French meringue is sort of magical. It starts off as egg whites – liquid, clear, and sloppy. Then somehow it transforms with beating and sugar into a shiny, white, voluminous cloud-like dreaminess that’s also tasty. If that isn’t magic, what is?
If you can’t tell, meringue is one of my favourite things to make lately, so it’s about time for some pavlova! Pavlova is a light dessert with a French meringue base, topped with whipped cream and adorned with fruit. In January, citrus is in season, so orange, grapefruit, and mint leaves decorate my mini pavlovas.
I made these and brought them to a friend’s place for dinner. They actually transport quite well and are light. Just wrap the meringues in plastic, and place them, the whipped cream, and cut fruit in containers. Assembly can be done quickly at your destination. Pavlovas are also versatile and can be made in any size. I made mine in individual portions, but they could also be giant cake size for serving to many guests. You could also bake the meringue in a creative shape, like a heart.
I recently also had a discussion with my sister about the origination of pavlovas. As it turns out, pavlovas are from New Zealand (but were first published in Australia). They are popular desserts in both countries. It is said a New Zealand chef invented and named this creation after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova when she was on tour there.