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Crispy, moist meringue, refreshingly soft cream cheese whipped cream and fruity berries make these mini Pavlovas a special taste experience. They are an ideal summer dessert – light, airy and weightless like the dance of the Russian ballerina whose name they bear. Pavlova dessert is a hit on the dining table, both in terms of taste and appearance, and it is so popular all over the world for a reason. Besides, it’s pretty easy to make the dessert yourself. You can find a detailed mini Pavlova recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions right below.
What is Pavlova?
Pavlova is a cake that consists of meringue base, cream and fresh fruit. It was invented by a pastry chef from New Zealand or Australia. Exactly it is not known until now. The pastry chef was inspired by the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who was performing in both countries at the time. The cake was also named after her. Some even claim that the meringue that makes up the cake resembles the ballet dancer’s tutu. What makes Pavlova cake different from other meringue desserts is the consistency of the meringue. It is only crispy on the outside, but moist, soft and fluffy on the inside. This consistency is provided by cornstarch, which is used to prepare the meringue for the cake. Pavlova dessert is often made in the form of small cakes called mini Pavlova.
Perfect combination of three components
The mini Pavlova consists of three delicious components that combine perfectly in terms of taste. First and foremost is the delicate meringue, which tastes crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. The meringue is ideally complemented with the cream cheese whipped cream, which is airy, light and fresh in taste. The Pavlova dessert is made perfect by the filling of summer fruits, which bring in a sweet and sour taste. Decorated with colorful berries and aromatic mint leaves, the dessert is not only tasty, but also externally a highlight on the dining table, which certainly leaves no one cold.
Mini Pavlova – the best summer dessert
Mini Pavlova is one of the most popular summer desserts in the whole world – and not without reason. It tastes light, airy, delicate. But above all, fresh berries, with which the dessert is filled, give it the ideal summery touch. Whether fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, sweet cherries or currants – the summer fruits combine perfectly with the crispy moist meringue and the creamy refreshing cream cheese filling. Visually, too, the mini Pavlovas provide pure summer feeling on the plate. Decorated with different fruits, they are an eye-catcher and guaranteed to delight your guests at any summer party.
Mini Pavlova with Swiss meringue
I had prepared the meringue for my mini Pavlova using the basic recipe for Swiss meringue. How does this meringue go? To make it, heat the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a hot water bath, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then whip the warm egg white and sugar mixture into a firm meringue. If you want to whip egg whites and sugar without a hot water bath, you can of course do it. You just have to keep a few points in mind. In this case, use room-warm egg whites. Sugar dissolves faster in this than in a cold egg white. Beat the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. To check, rub some of the egg white mixture between your thumb and forefinger. If you don’t feel any more sugar crystals, the meringue is ready. If there are still crystals, you need to continue beating it.
Alternative for the cream cheese whipped cream
I had filled my mini Pavlova with the cream cheese whipped cream, which tastes light and refreshing. It is half cream cheese, half cream and is perfect for a summer dessert, I think. Instead of cream cheese whipped cream, however, you can simply make the Pavlova dessert with cream. Whip cream, alternatively sweetened with a little powdered sugar, until stiff and your cream is ready.
What fruits can I use for the dessert?
You can fill the Pavlova dessert with any berries or various fruits. There are no limits to your imagination. Just use your favorite fruits or fruits of the season. For example, if it is strawberry season, make strawberry dessert. Pavlovas are made exclusively with fresh fruit. I had filled my dessert with strawberries, raspberries, sweet cherries and black currants and decorated with them as well.
Idea: winter mini Pavlova
In the cold season you can prepare the dessert Pavlova with different winter fruits. Fill and decorate them with pieces of tangerine, kiwi, orange, grapes or pomegranate seeds. Add some cinnamon to the cream and sprinkle the mini Pavlova with it. You have an ideal Christmas dessert that still tastes light and airy, but at the same time wintry.
How to serve and store Pavlova dessert?
The mini Pavlova tastes best fresh. So it should be eaten immediately after preparation. The longer you store the dessert, the more it loses its original taste. The meringue then softens from the cream and no longer tastes crispy on the outside. Also, the fruits will not be as fresh and delicious in the next few days. You can make the meringue baskets a day in advance and store them in an airtight container, absolutely dry. Then, just before serving, fill them with the cream and fruit.
This mini Pavlova is
- an eye-catcher on the plate,
- easy to make yourself,
- perfect dessert for warm days.
Mini Pavlova recipe
You can find the exact quantities and step-by-step instructions for making the Pavlova dessert yourself here below in the box recipe.
The making of the Pavlova dessert is very easy if you follow my tips and tricks for it here below. For the meringue you need
- egg whites,
- and some lemon juice.
For the cream you only need
- cream cheese,
- and powdered sugar.
And for the filling and for decorating you still need any fresh fruit. For me it was strawberries, raspberries, sweet cherries and black currants.
How to make your own Pavlova dessert?
- For the meringue, heat the egg whites and sugar on a bain-marie, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then whip until creamy, add the lemon juice and beat until stiff. Place small baskets of the meringue mixture on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and dry at 90 °C for about 1.5 hours, until the baskets come off the baking paper without leaving any residue, are dry on the outside and still soft on the inside. Then cool slightly for about 30 minutes in the oven, opened a crack, and then let cool completely at room temperature.
- For the cream, whip cream and powdered sugar, add cream cheese and beat until creamy.
- Fill the meringue baskets with a little cream cheese whipped cream, spread fruit on top and cover completely with the remaining cream. Decorate the dessert with fruit as desired. Done!
Make Pavlova dessert yourself: with these tips and tricks you’ll get them perfect
- Proportions are very important when making meringue for mini Pavlova. You should weigh all the ingredients exactly. Proceed as follows:
- Take 4 eggs and separate egg whites from yolks. Set yolks aside, you don’t need them for this recipe.
- Weigh out egg whites from 4 eggs.
- Now weigh out twice as much sugar as you have egg whites.
- Divide egg whites by 10 and weigh out that much cornstarch.
The egg white of 4 eggs had weighed 125 g for me. Accordingly, I had to take 250 g of sugar and 13 g of cornstarch.
- When you separate egg whites from yolks, make sure none of the yolks end up in the whites. Otherwise, your whipped egg mixture might not set. Also, both the mixing bowl and the whisk in which and with which the mixture is whipped must be clean (definitely not greasy) and dry.
- When heating the egg white-sugar mixture on the water bath and also afterwards, water must not get into the mixture under any circumstances.
- Cornstarch in the meringue mass ensures that it remains moist and soft on the inside after drying and only becomes crispy on the outside. It is precisely this combination in a meringue that makes Pavlova.
- Lemon juice provides stability to the meringue. You can use a pinch of citric acid or 1/2 tsp vinegar instead.
- I had formed the meringue baskets with a piping bag and a closed star nozzle. However, you can just as easily pipe them with a round hole nozzle or just use two tablespoons.
- If your meringues turn yellow when drying in the oven, you should reduce the temperature of the oven.
- You can adjust the amount of powdered sugar for the cream according to your taste. You can also omit the powdered sugar completely.
- You can make Pavlovas with cream instead of cream cheese.
- Do not fill the meringues with the cream while they are still warm. You have to let them cool down first.
- Use any fruit you like for the Pavlova dessert.
- I put the cream cheese whipped cream in a piping bag with a star nozzle and filled the meringue baskets with it. Alternatively, you can use a round hole nozzle or fill the baskets with a tablespoon.
Have you made mini Pavlova with this recipe? I look forward to your result, your star rating and your comment on the recipe below, how you liked the dessert.
Mini Pavlova / Pavlova dessert
- piping bag with star nozzle
for the meringue
- 125 g egg whites (egg whites of approx. 4 eggs)
- 250 g sugar (twice as much as egg white)
- 13 g cornstarch (1/10 of the egg white)
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
for the cream
- 200 g cream cheese
- 200 g cream
- 40 g powdered sugar
for the filling and for decorating
- fresh strawberries (cut into pieces too big for the filling)
- fresh raspberries
- fresh sweet cherries (remove stones for the filling)
- fresh black currants
- peppermint leaves
Preparation of the meringue baskets
- Put the egg whites and sugar together in a heatproof mixing bowl and heat them over a hot water bath, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
- Now whip the warm egg white and sugar mixture until creamy.
- Add lemon juice and beat the egg white-sugar mixture until stiff.
- Add cornstarch to the egg white mixture.
- Transfer the meringue mixture into a piping bag and form 8 equally sized baskets (morsels with a hollow) on a baking tray lined with baking paper. First pipe filled circles of about the same size out of the meringue mixture and then place a higher rim of meringue mixture around the edge of each circle. (Follow my tips and tricks for this here at the top of the post).
- Dry the meringue baskets in a preheated oven at 90 °C top and bottom heat for about 1.5 hours until they can be removed from the baking paper without leaving any residue. They must be dry on the outside and still soft on the inside. Then turn off the oven, open the oven door a little and let the baskets cool down for about 30 minutes. Then take them out of the oven and let them cool at room temperature.
Preparation of the cream
- Whip the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
- Add cream cheese and whip until firm and creamy.
Preparation of the pavlova dessert
- Pour the cream cheese whipped cream into a piping bag and pipe some of the cream on the bottom of each meringue basket (in the hollow of the bites). Spread raspberries, pitted sweet cherries, chopped strawberries and black currants on top of the cream and pipe the cream cheese whipped cream in the form of a morsel again, so that it completely covers the fruit filling.
- Decorate the top of the mini pavlova with fruit and mint leaves.
- Accurately weigh all ingredients for the meringue.
- Instead of lemon juice, you can use a pinch of citric acid or 1/2 tsp vinegar.
- The amount of powdered sugar for the cream can be adjusted to taste.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for making mini Pavlovas at the top of the post.