How to make mini pavlova recipe with fluffy mascarpone whipped cream and fresh strawberries. This recipe for mini pavlovas meringue is very easy to make and without cream of tartar, you'll have a crisp, uncracked meringue with a chewy marshmallow center.
This strawberry pavlova dessert is so delicious and perfect to share with your family for summer and spring lunches.
- What is pavlova?
- Why we love this recipe
- Ingredients and substitutions
- A recipe without cream of tartar
- 5 tips for this recipe
- How to make Fresh Strawberry individual pavlova
- Tip to make a chewy meringue
- Serving suggestions
- Frequently asked questions
- Storage instructions
- Mini pavlova with strawberry and whipped cream
What is pavlova?
If you are not already familiar with this fabulous dessert the Pavlova is a very popular and traditional dessert in Australia and New Zealand.
It is a dessert made of a very light meringue shell with a crispy texture and a chewy marshamallow-like center.
Like my favorite pavlova recipe with fresh berries, this meringue dessert is perfect for any occasion, especially for the holidays.
But most of all this pavlova dessert is very refreshing served with whipped cream and fresh fruit like fresh berries or strawberry which makes it a perfect dessert in spring or for your family's summer lunch.
Why we love this recipe
This mini pavlovas recipe is made up of a meringue disk (like small nests), which are only made with whipped egg whites to which extra fine granulated sugar is added to make stiff peaks and glossy meringue.
After a very slow baking in the oven, the meringue's shell becomes very crispy and it keeps a melting heart with a delicious marshmallow taste.
This beautiful, light and fresh dessert is usually filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit, such as fresh strawberries, fresh berries or exotic fruits.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Egg whites: Use fresh egg whites preferably rather than egg whites aged several days. They must be at room temperature.
- Granulated sugar: An unflavored, very fine white caster sugar if possible, do not use flavored sugar to make the mini pavlova.
- Cornstarch: Adds a melting texture like marshmallow to the center of the mini pavlova.
- White vinegar: As an option, the acidity of the vinegar helps to stabilize the whites for a firm meringue. You can replace it with cream of tartar or if you want to make the mini pavlova without the cream of tartar then you can simply use the same amount of fresh lemon juice.
- Vanilla extract: This is optional but you can Add liquid vanilla extract to flavor the pavlova meringue.
Find the quantities and instructions in the recipe card further down on this page.
A recipe without cream of tartar
Cream of tartar is often used in recipes that use egg whites as the foundation for meringue, such as this chiffon cake recipe or the Angel cake recipe.
The cream of tartar helps stabilize the whites, creating a firm meringue with stiff peaks that holds its shape during baking.
In my mini pavlova recipe I use white vinegar which does the same job and if you add fresh lemon juice your meringue will be successful too.
5 tips for this recipe
- Egg whites: Use fresh eggs and separate the whites from the yolks when they are cold, then allow them to come to room temperature before starting this strawberry pavlova recipe.
- Clean utensils: The slightest trace of grease or moisture could prevent your whites from rising properly. So clean your utensils well with hot, soapy water, or wipe the bowl and whisk attachment with a cloth soaked in white vinegar.
- Build the meringue gradually: This is probably the most important tip! Don't rush to whip the egg whites at high speed because they will rise very quickly, but they will also fall as quickly during cooking. Start by whisking at a slow speed and gradually increase the speed until you have a firm, stiff peaks and glossy meringue.
- Avoid humidity: As with macarons, avoid making pavlova on rainy days as it does not like humidity and may crack.
- Let the shells dry: Depending on the diameter of the mini pavlova, they should be left to dry in the oven for at least 1 hour or even overnight to have a perfect dry and crisp mini pavlovas.
How to make Fresh Strawberry individual pavlova
1 - Beat the egg whites
- Separate the egg whites from the yolks when they are cold, then let the egg white come to room temperature. (use the yolks to make a pastry cream or lemon curd)
- Place room temperature egg whites with vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer.
- Beat the egg whites on low speed for 5 minutes until the egg white are frothy and bubbly.
- Increase speed to medium speed for 5 more minutes until soft peaks form.
Tip: It is important to whip the egg white first at slow speed to have first soft peaks and then at medium speed to achieve a firm meringue with stiff peaks.
2 - Stir in sugar
- Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time, leaving 30-50 seconds between each addition.
- Then turn back to medium-high speed for another 10 minutes until you have a firm meringue.
- Then add the white vinegar and cornstarch and beat on high speed for a few minutes until until the meringue has stiff peaks form and is shiny
Tip: Check with your fingertips that the sugar is completely dissolved. If you feel the grains of sugar then prolong 5 to 10 minutes.
3 - Shape Small pavlova
The easiest way to do this is to use a pastry bag fitted with a large star or fluted icing tip and fill it with all the meringue.
First, prepare your parchment paper by drawing pencil marks with a cookie cutter or an inverted bowl with a diameter of about 4 inches / 10 cm.
You can start by piping a ball in the center, then form a swirl around it and repeat again to get 2 layers of meringue swirls.
To make this mini pavlova recipe without a pastry bag, simply spill small amounts of meringue in the center of the markings previously drawn with a pencil on your sheet of parchment paper.
And then shape small birds' nests with an angled spatula or the back of a tablespoon.
4 - Baking
- Preheat the oven to 248°F / 120°C and set up a perforated baking sheet with the parchment paper and the mini pavlovas pipped.
- Place the mini pavlova in the oven halfway up and lower the oven temperature to 230°F /110°C.
- Bake the mini pavlovas for about 90 minutes without opening the oven door.
- Once the baking time is over, turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly and let the mini pavlovas cool completely in the oven for at least 1 hour or overnight so that they are dry and crisp.
- Carefully move the mini pavlova to a serving dish and fill with whipped cream and top with fresh fruits like strawberries, fresh berries.
Tip: You know they are done when they come off the baking sheet easily. Handle them gently as they are fragile.
Tip to make a chewy meringue
To achieve a chewy pavlova in the center like marshmallow heart, you must carefully follow the instructions in my recipe so that you don't end up with a flat and hollow pavlova.
The egg whites should gradually whip up into a stiff meringue and with the addition of cornstarch, when cooked, it will be dry and crisp on the outside with a chewy marshmallow center.
It is usually filled with a light cream such as whipped cream or mascarpone whipped cream, fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, fresh berries or exotic fruit and a some confectioner's sugar.
But for a change you can also serve it with a chocolate ganache and top with fresh raspberries or add a fruit coulis.
Tip: Top and decorate your dessert at the last minute just before serving.
Frequently asked questions
If your meringue falls apart, it has not been sufficiently whipped. You must beat it with an electric whisk, gradually increasing the speed until you obtain a firm and shiny meringue.
It can crack if the oven is too hot, if you whipped up the whites too quickly or if there is too much humidity.
The liquid that comes out of the pavlova during cooking is the sugar that melts because it was not properly incorporated into the egg whites.
Check that the sugar is completely dissolved by touching the meringue with your fingertips; you should no longer feel the grains of sugar.
The mini pavlova recipe should be baked in the oven for about 1 to 1 ½ hours until dry and crisp.
Yes, the pavlova is gluten free as it is only made of egg white, sugar and cornstarch which does not contain any gluten.
Meringue mini pavlovas shells can only be stored at room temperature. Covered under a cloth or in an airtight container away from humidity for several days.
You can then easily prepare them ahead of time and store them in a dry and light-free place. You will only have to fill them when the time comes with whipping cream and fresh berries.
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