Introduction: Coffee Pavlova
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert from the antipodes. Traditionally served topped with whipped cream and tangy fruits, such as kiwi fruit, passion fruit, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries.
Coffee pavlova adds a subtle twist to this classic dessert. Ideally served with a glass of chilled white wine and enjoyed with friends throughout those long summer evenings. This dessert is gluten free provided you use gluten free cornstarch.
Step 1: Ingredients
You will need:
9 medium egg whites
3 cups of castor sugar
6 tablespoons of cold water
3 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the antipodes)
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 tablespoon of espresso or 2 tsp of dissolved instant coffee
mixer, bowl and spatula
cup, tablespoon and teaspoon
oven tray, aluminium foil or baking paper
whipped cream and fruit for topping (this time we're using peaches and cherries)
Step 2: Prepare Tray and Preheat Oven
Prepare the oven tray by covering it with a sheet of aluminum foil or baking paper and greasing this with a little butter and a few drops of water. Preheat the oven to 180°C (~350°F), with the oven rack in the central position.
Step 3: Separate and Beat Egg Whites
Separate whites into a bowl and beat with mixer until stiff (retains its shape). I once made this without a mixer, using two forks instead. I highly recommend the mixer. Tip: I would recommend that you separate your whites into an intermediate container to prevent any unwanted yolk contaminating the entire bowl.
Step 4: Add Water and Castor Sugar
Add water and beat again until stiff. Slowing the beater, gradually add the castor sugar. Don't rush this stage as you want the mixture to remain light and fluffy. Continue to beat until the castor sugar is dissolved. You can test this by rubbing a little of the mixture between your fingers, you want smooth not gritty.
Step 5: Add Vanilla, Vinegar and Cornstarch
Add vanilla, vinegar and cornstarch (cornflour) and mix through. Hopefully your mixture will be able to hold its shape (don't worry if its a little runny, it will still taste fantastic!).
Step 6: Add Coffee
Add your espresso (or instant coffee mixture) and mix through. If you leave this step out you will have a classic pavlova. The coffee may be added at any stage really. Some people prefer to add finely ground coffee during the initial beating of the egg whites, my preference is to add it here. Make this recipe yours and unique, you decide.
Step 7: Put Mixture on Tray
Using a spatula scoop the mixture onto the oven tray. Try to form it into a mound, keeping as much height as you can. Some people like to form a slight dip in the middle to help hold the topping, I tend not to.
Step 8: Place in Oven & Bake
Place the oven tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. After that, lower the temperature to 150°C (~300°F). If you are worried about your oven being too hot, you can further lower the temperature to 120°C (~250°F) for a remaining 35 minutes. Do not open the door as this might cause the pavlova to collapse. Turn off the oven leaving the pavlova to slowly cool within.
Step 9: Topping
Once cooled, remove from oven and top with whipped cream. To complement the meringue's sweetness I would suggest covering with sliced tangy flavoured fruits. Here I use peaches and cherries, but I have to say kiwi fruit or strawberries are more traditional.
Step 10: Enjoy!
Enjoy! Every pavlova you make will most likely be different due to various reasons, even the atmosphere evidently comes into play, the key is not to worry. No matter how it turns out, you can be sure that it will taste delicious. Pavlova can be made a couple of days before it's required, just add topping a few hours before serving.