This week’s Mixing Bowl post is from Australian-based baker Naomi Henderson of Hello Naomi. She has prepared a cute pavlova recipe that can be easily be converted into delicious pavlova cupcakes, too! Personally, I love pavlova! It's a sloppy baker's dream! It's supposed to be cracked and uneven, so you don't need to worry about being perfect. Besides, who can resist a dessert named after a ballerina?
I first discovered Naomi's work on Flickr, where she started uploading photos of her creations after taking a cake-decorating class in early 2007. While working on her PhD in computer engineering, Naomi started creating her cute and clever designs, and, apparently, I'm not the only one who took notice! The photos of her creations became so popular, and there was such a demand for her desserts, that she was able to start her own business! If you visit her Flickr site, you'll know why. There's always something fun to check out on her photostream! My favorite Naomi sweet treat has always been the bird cupcakes, but the Pacman cupcakes are pretty hard to resist. They would be perfect for your favorite guy. . . or video game-loving girl. :-)
From Naomi: Pavlova is my favourite dessert in the whole world. My family would always have it at Christmas but I have been making it more and more lately. It is such a quick and easy dessert to make when friends are coming over for dinner. This recipe serves about 6 people but it is very easily scaled. I usually just budget 1 egg white and ¼ cup of sugar per guest. Then just beat it for 5 min, add a squeeze of lemon a dash of vanilla, throw it in a low oven and forget about it! Well maybe don't forget about it, check it after about 45 min . . . but the good thing is that it is really hard to stuff up!
Check out Naomi's Web site here and click here to view her Flickr photostream.
Full recipe and more photos after the jump. Thanks, Naomi!
If you need help converting the measurements, click here for a nifty conversion calculator.
Serves 6-8, makes approx 16 cupcakes or 1 large pavlova
6 free range egg whites
1 ½ cups of castor sugar
Squeeze lemon juice
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp of vanilla extract
500ml thickened cream
1 punnet strawberries
3 passion fruits
Any other fruit you wish (bananas, kiwi fruit, peaches, etc also go well)
Preheat the oven to 110°C
Line 2 cupcake trays with papers or lay a sheet of baking paper on a tray.
In an electric mixer whip the egg whites on high until frothy.
Keep beating on high and slowly add the sugar.
Keep beating on high until the meringue reaches stiff peak (when you lift the beater the peaks hold their shape and don’t fold). This will take about 5 min.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice and the vanilla and beat again quickly to mix it through.
Use an ice cream scoop (those ones with the squeeze handles) to scoop the mixture into the cupcake papers or use a spatula to spread the mixture onto the pan in the shape of a circle.
Bake on a low temp until light brown and crispy. Approx 45 min for cupcakes or approx 1.5 hrs for a large one.
Turn off the oven and let it cool slowly with the oven slightly ajar.
Whip the cream (do not add sugar!). This can be done in advance, while it is in the oven or just before serving.
Just before serving cover with cream, chop fruit and decorate.