These beautiful pavlova nests are both crunchy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. Once you bite into them, they will melt in your mouth. Just imagine combining it with honey-vanilla cream and fresh berries … Perfect for Easter!
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Happy Easter! How do you spend your day? Do you have a big celebration with lots of food and Easter Egg Hunts?
Well, however you choose to celebrate, I hope you are enjoying your day.
When I was younger, I lived on a cul de sac and we used to have a big block party where we would have egg smashes.
Starting in January, my friend’s mom (who I called my second mom, as well as the other moms in the neighborhood) would start saving egg shells.
Anytime she would make something using eggs, she would carefully make a hole in the bottom of the egg shell to allow the yolk and egg to escape keeping the shell in tact. Right before Easter, we would fill them with confetti and those were the eggs that got hidden for the egg hunt. And whoever found the egg(s), you got to smash them over anyone you wanted to head. It was a lot of fun.
For my hubby and I it is usually just a quiet day spent together. I’m making us a really nice dinner of Lamb Chops, Truffle Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans. For dessert, I thought I would do something light but delicious (and by light I do not mean low calorie, just not dense) with these Pavlova Nests with Honey-Vanilla Cream with berries.
Pavlova Nests with Honey-Vanilla Cream and Berries
Yields: 8 pavlova nests
2/3 cup (4 3/4 oz.) granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy whipped cream
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons local honey
Strawberries and Blueberries to top nests (optional)
For the Meringues:
Preheat oven to 250°F and position oven rack in the center.
Use a fine-mesh strainer to sift 2 Tablespoons of the sugar and all of the cornstarch into a small bowl.
Place egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium-high speed for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until soft peaks form. (You can also us a hand mixer and medium bowl. You may need to beat the mixture a little longer at each step to achieve the same results.)
Add the vanilla and with the mixer running, slowly rain in the remaining sugar. Turn the speed to high and whip until the meringue is very stiff, 30-45 seconds. Sift the sugar cornstarch mixture over the meringue and gently fold in with a spatula until just blended.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat. To create a more uniform meringue nest, gently spoon meringue into a 1/3 measuring cup, level the top, and use the spoon to help turn it out onto the baking sheet. If you would like a more rustic look: Take heaping spoonful of meringue and throw down on baking sheet similar to throwing mashed potatoes on a plate.
Continue in this manner, spacing them evenly. Use the back of the spoon to make a well in each meringue.
The finished meringues should be about 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch tall.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until faintly golden and crispy on the outside. The interior will be soft and fluffy. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
For the Honey-Vanilla Cream:
Place a tablespoon measure in hot boiling water for about 15 seconds. In the bowl of a stand mixer, filled with a whisk attachement, add the cream, vanilla, and pour the honey into the warmed measuring spoon and then directly into the cream, and repeat until all the honey is added to the cream. The hot measure will liquify the honey and enable it to easily incorporate into the cream. Turn the stand mixer on high and whip until soft peaks form.
To assemble pavlova nests:
Spoon Honey-Vanilla Cream into pavlova nest. Top with strawberries and blueberries and enjoy.