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.
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.