Two Layer Brown Sugar Pavlova
For Valentines this year, instead of the traditional chocolate mousse or cake of some sort, I decided to make a two layered brown sugar Pavlova. To ensure perfect results I did a test run a few days ago which I’m happy turned out just the way I wanted . . . a playful mix of flavors, color and textures that cracked and crumbled . . . and are bound to please!
For a traditional Pavlova, just tap on this link here to get the recipe I’ve been using for more years than I care to remember . . . and for the new version, please see the recipe below.
In case you are still thinking about which one to make . . . keep in mind that using soft light brown sugar gives the meringue a deeper, rich kind of sweetness and a mellow golden color . . . which I think is a delicious combination that looks great and tastes even better!
Happy Valentine’s Day . . . to all of you celebrating!
Two Layer Brown Sugar Pavlova
3 eggwhites (from large eggs), room temperature
1 cup soft light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
300 - 400ml chilled whipping cream
2- 3 tblsp confectionary sugar
½ kg strawberries, trimmed and split or quartered
Preheat oven to 160C (325F) . Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and with a pencil, draw 2 even size rounds on paper (use a plate to get them even sized). Brush parchment paper with olive oil and set aside.
Beat egg whites using an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. After all the sugar has been added, increase mixer speed to medium-high, add the vanilla extract and continue to whisk for another two – three minutes. The meringue mixture is ready when it’s thick and glossy and stiff peak forms when the whisk is lifted from mixing bowl.
Spoon meringue mixture onto parchment paper lined baking tray; about half on each drawn round circle. With a spatula or spoon, spread mixture evenly to sides and smooth tops. If you like you can make one round with a smooth flat top and the 2nd one with a small dent in the middle for the top layer . . . to be filled with the whipped cream and berries.
To bake, place the tray on the middle rack of oven and bake for an hour and half or until the meringues have a crisp crust and feel dry to the touch. Now turn the oven off but leave the meringues in the oven to cool with the oven door left ajar (use a wooden spoon to hold the door ajar).
I normally make the meringues in the morning of the day I want to use them or in the evening before and then leave the meringues in the oven to cool overnight.
Before serving, whip up the cream with confectionery sugar. Place the smooth top meringue layer on a nice serving tray or cake stand and spread with half of the whipped cream. Top with second meringue, the rest of the whipped cream and strawberries. Dust with a little confectionery sugar and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
If you prefer, you may also put berries between the layers but I personally prefer the fruit only on top. This makes the two layer Pavlova easier to cut!
Any berry mixture or fruit can be used for this dessert. Also, for those who like it really sweet, drizzle top of berries or fruit with your choice of syrup and for something a bit more exotic, salted caramel sauce.
Spoon sweets in syrups are also yummy and can be bought ready-made!
NB! On a rainy or humid day, add 1/2 - 2 tsp cornflour to recipe . . . together with the sugar. This will help prevent the meringue from "weeping"!
©KaritasM – February 2019