I know, roses and whipped cream. Can I get any more Valentine's cliche? Answer: probably. I very likely will in the coming week so you'll have to excuse me. Holidays allow you to go a little crazy with fun food projects. :)
I've been wanting to make pavlova again since we first made it together last summer. Since the base of the dessert is meringue you can kind of shape the final look of pavlova into about a million different variations. So, that's totally fun, right?I just love the airy crunch of this dessert too. It's like eating sugared air. Which feels both light and super decadent all at the same time.
12 egg whites (use the yolks for custards, ice cream or pudding recipes)
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
a very small amount of rose water (I'll explain more in the recipe)
With an electric mixer beat the egg whites until frothy. With the mixer still running (on medium) sprinkle in the cream of tartar and salt. Increase the speed of the mixer and add the sugar gradually, 1/2 cup at a time until you've added it all. The batter is ready once the meringue looks thick and glossy and can hold stiff peaks (like in the photo above).On a couple baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat mat (this is a MUST) spoon large, swallow bowls to be the layers of the "cake" we are creating. I pipped some stars onto one of the bowls, so this could be my top layer.
Bake at 250°F for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. Half way through baking rotate the baking sheets so the meringues will cook as evenly as possible. Once done remove from oven and allow to completely cool before trying to remove them from the parchment paper (otherwise they may stick!).For the whipped cream simply add the cream to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high (using a whisk attachment again) until it begins to thicken. While the mixer is still running gradually add the sugar. Once you're whipped cream is ready turn off the mixer. Place a straw in the rose water, allow any excess to run off the straw, then stir the straw into the whipped cream. Taste and see if you think the whipped cream has enough rose flavor, if not repeat the process. Rose water can be quite potent so you don't want to overdo it. It's better to add too little and need to add more than too much and then your whipped cream is ruined.Now we are ready to assemble our dessert. Place a meringue layer on a cake stand, add a thin coat of raspberry or strawberry jam, then a thin coat of whipped cream. Repeat this process until you've added all the layers of meringue.
Top the pavlova with rose petals and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.Keep in mind even though roses are edible you don't want to use just any roses. Most commercially grown roses are sprayed with chemicals to help them grow and thrive. Be sure to only use roses that are marked as edible, culinary safe or organic. If you're unsure, ask before buying. Enjoy! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman