Mini Pavlova Clouds Recipe
Airy little Pavlova clouds are the perfect light but oh-so-sweet treats next to coffee or for a dinner party. Easy to make with some patience and following a few golden rules. Top with seasonal fruit, lemon curd and enjoy with freshly whipped cream.
Did someone say that the summer is ending? Not on my watch! I am not yet done with fresh berries from the farmer’s market and only halfway through my summer dresses! Also, I still have several recipes I want to share with you!
So let me introduce you to these crispy yet marshmallowy little clouds of sugar, eggs and all things nice – Pavlovas! My friends know how I love to whip out (pun intended) Pavlovas each summer. Usually I make one huge Pavlova and decorate it with all kinds of berries and fruit I can get my hands on. However, as times are different and we were stuck in the self-isolation here in the Netherlands, one big Pavlova would have been just a tad too much for us two (boyfriend disagrees). Hence, little Pavlova clouds of happiness were born inspired by a recipe from Foodie with Family.
I used to believe that Pavlovas are difficult to make. Actually, they are very straightforward if you follow a few golden rules.
Golden Rules for Perfect Pavlovas
- Use eggs that are room temperature. This makes them easier to whip.
- The bowl for whipping the eggs should be either glass, metal or glazed ceramic bowl. Plastic bowls are not recommended due to the oily residue on them.
- Make sure the bowl where you whip your egg whites is clean and dry and that there is no egg yolk in the egg whites. Otherwise the egg whites will not whip and you will end up with a sad mess.
- Do not overwhip your egg whites (here is a handy guide to whipping egg whites).
- Use baking paper or a reusable baking mat to avoid the Pavlovas sticking to the baking sheet.
- Do not overcook the Pavlovas. Once they start to crack or turn yellow, turn down the heat and keep a close eye on them. We want them crack-free and white!
- Do not open the oven door except when rotating the pan halfway through. Do it fast but gentle.
Because Pavlovas are essentially just eggs with sugar, I like to balance the sweetness of the Pavlovas with a less sweet whipped cream and a sour lemon curd topping. My favourite lemon curd recipe, which I also used in this recipe, comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. If you wish to make your Mini Pavlova Clouds sweeter, add less lemon curd and sweeten the whipped cream with more sugar.
Now… Lesson’s over, let’s get cooking!
Mini Pavlova Clouds
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tbsp cornstarch
- 3 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice (or substitute with white vinegar or cream of tartar)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 250 ml whipped cream
- ½ tbsp sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
- lemon curd
- toasted almond slices
- Preheat your oven to 135°C (120°C fan). Prepare a baking sheet with baking paper or a baking mat.
- Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- In another bowl carefully separate the egg whites from the yolks, making sure none of the yolk ends up with the egg whites.
- Place the egg whites into a mixing bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl if using hand mixer.
- Add the pinch of salt and lemon juice to the egg whites.
- Slowly start whipping the egg whites, raising the speed gradually from slow to medium. Whisk on medium speed until the egg whites are frothy and the bubbles are tiny and even.
- Raise the speed to medium high and start adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time until everything is incorporated.
- Add the vanilla extract and raise the speed to high. Whip it good (cue Devo) until all the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites look glossy and stiff peaks form.
- Use a tablespoon to carefully make 6 Pavlova clouds leaving sufficient space between the Pavlovas. Use the spoon to make a small well in the middle of the Pavlova to hold on to your toppings later on.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until the Pavlova is crispy from the outside and can be lifted from the baking paper. If necessary, rotate the pan halfway through. Other than that, do not open the oven door.
- Let the Pavlova clouds cool completely in the oven with the oven door closed for about 30 minutes.
- When your Pavlovas are cooling down, prepare your toppings. For that, whip the whipped cream with sugar and cut the fruit to suitable pieces.
- Once the Pavlovas have cooled, I like to first spread the lemon curd on top of the well, then top it with a nice fluffy pillow of whipped cream where I lay my fruit and toasted almond slices. A nice sprinkle of powdered sugar and voila, your Pavlovas are ready to be enjoyed!
- If you do not manage to eat 6 Pavlovas at once, store the untopped Pavlovas covered at room temperature.