Mini Citrus Pavlovas

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.

Mini citrus pavlova
Mini citrus pavlova

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.

A pavlova for one
A pavlova for one

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.

Tea Party Treats

There’s nothing like a tea party where unique quality teas and tasty treats are served. I made these dainty peach afternoon tea meringues for the event. These are made from Swiss meringue, where sugar is dissolved in egg whites over a double boiler. Then, the egg whites and sugar are whipped to stiff peaks. They take on a beautiful glossy finish and remind me of marshmallow fluff. Next, I piped out the meringue with a large french star tip and baked them at a low temperature for a few hours. Once finished, before serving, these can be turned into an elegant dessert by sandwiching two together with a peach slice and Chantilly creme. It’s simple, and yet looks so classy.

Peach afternoon tea meringues
Peach afternoon tea meringues

Amanda Selene made a delicately flavoured matcha angel food cake, along with tea spiced scrambled eggs to go with the variety of brunch foods.

Matcha angel food cake and steeped tea
Matcha angel food cake and steeped tea

If having hot tea on a warm summer day concerns you, iced teas are the answer! Iced lime mojito green tea is my favourite, but iced lychee fruit paradise organic tea is also a good choice. Otherwise, why not have fuzzy peaches black tea to go with your peach afternoon tea meringues?