Cooking with Anita Marcela: Pavlova Baskets of Berries
There are times when it is more convenient and elegant to serve an individual dessert than a shareable and large one. These little baskets are the ideals for that kind of moments because their preparation is simple and the result is elegant and delicious. The combination of the meringues, with the caramel (or dulce de leche) and the sour flavor of the strawberries, is a perfect balance.
To prepare the little baskets you need a piping pastry bag, so you can give shape to the meringues easier. If you don't have it, you can make the meringues with a circle-shaped spoon and then carefully fill them in layers. It is not ideal but the taste is exactly the same. You can also vary the flavors and use different combinations as meringues, with heavy cream and strawberries, or with chocolate and bananas.
Here I leave you the recipe to prepare your first berries little baskets and then have the freedom to experiment with your favorite ingredients and flavors.
Serves 8 medium baskets
Cooks in 2 hours approx.
What you’ll need //
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 can dulce de leche
- 1 ½ cup chopped strawberries
- 1 ½ cup blackberries
- Mont leaves for decor
- Powdered Sugar
Preheat the oven to 200F and prepare one tray with waxed paper for baking.
With a pen, draw in the waxed paper the circles of the size you want to make the baskets. Turn the paper so that the meringues do not stay directly on the pencil mark.
Beat the egg whites in the mixer, at high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly and continues to beat at high speed for approximately 2 minutes. The peaks must be bright. Add the cornstarch and vinegar in an enveloping manner and place the mix in a piping pastry bag.
Build and place the baskets on the baking trays. To make them, start making a circle around the marks on the paper. Fill in the full circle. Then just do the edge and repeat until you give it the desired height.
Bake the baskets for an hour. Get them out from the oven and wait for them to cool down. When taking them out of the oven, if the texture of the meringues is sticky, turn off the oven and leave them in a while longer until that feels smooth and dry.
When they’re cold enough, place some dulce de leche (or caramel) on the bottom of the baskets and fill them with strawberries and blackberries on top. To decorate them you can put leaves of mint on top and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
The meringues baskets can be prepared a day before and stored in an airtight container. Once they are assembled, I’d recommend to serve them on the same day.
This dessert is very convenient and easy to make. The baskets are prepared very quickly and are easy to cook on the oven. Meanwhile, you can go cutting strawberries and blackberries to get everything ready by the time you need to start building the final piece.
There are those who prefer to have the pavlova as a big dessert, for this you should bake the same preparation of meringues, along with an oven tray. Then add a layer of dulce de leche or caramel, and finally decorate with strawberries and blackberries. For this version, it’d be better to cut the strawberries in very thin slices, using a mandolin.