28 December 2006

Cinnamon and Orange Mini Pavlovas with (Straw)berries

I recently invited a few of my old Junior College friends ( has it been that long ago already?) over to my place for a potluck, with a red-and-white theme (our school colours) and a restriction that all contributions should start with either 'N', 'J' or 'C'.

Although very few of them brought home-cooked food (only 2), the gathering was still a blast. We had Noodles (home-cooked!), Chocolate truffles (home-made!), Nuggets, Cold drinks (that's pushing it a little too far, but what the heck), Chicken, Japanese food, Curry puffs and Chicken pies. Most importantly, we had many hilarious conversations about desperate men, overseas life, kobe beef and god-knows-what-but-it-was-damn-funny.

My little contribution at the end of the meal were these mini pavlovas that just called out to be eaten. They were extremely delicate and it was very comical watching the guys trying to be gentle with them. I had picked this recipe out from one of the Murdoch range of cookbooks - Sweet Food, a gift from a dear friend who knew I would need a quick dessert recipe sooner or later. These were ultra easy, to the point of my kitchen helpers asking me, 'That's it?'

Even without blueberries or raspberries, they tasted great. Melt-in-your mouth pavlovas with a little sweetened whipped cream and a few cubes of tart strawberry make great (and most importantly easy to make) finger food. As you can see from the above photo, this is a dessert even dummies can put together ;p Only the baking can be a little time consuming, and whipped cream doesn't stay whipped for long in humid weather, so don't let your desserts sit for too long and dress them only just before serving.

Cinnamon Orange Mini Pavlovas with Berries
Serves 4

2 egg whites
125g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
3 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
125 ml whipping cream
fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

Beat egg whites with electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition.
Beat for 4-5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved and meringue is thick and glossy.
Gently fold in cinnamon, orange zest, cornflour and vinegar.
Place 2 tbspns (or tsps, depending on the size you want, they don't puff up much after baking) of mixture onto a baking paper lined baking tray and hollow out each centre to make nest shapes.
Bake for 10 minutes in a 140 degrees celcius preheated oven, turn tray around and bake for another 30-35 minutes or until the pavlovas are pale and crisp.
Turn oven off and leave to cool completely with door slightly ajar (pavlovas may crack slightly)
Whip the cream (add a little sugar to this as well) and spoon a little into each pavlova.
Top with berries and serve immediately.


S said...

These looks beautiful! Keep the whipping cream in your iSi and make the pavlovas to order for maximum perky freshness :)

vanessa said...

that looks so delish!! I must try that...I am so fearful of pavlovas though.

btw...you going tonight? (thursday)

sofia said...

lovely pavlovas! it's a great idea, especially since mini ones won't take that long to dry out, right?

faith said...

these look so gorgeous, im stealing this recipe. :) dont mind if i link u on my blog eh.

Anonymous said...

S> Thank you for the tip! I'll bear that in mind the next time I make these. :)

V> There's really nothing to be fearful of, it's the meringue that makes me shudder. I didn't make it to the farewell, I was too busy. Did you enjoy it?

S> Yes, that's right, but they still do require some time to air. Still, they make tasty and pretty finger food!

F> Sure, I never mind something like that. Let me know how the pavlovas turn out for you too. =)

vanessa said...

Yea the meringue is the one that I am scared of....i have heard so many stories of them weeping...and i have only got a convection oven...not too sure if it will work

the reunion was fun...nice to see some old faces...ms heng looks exactly the same :)

Anonymous said...

You could always give them a try anyway, since they don't need much to bake, just egg whites and sugar.

Yes Miss Heng hasn't aged one bit, and has always been so approachable.