Baking for Australia Day: Mini Pavlovas

Almost too fancy for the office, right?

I have a coworker who doesn’t eat chocolate. I know, it sounds impossible, but it’s true. He’s Canadian, but I don’t think that has anything to do with it. I think he just likes to be difficult.

For him, Australia Day is his favorite baking day of the year because I make his favorite (or “favourite”) dessert ever: totally chocolate-free Pavlova.

A Pavlova is a big meringue topped with whipped cream and fruit. I use kiwi and raspberry because it’s colorful (or “colourful”). Passion fruit may be more traditional, but you can use whatever you want because, hey, you’re the one making it!

The first time I made Pavlova I just did one big one, which is normal. It was beautiful, but very messy to cut and serve. I try to keep my office treats easy to pick up and eat, so last year I started making mini Pavlovas. They’re still very pretty, and much like baby chicks and Lego minifigs, are probably even cuter because they’re tiny.

Pavlova step 1

Start with the meringue shells. When you spoon the mixture out to bake, be sure to create a well in the middle for your filling.

Pavlova step 2

Next, give the meringues a healthy dollop of whipped cream from a tub, can or freshly made.

Top with your favorite fruit. I always set out a little extra fruit and a few topless meringues for people who prefer a DIY Pavlova.

For a no-fail Pavlova, see Martha Stewart’s recipe.

TIP: Make the meringue in the evening, bake for the recommended time, then turn the oven off, keep the door closed, and leave the meringues in there overnight. In the morning they’ll be perfect. (I made the mistake of taking my meringue out of the oven the first time I made it and in the morning wound up with a gooey mess that wouldn’t come off the parchment paper.)

Advance Australia Fair,
Lisa

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