Sunday, March 7, 2010

Extra Egg Whites...What's a girl to do??

 A recent rash of baking had left me with 4 lonely egg whites sitting patiently in my fridge waiting for the just the right purpose to present itself to me.  Well after a little thought, I decided that it might be just the right time for a Pavlova.  It turned out to be an absolutely wonderful idea. Meringues are not something that have ever interested me which might explain why this is the first Pavlova I have ever made.  However after this most delicious experiment.....I might have to revisit meringues as well.  I had some concern over the dissolving of every last grain of sugar in the whipped egg whites as the recipe cautioned me was so crucial.  My batch definitely had some undissolved grains of sugar......but no weeping occurred as a result of it.....and the Pavlova was crisp and sweet on the outside and all marshmallowy softness on the inside just as the recipe promised it would be.  My fresh fruit selection was rather limited with green grapes, kiwis, bananas and apples to choose from.  After a lot of deliberation I decided to go with kiwis (which seems to be traditional) and a few green grapes.  I had thought about adding some raspberry sauce but decided against it on this first kick at the can.  The end of the story is.....I'll most definitely make another if the smiles from my boys are any indication.  There are many recipe available for Pavlova....this one is from the Basic Recipes cookbook from Australian Women's was so easy, it would be silly not to try it:)  What a super easy and nice looking dessert to make for dinner guests!

Pavlova (Serves 6)
4 egg whites (from large eggs)
1 cup castor sugar (run your regular white sugar in the food processor for a few minutes if you have none)

1 cup (250mL) cold whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

3 kiwis peeled and sliced (or a combination of fruit of your choice)

Place egg whites in a clean bowl (make sure it's free of any oil or grease residue) and beat with electric mixer on high until soft peaks form.  Then gradually add the sugar 1 tbsp at a time beating until all visible grains are dissolved each time.  If you add the sugar all at once, it will take much longer to beat until no grains are visible.  Scrape the sides of the bowl down several times during this beating process.  This should take about 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment and draw out an 20cm circle on it to help keep your Pavlova shape circular.  Scrape all the meringue into the center of the circle on the parchment lined sheet and spread the meringue out towards the edge of the circle until it is 1cm inside the circle.  Try to make the sides of the Pavlova as straight up as possible drawing the back of a spoon up the sides to make furrows.  This will make the  sides of the Pavlova stronger as it bakes.  Level the top of the Pavlova. Bake in a very slow oven 120C or 250F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the outside feels crisp and dry.  Once it is ready, turn the oven off and leave the Pavlova to cool in the oven with the door ajar.  Leave it until the oven, the Pavlova, and the baking sheet are cool to touch or at least an hour.  You may cut a circle in the top with a very sharp knife and push the top gently down to create a slight depression for the filling if the center is not already depressed.  Fill with whipped cream sweetened and flavoured as you like, then top with fresh fruit and serve immediately. I used a 1 cup container of whipping cream whipped with 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 tbsp sugar and it seemed to be just the right amount of whipped cream and topped it all off with two sliced kiwi and a handful of green grapes.  Kiwi, strawberry and passion fruit seem to be traditional toppings, but the options are limitless and I can hardly wait for all the summer berries to be out to try this again:)


Jeanette said...

The pavlova looks delicious. I love pavlova's but rarely have them as they are so sweet. Usually make them when i have left over egg whites too. Hugs, Jeanette

LittleRed said...

Thanks, we were all pretty happy with it, but you're right...there is a huge amount of sugar in it.

kiwicarole said...

This looks exactly like mine! Great job! I only make them for special occasions now days, but still a family favorite! x

LittleRed said...

Oh good! I was hoping it had turned out properly. It was a nice little 'something different' for us to I'm curious to try it with passion fruit.

Kate said...

Oh my! That looks so wonderful! I'm definitely going to have to try that soon! Thanks for sharing!

LittleRed said...

I hope you'll like it. It is sweet, but also feels light and perfect for a warm weather dessert.

Lori said...

I always have a surplus of yolks. I use to have egg whites for breakfast every morning. but then I switched to two whole eggs for breakfast. So much waste. It is a rare thing to have egg whites laying around here. And thats really too bad because I so want to make this. Maybe I will make some curd. Then I will have leftover egg whites!

Erin said...

I've really gotta check what post I'm replying too.......

Nice use of leftovers. It looks like it would go great on (or stuffed between two layers of) angel food cake. ^_^

Personally, I would use strawberries, since strawberry slices are bite-sized and delicious. But that's more a matter of taste.

Yeah, I can see how dissolving every last bit of sugar would be crucial. I didn't dissolve all the sugar when I made shortbread cookies, and I regretted it. I heard a tip on Good Eats that involved dissolving sugar crystals ... or maybe it was preventing them from recrystallizing, I dunno, I'm not a science nerd. =p

LittleRed said...

Hi Erin & Lori:)
Thanks for stopping in! I hope you get a chance to try it too....for me it was something different. I normally would have egg yolks to use up rather than egg whites so I thought I'd better take advantage of the opportunity.