugar (Superfine if you have it)
  1/4 tsp Cream of Tarter

  • Make sure your bowl and utensils are clean and dry. Any moisture will affect the way they turn out! 

  • Beat the whites with the cream of tarter until frothy.

  • Add sugar slowly- no more than 1/4 cup at a time. Give it time to beat in the sugar well. It will be grainy if you try to do this too fast. 

  • Once the cream is thick and creating strong peaks, it is ready! (you will see this using the mixer wisk- when you pull it out of the cream, it will create a peak. If the peak falls back down or is weak, the cream needs more beating. If the peak stays, it is ready. Beware- you can over mix this as well.)  
  • Scrap the bowl and mix a little more to catch any lost sugar

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or foil if you've run out) draw a heart templateI used a cookie cutter to trace around but anything will work! There is no need to space them far apart- they barely change shape.

Put the meringue cream into a piping bag (or a ziploc bag with a corner trimmed off) and start to trace the outline of the heart and fill it in. Go around the heart's edge once more to create a slight rim for all the goodness to go inside.  :) 

Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours. You can turn off the oven and leave the hearts inside if you have the time. This will safely dry them out more. 

These can be stored in an airtight container until you're ready to assemble. I believe they will do well in there for days!
For the Filling:
Heavy whipping cream
Fresh fruit of your choice

  • Beat the heavy whipping cream with sugar (to taste) until a cream forms. 

  • Dollop a tablespoon or two into each heart.

  • Place the fruit. In addition to fruit, we drizzled melted chocolate chips. (Using the bag technique for easy clean-up, put a cup of chocolate chips in a pastic bag; melt in the microwave for 1 min or so, checking often; cut a corner and drizzle!)
  •  Serve to your loved ones. :)
Some pictures just for fun: We had a blast making these! 

 Our fancy drink: Ginger Ale with a raspberry :)

 My sister's beautiful daughter. She enjoyed these as well. :)

This wouldn't have turned out so beautifully perfect if not for my sister!! There is no end to her talents... I hope to show more of our collaborations in the future. :)

Some history to the Pavlova: There is a long standing debate about whether New Zealand or Australia invented this dessert! It still hasn't been resolved. They know that the name, Pavlova, was chosen in honor of the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. :)

If you have any questions, I'd love to help! Have a great week and hope your Valentine's Day is happy

(Have no one to share this with? Make them anyways. My sister left these at our place and I ate almost all of them.... at one sitting. They are that good.)

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