Pavlova, Berries and Spring

My good friend B. always says I tend to speak of the past too much, that I am too nostalgic. He might be right. Not that I don’t enjoy the present or that I don’t look forward to the future. Not at all, but nostalgia is a sweet place I go to when I miss my family.

I remember the first time I ever made pavlova out of a recipe I found in a British magazine clipping. It was one of those early Spring days with cool temperatures, but sunny blue skies. Later that day, I had plans to go see one of my good friends who I secretly had a crush on. He and I would have tea, go for a walk and listen to music. Nothing special, but for some reason that day really has stuck in my memory.

After last week’s craziness, I really needed some time to walk and get fresh air. I took my time and reflected on the things that are important to me and really started paying attention to my surroundings. I realized why people love to come to Florida this time of year. It is just perfect. So green and lush with perfect temperature.

I thought of that Spring morning about 13 years ago when I made my first pavlova and decided I needed to make it one more time. It had been a while.

I made some milk chocolate chantilly to go with the pavlova. Our strawberries are so sweet right now and with the slightly sour raspberries, this was a real treat. I hope you had a good weekend too.

Pavlova

120 grams egg whites (about 4 egg whites)
pinch of salt
100 grams granulated sugar or superfine sugar
100 grams powdered sugar, sifted
15 grams cornstarch, sifted

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on medium speed until they are whipped to about soft peaks. Slowly sprinkle in the granulated sugar while continuing to whip. Whip to medium peaks.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the sifted powdered sugar and cornstarch.

Place the meringue in a piping bag and pipe rounds or spoon some of the meringue on to a sheetpan lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a 250F oven for about 45 minutes. You should be able to gently lift the meringues from the parchment without sticking. Turn the oven off and let them sit in there for another 10 minutes or so.

Store them in an airtight container until ready to assemble the dessert.

Serve the meringues with a dollop of milk chocolate chantilly and fresh berries.

Milk Chocolate Chantilly

adapted from Stephane Glacier’s “Verrines et Petits Gateaux”

250 grams heavy cream
90 grams milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Boil the cream and pour over the milk chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Let this ganache rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Then whip it as whipped cream.


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73 Responses to “Pavlova, Berries and Spring”

  1. Y says:

    Looks like a breath of fresh air, Aran! WOw, is it Spring for you already? sigh.. time flies doesn’t it!

  2. this post makes me dream of summer…or at least melted snow. =]

  3. Vanille says:

    Aran, what ever the season is, it feels so good to come around here, on your blog…

  4. Mobula says:

    ¨Que curioso!! Ando yo estos días hacoiendo pruebas con el merengue, mi propósito es llegar hasta los macarons… Este postre está genial, me gusta la combinación de chocolate con leche, fresas y merengues…

    Jon ya se encuentra bien?? aunque lo mejor para quitarse un catarro de encima es un buen baño en el mar, te lo digo yo, que soy isleña….

    Ana

  5. Victoria says:

    I love pavlova. Of course, yours look beautiful – mine has always been a large disc, free-formed, and cut to serve four. I am going to try it your way but need to wait until June when beautiful berries are available here!

    Do you weigh the heavy cream? Can you make the chantilly with dark chocolate too?

    Yum.

  6. just to let you know, i think your blog is great, super inspiring! so i’ve given you the ‘your blog is fabulous’ award. just to let you know.

  7. Inés says:

    La primavera es la madre de la nostalgia. Y el otoño sería su aitite (el de la nostalgia). La distancia hace que magnifiquemos de alguna manera el pasado a la manera mas Proustiana. Y eso, no solamente no es bueno ni malo en sí mismo, eso es urgente y maravilloso. Reivindico la nostalgia. Es una especie de rincón interior que todos tenemos para escondernos a soñar unos segundos con los ojos abiertos. Y si encima vienen acompañados de sabores y colores sugerentes como los tuyos te lo agradecemos mucho Aran. mux

  8. Llevas razon Aran, la nostalgia puede ser bien dulce! Asi como esta pavlova, me ha encantado el chantilly de chocolate con leche!

  9. Miette says:

    I LOVE your blog. It’s so beautiful ! Your pavlova sounds so scrumptious… It’s like a dream. A wonderful dream, off course !

    Cheers,

    Miette

  10. your blog is just totally yummy delicious to look at…I feel I need to go indulge in some sugary treats :))) good work!!!

  11. Aran says:

    Y- we still have a few days before spring, 12 to be exact, but it feels like it. In Florida we don’t really have much change in seasons, which can be disappointing at times. But right now it’s heaven.

    Leaca- sometimes i dream of snow…

    Vanille- thank you!

    Ana- Jon sigue con fiebre pero esta un poco mejor. Vaya dias que hemos tenido entre torticolis, tragando ibuprufeno sin que yo me enterase y luego la gripe esta. Puf, estoy que necesito un descanso!

    Vistoria- you can definitely make it with dark chocolate but you will need to increase the ratio of cream to chocolate. Because milk chocolate is softer than dark chocolate, it doesn’t need as much cream but dark chocolate will become more like a thik mousse if you use this same ratio. So I say to increase the cream to 325grams. I’ve never tried it but I am “guesstimating”. Let me know!

    Sistersandsparrows- thank you!

    Ines- tu si que tienes un don de palabras!

    Rita- obrigado!

    Miette- thank you!

    Wicked Halo- a little sugary treat doesn’t hurt anybody!

  12. VeggieGirl says:

    I LOVE reminiscing about nostalgia/memories!! :-)

    Lovely treat, once again!!

  13. Absolutely gorgeous. You have such a lovely aesthetic.

  14. natalia says:

    Ciao ! I saw your profile on the new DB site :your blog is so beautiful ! you really are a great pastry chef (and photographer as well)! Complimenti

  15. Christy says:

    I can almost feel the early spring breeze blowing on my face as your page loads up!! That’s what those photos remind me of!! Beautiful!!

  16. Bridget says:

    I think nostalgia is a good thing!

    Love the pictures…especially your little guy on the beach and the blue bike with red flowers…oh, and the FOOD! As always, the food looks amazing!

  17. Esti says:

    primero, la nostalgia es fundamental, es nuestro álbum de recuerdos emocional, y qué somos sin recuerdos?
    segundo, casi no puedo empezar a escribir… me he quedado maravillada ante tanta luz y esa playa…

  18. Kate says:

    I have been lurking around your blog for a few months, but I have never commented. Everything is so beautiful. I love looking at your pictures, and occasionally save your recipes with the hope of someday possessing enough skill to pull one off. Winter finally broke where I live this weekend, but your spring looks like it puts our early spring to shame.

  19. pve design says:

    mimi sent me as she spoke so passionately about you, your site and all that you exude. now I have fallen hopelessly in love and feel the need to make “pavlova”
    can you blame me for feeling nostalgic.
    pve

  20. Debra says:

    Via Mimi as well. This looks devine. I adore pavlova and yours looks especially delicious. Your photography is amazing- may I ask what camera you use?

  21. Rita says:

    Oh, it’s raining AND snowing in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s so nice to see the beach photos. Your son reminds me a lot of my baby brother when he was that age. I love the idea of the chocolate milk chantilly.

  22. I was just thinking about these yesterday…i love the twist of milk chocolate chantilly! My favorite photo is of the bicycle and flowers…the colors are amazing.

  23. I adore pavlova…my mom always made them for dinner parties in the eighties so for the longest time I thought of it as quite a dated dish, but I began to see them popping up recently so made one with whipped cream and berry sauce for a New Zealand dinner party…what a hit! Perfect warm weather dessert.

  24. ashlie j says:

    your blog makes me miss florida so much. i grew up in the orlando area, but recently i moved to minneapolis, mn. even though i love minneapolis, i feel very nostalgic for home with all these lovely strawberry recipes and photos of beaches that you post. i’m craving a visit back!!

  25. Wonderful memories! This dessert is so irresistible! I really love Pavlova and berries… Your pictures are stunning, as always!

    cheers,

    Rosa

  26. Dominique says:

    En france le printemps est encore loin (spring is still far). J’adore tes photos et toutes ces belles couleurs (I love your pictures and all these beautiful colours). Yours pavlovas look so delicious!!

  27. Jaime says:

    Your beautiful photographs took me right to your memory.
    Did that boy ever find out you fancied him?

  28. Tartelette says:

    Nothing against being nostalgic! I am bathing in it myself these days!!
    Pavlovas are like a perfect tutu on a ballerina….dreamy :)

  29. Joyce says:

    Aran, once again a berry-i-ful recipe and photos!! Thank you my friend!
    Do you wake up each day baking and photography?

  30. Maybe says:

    Gorgeous pictures ! I love the red elements ! Believe it or not, I’ve never made a pavlova but I’ll try soon !

  31. Aran says:

    Debra- Just until two weeks ago I was shooting with a Canon Rebel XT but I got a Canon 50D for my birthday so that is my camera now.

    Jaime- I love how you said that. fancied… i love that verb. Hmmm.. did he fancy me? yes and no. It was just not meant to be but we are still great friends, which is what I care about.

    Tartlette- lucky lady…

    Joyce- as a matter of fact, I do! :) You should see the chalkboard in my kitchen.

    Thank you everyone!

  32. Dionne says:

    Pavlova makes me homesick. It’s an Australian dessert that came about in 1920’s when the famous Russian dancer Anna Pavlova toured Australia. Chefs all scurried to make something delicious to honor her, and that’s when the Pavlova was born.

    Yours looks sooo lovely!

  33. anna says:

    I’ve been wanting to try making pavlovas. They look incredible. yours especially!

  34. Glorious! For just a moment it was spring in my home too! your pavlova is gorgeous and you give me hope for walking outside in the warm weather!

  35. Ash says:

    I’m probably bad at it too… but thinking back is sometime just the sweetest thing.

  36. How perfectly lovely! Thank you.

  37. wow amazing photos! Your pavlova looks amazing :)

  38. Kristin says:

    Every time I get on your blog two things come to mind. 1. Oh that looks yummy 2. Beautiful photography. I am telling you. I would not make it through the photography session with this food. There would be just one picture after another of left crumbs and me with a delightful smile on my face!

  39. cindy* says:

    you are right aran, nostalgia is a sweet place…your photos are gorgeous and the beach…i have no words. :)

  40. Zerogluten says:

    No las he comido nunca, pero hay que reconocer que son fotogénicas y además sin gluten, así que no son malas candidatas, la verdad.
    Las fotos preciosas, justo como se imagina uno Florida en primavera.
    Besitos sin gluten

  41. Well, please don’t ever stop being nostalgic.

    Your wonderful stories (and photos) are the reason I come to visit this blog…
    (because I can’t bake to save my life)

    :)

  42. Natalie says:

    Wow. Looks lovely. Your photography is inspiring. Not to mention how tasty everything looks. :]

  43. ahhhhhhhhh that looks so nice, im so jealous! i started a week of SPRING BREAK this today–too bad im stuck here because i have to work :( and how nice to kick spring break off with a snow blizzard! at least i can dream about it and see your pretty fresh berries!

    ps. i love the photo with the milk glass. brilliant!

  44. Nostalgic & so beautiful! Happy Spring Aran…another post to dream about!

  45. lisa says:

    That pavlova looks just lovely! The beach photos make me long for summer and fruity desserts.

  46. Jocey says:

    every time I visit your site I am overwhelmed with how beautiful you make food look.

  47. Cakespy says:

    Ah, Pavlova, that delicate ballerina of a dessert. However, unlike a ballerina, I will devour the entire thing! :-) Looks wonderful!

  48. Helene says:

    Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures. I love coming here.

  49. Nico says:

    Aran, porque usas cornstarch en el merengue? gracias.
    Las fotos lucen fantasticas, ese mar es envidiable!!!

  50. corine says:

    Are those named after the pavlov reflex? because it’ s drawing a drooling reaction out of me.

  51. sarah says:

    oh spring! i wish is was in full swing here! love that photo of the blue bike and lovely flowers

  52. Aran says:

    Nico- the cornstarch helps to develop an exterior crust while the interior stays moist. simple baked meringues tend to be crunchier than pavlova.

    Thanks everyone!

  53. sarah r says:

    i have been following your blog for some time now and am completely in love with the food and pictures. stunning! question: if i wanted to try some of your recipes, how would i convert to US measurements. most of yours are weights, are they not, while cups/teaspoons/etc. are volumes, i believe. are there basic conversions for your recipes? much thanks!

  54. jodye says:

    Your pavlova looks absolutely beautiful! I remember my mom always made pavlova for my birthday, it was such a special treat!

  55. Beautiful food, beautiful photos. So inspiring.

  56. Whenever I read your blog I feel so inspired to cook, bake and take pictures (poor quality piccies I might add!) I also feel very hungry….

    Your pictures are stunning! How do you get them looking so fresh and clean?

  57. Laura says:

    Oh, pavlovas…I have never tried to make them, but I *love* them so much! You are making me want to try :)

  58. Aran says:

    Sarah R- I use metric because that’s what I have always used and all the chefs I have worked for have used metric. It is so much more accurate than cups. It is well worth it to invest in a scale. I got mine at Target and it measures both oz and grams and it was $20 at the most!

    I Heart Cake- I only use natural light. I make sure to keep the styling and props to a minimal. I use a macro lens (Sigma 50mm) for good close up focus. Thr trick is to shoot in manual so you can control the aperture, shutter speed. Those are very important.

    Thanks everyone!

  59. Aimée says:

    I’m sitting down to draft a blog post about a recent pavlova love affair and here I come across yours! Wish I could eat those photos, because pavlova is one of my absolute favorites.
    Should be called Pav-LOVE-a.

    Well that’s kinda cheesy.

  60. Hi Aran, I just discovered your blog through le blag and fell madly in love with you! Would you mind if I used one of your shots in a post of new (to me) blogs?
    Saying your shots are exquisite is a ridiculous understatement! Can’t wait to really dive in!

  61. TonyM says:

    What beautiful food and stunning photographs – I am hooked.

  62. alice says:

    I just found your blog through The Paris Apartment… your recipes look delicious and the photographs are beautiful!

  63. Nisey says:

    heyz! I just tried my first attempt at making Pavlova… but there is this egg white smell…like after i leave it to cool, the pavlova emitted this raw egg whites smell… is this normal? I’m certain that my eggs are not spoiled.

  64. Aran says:

    nisey- there should definitely not be any odor. egg whites always smell some naturally but nothing out of the ordinary. not sure what it could have been.

  65. Lara says:

    You can photograph anything red against that robin’s egg blue and I’ll be forced to try to make it!

  66. B says:

    Arantza, I love reading about the past as it was the moment when we were physically in the some space (so where we shared good moments in time and space) SO keep doing it! Besides, if the past makes you bring together these delicious recipes, please what else could one ask! I like that you look at the past, but that you always keep such a positive attitude towards the present and the future!

  67. wow you are quite the popular one!
    i love your photos… are they taken by you?
    fabulous recipe i tend to use the even SIMPLER egg white and sugar recipe but i imagine yours are lighter.
    adorable.

  68. Aran says:

    Il Misterioso- yes, I do all the baking, styling and photography on this blog. even dishes which takes so much time! Thank you!

  69. AmberLee says:

    these are absolutely delicious. i made them earlier for friends, and today I’m back to make some plain pavlova to take to a fondue party this evening. thanks for the constant inspiration.

  70. Mari says:

    I looked through some of your old entries in search of a dessert recipe for my birthday this weekend and found this one! How many does it serve/ how many meringues will it make?
    PS: Just received you book in the mail!! It is truly wonderful.

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