After my freshman year of college I was lucky enough to do a summer abroad for school and lived in London with some of my family there. We spent a lot of time doing all these different things I had never done before, and they cooked some of the most amazing food. A different meal every night and all things I had never tried before. It was a really great experience.
My cousin, William, figured out that I have a HUUUUGE sweet-tooth (it really didn't take him that long) and so a staple in the house became Pavlovas, a meringue dessert made with whipped cream and berries. I loved it so much I ate it for breakfast, and when we ran out of berries I used yogurt. My mouth is watering right now thinking about it...
Here's the recipe I use for Mini Pavolovas, straight from Barefoot Contessa with a few of my changes:
You will need:
* 6 extra - large egg whites, at room temperature
* 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
* 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small glass and a pencil, draw 6 (3 1/2-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn the paper face-down on the baking sheets.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, and cream of tartar on medium speed until frothy. Add 1 cup of the sugar and raise the speed to high until the egg whites form very stiff peaks. Whisk in the vanilla. Carefully fold the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar into the meringue. With a large star - shaped pastry tip, pipe a disc of meringue inside each circle. Pipe another layer around the edge to form the sides of the shells.
(I do not have a piping bag and have tried to do it the cheap way with a plastic bag and snip the tip off and I'm too much of a slob so I just scoop a bit on the cookie sheet and smooth it over with my spoon.)
3. Bake for 2 hours, or until the meringues are dry and crisp but not browned. Turn off the heat and allow the meringues to sit in the oven for 4 hours or overnight.
You will need:
* cold heavy cream
* powedered sugar (generally 1/4-1/3 of a cup)
* pure vanilla extract (generally 1-2 teaspoons)
1. Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the powdered sugar and vanilla to taste and continue to beat until firm. Don't overbeat!
2. If the meringue is not done put the bowl back in the fridge and make sure to beat again when you take it out to serve.
You will need:
* Fresh Strawberries
* Fresh Raspberries
1. Remove tops and slice up strawberries into a bowl. Leave raspberries whole.
2. Add a sprinkling of sugar on top. Then put the bowl in the fridge and let sit in there for at least 30 minutes (the longer it sits, the sweeter the fruit and the more syrup you'll get).
1. Get a plate and put the meringue in the middle.
2. Scoop a dollop of whipped cream on top.
3. Spoon berries on top.