March 31, 2014

Pavlova, Eton mess and "perfect" meringues

I kind of feel like I'm cheating on spring a little bit here. You see, many of these pictures are actually from last summer, but I never got around to posting them. Such a waste. And I hate wasting, whether it's food, photos or anything else. I know that strawberry season hasn't begun yet (not in Sweden anyway) but it's definitely on its way. I could definitely eat strawberries everyday already, but there is something magical about waiting for the season when they're at their best (and not imported from halfway around the world).

I know I've said it before, but meringue, whipped cream and strawberries is my favorite combination ever. Obviously I bake several times a week, I eat a little bit of everything but then I give the rest away to friends (FYI mostly to my friend Emma's co-workers). However, when I make pavlova I pretty much eat the whole thing (my excuse is that it doesn't keep well in the fridge.. feel free to use that one if you want).

So here are som photos of "real life" as well, actually from midsummer last year. Dirty napkins, radishes and half empty/full glasses. Everything isn't always picture perfect. Fortunately.

Tips on making meringue

-Preferably use a stainless steel or glass bowl, not plastic, for whipping egg whites.

-Even a little bit of fat from the yolk or the bowl can ruin the whole meringue, so make sure the bowl and utensils are very clean and dry.

-Cold eggs separate more easily so make sure to separate them when they're still cold. Bring egg whites to room temperature before whipping to ensure best possible volume. -It's best to use leftover egg yolks immediately, but if you're going to store them, make sure the bowl is clean and air-tight. Put whole egg yolks (broken egg yolks are ok too, just add less water, about a teaspoon or so) in the bowl and add some water. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

-You should be able to hold the bowl of glossy and thick meringue upside-down over your head without it sliding out (try if you dare!).

What to use leftover egg yolks for:
Chocolate pudding
Berry cheesecake ice cream or any ice cream with a custard base
Pots de crème
Crème brûlée

Pavlova with fresh strawberries
~ 6-8 servings

4 large egg whites
1 cup minus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar
Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
500 g fresh strawberries (about 4 cups)
Powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 175°C (350°F). Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper.

2. Whip egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar, a little at a time, while continuing to whip. When mixture is stiff and glossy, add corn starch and white wine vinegar and stir until incorporated.

3. Divide the mixture betweens two large dollops on the baking sheet, spreading out mixture with a spoon or an offset spatula (remember to leave some space between as they float out a bit when baked).

4. Put the baking sheet with the meringues in the lower part of the oven and reduce oven temperature to 125°C (260°F). Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, then turn off the oven leaving the meringue to cool completely, preferably over night.

5. Whip cream with powdered sugar and lemon zest until soft peaks. Put the first meringue layer on a serving platter. Spread whipped cream on top and top with some chopped strawberries. Add the next layer and repeat the previous step. Powder with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Eton mess
~ 4 servings

This meringue recipe makes chewier meringues which are perfect for Eton mess! You can, of course, also use the recipe below for a crispier version.

3 large egg whites
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
finely grated zest from 1 lime (can be omitted)

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar, if desired
500 g fresh strawberries (about 4 cups)
a handful of red currants, if desired

1. Heat oven to 100°C (210°F).

2. Whip egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar, a little at a time, while continuing to whip. Add lemon juice. When mixture is stiff and glossy, spoon onto a baking sheet covered with baking paper.

3. Bake in the lower part of the oven for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until you can remove them from the paper.

4. Whip cream with powdered sugar and vanilla sugar until soft peaks. Layer chopped strawberries, currants, whipped cream and crushed meringue in individual serving glasses, or on a serving platter. Serve immediately.

"Perfect" crispy meringues

This recipe makes lots of small meringues (or bigger ones, but then you have to bake them longer). If you want your meringues to look "perfect" and to keep their white color, this is the recipe for you! 

2 large egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
finely grated zest from 1/2 lemon

1. Heat oven to 80-90°C (approximately 180°F). Put egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl.

2. Place the bowl over a saucepan with simmering water (the water should not touch the bowl). Heat gently and constantly stir with a wire whisk until mixture reaches 60-65°C (150-150°F). If you don't have a thermometer, rub some of the mixture between your fingers to make sure the sugar crystals have melted. The mixture should feel quite hot to the touch.

3. Remove the bowl from the heat, add lemon juice and whip until stiff peaks form and the mixture is cool (may take up to 10 minutes). Add lemon zest if desired. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small star tip and pipe onto a baking sheet covered with baking paper.

4. Bake in the lower part of the oven for about 50-60 minutes (this is for really small meringues, if you wish to make them bigger you need to bake them longer. The meringues are ready when they feel hard to the touch and you can remove them from the paper). Leave the meringues in the oven until oven is cool, preferably overnight (to make them even crispier).

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  1. This all looks delicious and amazing yet again. You never disappoint me, haha :) I've been trying to get my meringues white and crispy and no recipe has worked so far, so hopefully this one will!

    By the way, I'm going to bake 2 cakes from your book for someone's birthday this weekend! I'm really looking forward to it, since your cakes are always the nicest to make :)


  2. Absolutely breathtaking pics - great recipe!!

    Greetings from South Africa
    Anina xxx

  3. Your photos are absolutely stunning. And these tips! So handy! Meringue making and pavlova are one of the few desserts that seem so daunting but you have make it seem achievable! Thank you.

  4. Oh wow, these meringues look so perfect! I would never be able to make them so beautiful..

  5. Amazing!!!!! Bravo!!!!
    Greetings from Olga.

  6. THese are actually the kind of pictures I prefer ;) and I do not like Pavlovas, Eton Mess or meringue in any form, but I am salivating at the sight of these!!

  7. Amazing photography and flavors! ;) I need to make this recipe!
    xo from Argentina

  8. Pavlova, its honestly is one of the best combinations in the world. It reminds me of summer! I've just started following you on Instagram and I had wondered what you do with all the things you bake, and how you bake so often yet stay slim! Also, I'm totally in love with your photography!

  9. Oh, golly! This is not only gorgeous but making my mouth water (you know - literally!)

    I have a good few recipes for meringues and pavlovas and even for Eton mess and I've been dying to try them for about a year and a half, now, but the funny thing is.... I never have. The even funnier thing is that we have 60 chickens!! AND I LOVE macarons - they're like one of my favorite foods.... I really need to get to it, don't I? =/

    Thanks for the inspiration!! :)


  10. I love Pavlova so much, we have it every Christmas and there is nothing better that chocolate Pav with Peppermint Crisp! haha

    I will have to try and cook it myself one day, I've mastered Macarons but I have always been a bit afraid to try Pavlova. I will keep your tips in mind :)

  11. B E A U T I F U L photos! All of them :) Makes me long for summer! Can't wait till the local strawberries are in season and eating them with pavlova is just perfect :)

  12. Oh wow!! These definitely look perfect. Awesome recipe!

  13. Cholate cookie ships recipe ? Pliiis :))

  14. Looks so good, beautiful photos , perfect Blog


  15. This post just screams summer for me :) your meringues look just amazing and the pictures.. You know yourself. Stunning :)

  16. Beautiful pictures, absolutely beautiful!!!! Thanks for this :-)


  17. Looks pretty picture perfect to me. I adore strawberries too - they've just started coming into season in England.
    PS the tips for perfect meringues are super helpful!

  18. Whohoo, i'm getting so hungry when I see these pictures. It is looking so delicious and jumjumjum! I am in love with your photographs too. It looks really cool. You have talent. xo

  19. gahh, now i am so ready for strawberry season and this looks so so delish.

  20. Lika härliga bilder som vanligt, somrigt och fräscht!

  21. Beautiful pictures and wonderful recipes. I love Eton mess one of my fav desserts. Thanks for sharing

  22. Stunning photos Linda! And hungry for lunch this almost made me skip the food and look in the freezer for ice cream - there's just nothing better than ice cream, meringues and strawberries. But I agree with you - I'd rather wait for their season to come!

  23. WOW!!! that looks so amazing!

  24. stunning pictures! meringues are one of my fav desserts! im drooling all over my keyboard as i type!

  25. That looks so delicious! And your photos are beyond beautiful!

  26. Amazing pictures! And delicious pavlova:)

  27. So incredibly pretty! Luckily you posted these pictures after all. I'm a huge pavlova and eton mess fan and can't wait for the strawberry season to arrive. This must be one of the first things I will be making then. Thanks!

  28. Love your pictures, your blog and everything!!Thanks for sharing!!! =) =)

  29. Eton Mess is among my favorites of all desserts (Ile flôtante the other one) ; thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures ! Now I'm craving !

  30. Just discovered your blog and absolutely love it :)

  31. Pavlova is one of my favourite desserts so these pictures are dreamy! Can't wait for summer and strawberry season.

  32. ooooh these photos make me so excited for warm weather! mmm i love meringue too, so crispy and airy... i really wish i could eat some of that pavlova eton mess right now!! xo

  33. Man, this meringue truly is perfect! It tastes as good as it looks, and that's a fact. Delicious!

  34. Makes me long for those warm summer days...

  35. Oh my crispy meringues sound so delicious!! Another set of yummy recipes and lovely photos. Thank you for sharing!

  36. First timer to your blog and you have gorgeous one with such a pretty pictuere!! Could you please share the egg whites weight in grams? Thank you. xx

  37. That pavlova is definitely a sight to behold!Your recipe looks fantastic.


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