Heart Pavlovas : My New Favorite Dessert Recipe
One of the first things I asked Eoghan when we started dating was “What is your favorite dessert?” I was expecting the typical answer of brownies, chocolate chip cookies, or hoping for my favorite pineapple upside-down cake — but he answered with pavlova. Wanting to seem cool and as worldly as him I was embarrassed to ask “what on earth is a pavlova?!” But since I knew I wouldn’t be able to fib my way through that conversation I flat out asked.
Turns out it is a New Zealand dessert that is named after a Russian ballerina. Duh! It is pretty much like a large meringue cake that has a crispy outside and marshmallowy inside. You use vanilla extract instead of almond so I find it outrageously delicious. I thank the universe everyday that Eoghan and I met and are dating because he has introduced me to this new dessert that has changed my life.
My favorite pavlova recipe is by Sally’s Baking Addition. I follow her recipe and use cream of tartar as the acid. Don’t Worry, pavlova is so easy to make - it’s pretty much a set it and forget it type of dessert. Follow along for the steps I took to create the heart shaped pavlova.
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Pink food coloring
Mixing it all together
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Separate your four eggs and add the egg whites to a mixing bowl. Use an electrical mixer to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (The peaks should stand up on their own).
Next add the sugar in 2 additions and beat for 30 seconds in-between. Continue on high speed for another 2 minutes until stiff peaks form.
Add in the vanilla extract and food coloring and beat for 1 more minute.
Finally use a rubber spatula to fold in the cream of tartar and cornstarch.
Shape + Bake
Spread the pavlova into small hearts on your parchment lined cookie sheet. Use a spoon to press the mixture upward to create walls. The mixture is the consistency of shaving cream so it is pretty easy to mold.
Now the super easy part. Place pavlova in the oven and as soon as you close the oven door reduce heat to 200°F. The pavlova will stay in the oven while it cools down and bake it until the pavlova is firm and dry. For my small hearts I baked it for about 40 mins but if you were to make a larger single pavlova you should bake it for about 90 mins. I will even turn off the oven and keep it inside until I am ready to serve the dessert.
When you are ready to serve, fill the inside with fresh whipped cream and top with berries. If you are serving it at a later date you can store the pavlova in an air tight container. If the pavlova has the whipped cream and berries on top it will last for 1-2 days in the refrigerator.