Baked, Occasionally – Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby

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2016 is a new year and a new collaboration with Shannon over at A Periodic Table. Last year, we spun our way through the Jeni’s books and this year we have something new in store. We will be baking our way through the Baked Occasions book month by month in our new series Baked, Occasionally. Each month we will select one recipe (the same recipe) from the book and bake it together word-for-word from the book. Then, we’ll compare our results and, if we see room for improvement, we’ll tweak the recipe and make it again until it’s just right!

This month’s recipe was the Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby.

Round 1 yielded tasty results, but we saw some room for improvement.

Pros: 

  • Very easy to make
  • Comes together quickly
  • Great for breakfast or dessert

Cons: 

  • Not much fluff
  • Not enough stuff
  • Flavor needs a boost

20160130-IMG_3602

Issue #1: WHERE’S THE FLUFF? 

My usual dutch baby recipe has lots of floof with peaks and valley and all sorts of poof. This one fell a bit, well, flat. I chalked this up to the fact that my pan was a bit larger than their recommended size (11.25″ vs the recommended 10″), but Shannon used a 10-inch skillet and still did not have the expected poof. That being said, even the pictures in their book were pretty flat.

We decided to try to remedy this by pouring the batter directly into a screaming-hot pan instead of letting the pan cool for 5 minutes. This corrected Shannon’s lack of floof but mine remained pretty flat. I think I would need an extra egg to reconcile the larger pan, and by the time we add an extra egg we need extra flour, etc, and we’d have a whole new recipe, which is not what we wanted here.

Issue #2: WHERE’S THE BEEF STUFF? 

Now, if I was naming this I probably would have called it a “banana dutch baby” because the term “kitchen sink” makes it sound like you throw in, ya know, “everything but the kitchen sink”. While you certainly could do this, their recipe calls for bananas, chocolate chips, and optional nuts. Nothing about this was very “kitchen sink-y” if you ask me, but nobody asked me.

However, Shannon and I both agreed that there should at least be enough banana to cover the majority of the bottom of the pan. We added one (or two) more bananas to fix this issue. Also, a “scant 1/4 cup” of chocolate chips isn’t basically how much I eat when I’m making a recipe that includes chocolate chips, so we we upped this from 1 1/2 ounces to easily 2 – 2.5 ounces. Think a very generous 1/4 cup scoop, maybe even closer to 1/3 cup.

Issue #3: Flavor enhancement.

While delicious, Shannon and I both had the feeling that it could use a little “oomph” – We resolved to throw a half teaspoon of cinnamon in for round two to take it a bit closer to that “banana bread” flavor, but not so much cinnamon that it would turn into a “cinnamon roll” type thing. We both loved the extra warmth it added to the dish.

Forever the tinkerers (and naturally heavy-handed with vanilla) we both really wanted to up the vanilla in this recipe. The batter on its own doesn’t have a whole lot going on and definitely benefited from the boost of an extra dash of vanilla.

Lastly, The recipe called for plain toasted nuts and I only had raw. Since I was going to have to give them a quick toast in the oven anyway, I let myself tinker a bit because plain nuts are boring and nobody likes boring nuts. Knowing they were heading for a breakfasty dutch baby, I added a healthy amount of maple syrup and nice dash of salt to them.

This caused issues only because it was hard to photograph the finished dish without eating all of the nuts… Oops? When I shared this modification with Shannon she jumped for joy and decided to make the same adjustment for round 2. You may want to make extras of these because they really are a delightful treat.

You can check out Shannon’s post right here!

Below you will find our round 2 recipe, which is the Baked recipe including our adjustments. If you’re interested in joining us for March, on the first Monday in March we will be posting the Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting. I hijacked this choice because March is my birthday month. And because chocolate and peanut butter. I mean, you know there’s no way we weren’t going to make that.

Feel free to bake along and share your results with us on our Instagram Accounts (hers & mine) or Facebook by tagging us!

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Baked Occasions Kitchen Sink Dutch Baby

Ingredients

    For the nuts
  • 2 cups assorted nuts (I used walnuts and pecans)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted) or other neutral oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (enough to coat the nuts)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • For the dutch baby
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 to 3 ripe medium bananas, sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (can use regular, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces chocolate chips (a generous 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • maple syrup

Instructions

    Toast the nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Toss the nuts with the oil, syrup, sugar, and salt.
  3. Spread in an even layer and toast for about 5-10 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  4. Remove and set aside to cool. (Can be made a day or two in advance)
  5. Make the dutch baby
  6. Preheat oven to 425F, place your 10-inch oven-proof skillet (I used cast iron) in the oven while it preheats.
  7. While oven is preheating, add the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract to a blender. Blend on high for about 45 seconds until foamy.
  8. Add the sugar, flours, salt, and cinnamon and blend mixture for another 30 seconds until frothy. Set aside.
  9. When oven is preheated, add the butter and allow to melt.
  10. Once the butter is completely melted, add the sliced bananas and stir to coat. Return to oven for a minute or two to soften and brown just ever so slightly on the bottom.
  11. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and pour the batter into the skillet, on top of the banana slices. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and return the pan to the oven.
  12. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes until the pancake is slightly puffed and browned on top.
http://wee-eats.com/2016/02/01/baked-occasionally-kitchen-sink-dutch-baby/

jenis spinalong #6 – cookies (and coffee) for santa

jenis coffee ice cream sandwich 2

Hello and welcome to the final installment of our 2015 Jeni’s Spinalong Project! There are no plans yet to carry this into 2016, but I’m pretty sure Ms Table is going to try to talk me into it… We’ll see.

In case you just got here, this is what you’ve missed so far:

Which brings us to…. December! Ms. Table created icelandic wedding cake frozen skyr with lingonberry swirl and kransekake (what a mouthful!).

My December theme was a sort of “cookies for Santa” type of deal. Except I filled these cookies with delectable coffee ice cream, because I imagine that Santa get pretty sleepy traveling house to house all night long. Since we all know that Santa loves cookies, I couldn’t think of a better delivery system for the caffeine than in a cookie (ice cream) sandwich!

So, this project was twofold: 1> Make the macaron sandwich cookies 2> Make the coffee ice cream. Since I had extra coffee ice cream (this recipe made two pints), I filled a second container with those good ol’ Nabisco Famous Wafers, for more cookie & coffee deliciousness.

coffee and cookie ice cream

I chose to go with the chocolate version of Jeni’s macaron cookies, thinking that the coffee and chocolate would complement each other perfectly, and I was right. This match is reiterated again in the coffee & cookie ice cream.

My piping bag was way to small for all of the macaron batter, so as I got closer to the end of my batch, the macarons started coming out a bit flatter. I suspect this was due to over-mixing the batter (as scooping and stirring was required in between each fill of the bag).

The cookies were a bit lumpy because, although I would normally sift the almond flour/sugar mixture, I did not opt to sift these because I am pretty sure that when I get the cookies at Jeni’s they are actually a little bit lumpy themselves and I’ve grown to appreciate the extra texture it adds to the ice cream sandwich. If you would like to ensure a nice, smooth batter, then go ahead and sift your flour/sugar mixture to remove any clumps that might be hiding in there.

So this year, pull out your ice cream maker for Santa. But maybe just leave him a note to check the freezer. You don’t want these babies to melt before he gets to them! Maybe if you’re lucky he will leave you one of the Jeni’s books!

chocolate + coffee macaron ice cream sandwiches

Ingredients

    For the cookies:
  • 8 oz almond meal
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (from 6 to 7 eggs) room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • For the ice cream
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 1/2 oz (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup coarse-ground dark roast coffee beans
  • 7 to 14 nabisco wafers

Instructions

    Prep
  1. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, trace 12 circles onto the parchment paper to use as a guide for when you pipe, then flip the parchment over so the drawings are on the bottom side. (They should still be plenty visible from the top).
  3. Make the cookies
  4. Pulse the powdered sugar, cocoa, and almond flour in a food processor until incorporated.
  5. Sift the powdered sugar mixture through a sieve onto a clean sheet of parchment paper, discarding any large pieces that remain in the sieve. (I skipped this step)
  6. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until frothy.
  7. Once frothy, add the granulated sugar a tablespoon or two at a time, until all the granulated sugar has been added. Continue whipping until the meringue becomes shiny and holds medium peaks, about 5 minutes.
  8. Using a spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the almond mixture into the whites. Repeat with the remaining 2/3 of the mixture, adding 1/3 at a time. Be careful not to overrmix.
  9. Fit a large pastry bag (or gallon size Ziploc) with a 1/4-inch plain tip and fill the bag with the macaron batter.
  10. Pipe & bake the cookies
  11. Pipe in a spiral into the circles you traced onto the parchment, reducing the pressure as you reach the end of your spiral to allow the edge to taper off. Repeat with the remaining batter until you have piped all of your batter.
  12. Lightly tap the the baking sheet on the counter twice to remove any bubbles and set aside for 30 to 40 minutes until the tops become dry and take on a matte finish.
  13. While the cookies are resting, preheat the oven to 300F degrees.
  14. Bake cookies for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through, until they are baked through.
  15. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
  16. Using an offset spatula, lift the cookies from the parchment. Move to a baking sheet and place in the freezer approximately 30 minutes. Once frozen, transfer to a gallon size freezer bag and store in the freezer until ready to use. Note Be careful, they can be very fragile!
  17. Make the ice cream base
  18. In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons of the milk with the corn starch; set aside.
  19. Place cream cheese and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  20. Combine the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high hea. Allow to boil for 4 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the coffee.
  21. Let the coffee steep for 5 minutes, then strain the milk mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Squeeze the coffee in the cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible and discard the grounds.
  22. Return the cream mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the corn starch slurry, Return the mixture to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.
  23. Whisk 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until completely combined. Carefully add remaining milk mixture, whisking to combine, then transfer the mixture to a 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag, ensuring the bag seals completely.
  24. Submerge the bag in a bowl filled with ice water until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  25. Once chilled, you may spin your ice cream immediately, or place it in the fridge overnight until you are ready to spin.
  26. Spin the ice cream
  27. Pour ice cream base into the ice cream maker and spin according to manufacturer's directions until it is the texture of soft serve ice cream.
  28. Transfer to a storage container (mine filled two pint containers), stirring Nabisco Wafers into one (or both) if desired.
  29. Place in the coldest part of your freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight, until you are ready to make your ice cream sandwiches.
  30. Assemble the ice cream sandwiches
  31. Place your ice cream out to soften, if it's not already softened.
  32. Once slightly soft and easy to scoop, remove cookies from the freezer and place them on a baking sheet that will fit into your freezer.
  33. Top half of the cookies with a generous scoop of ice cream and, using the palm of your hand, gently press another cookie on top of it until the ice cream spreads towards the edge.
  34. Place baking sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes until the ice cream has firmed back up, then remove the sandwiches from the freezer and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Store the ice cream sandwiches in a gallon-size freezer bag until you are ready to eat them.

Notes

* In case you're wondering, the other ice cream sandwiches are filled with this delightfully chocolatey ice cream , also from the Jeni's book (of course).

http://wee-eats.com/2015/12/02/jenis-spinalong-7-cookies-for-santa-coffee-and-cookie-macaron-ice-cream-sandwiches/

Thinking of starting your own spinalong? Here’s what I used along the way:

  • An ice cream maker – Last year I upgraded from this guy to this beast, and I love it so much! Not only do I not have to give up precious freezer space to freeze the canister, but I can spin multiple batches back-to-back (like I did this day with the coffee ice cream and Mr. Eat’s favorite chocolate)! That being said, either one will work just fine. So long as you aren’t going to be making ice cream on the reg, you should be just fine with the cheaper option!
  • Jeni’s books, of course – Her first one is chock-full of ice cream recipes (including both recipes above) while her second book has some ice cream recipes, but really focuses on desserts and add-ins – ways to upgrade your regular ice cream game.
  • Storage – Far too late in the game, I finally picked up a pack of these pint containers. (Previously I was just using large plastic Glad storage containers). The pint containers are 4 for $10.00 at our local Sur la Table, or I could get 25 on Amazon for practically the same price. So it was really a no-brainer. Plus, they’re good for more than just storing ice cream – they’ll make great containers for holiday cookies and treats.

Jeni’s Spinalong #5 – November Feels

Our November spinalong was a little bit different from the rest of this series in that we had no rules or themes to follow – Just all of our November feels all wrapped up (or should I say, “churned up”?) into one delicious ice cream.

 

So, for November, with thoughts of fall and Thanksgiving and #PSL all over the place… I went to Pumpkin’s sweet sister… or maybe more like a cousin? Or like a distant ancestor… I mean, they’re both plants so they must be related in some way, right? Anyway, I seem to have gotten off track somewhere…

What I chose is orange inside, like a pumpkin. And sweet, like a pumpkin. And plentiful during fall, also like a pumpkin. But it is not a pumpkin.

Can you guess what it is?

jenis sweet potato ice cream 1

Sweet potato!

Even though Mr. Eats curled his nose at the idea of me “ruining” perfectly good ice cream by putting sweet potatoes inside of it, I forged ahead anyway. I can’t think of a better way to use sweet potatoes than to put them into this amazing ice cream.

Shannon, over at A Periodic Table, stuffed all her feels into Blackstrap Praline Ice Cream with Black Walnut Praline and Singed Marshmallows. So, even though we had no rules, because we are kindred spirits we both made barely-altered recipes from the “Autumn” section of Jeni’s first book. At least we didn’t plan the same exact ice cream, which almost happened with September 😉 haha! If you paired my ice cream with some toasted nuts and Shannon’s praline sauce you would end up your very own sweet potato casserole sundae – Think of how impressed your Thanksgiving guests would be!

Unlike the other Jeni’s recipes I have made for the blog, I made this one with very little tampering. I followed the recipe pretty much 100% with the exception of one thing: I roasted the sweet potatoes real good. I baked the sweet potatoes for over an hour in the oven, until they were oozing out their sugary juices, and allowed them to cool before putting them in a cream-filled hot tub to simmer away.

I did attempt (and fail) to make Jeni’s Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, but I’m pretty sure that was a user error. Or possibly a thermometer calibration error (where one said 230F, the other said 250F) so I will have to try those again on another day. For this, store-bought made a fine stand-in.

The result is an amazingly smooth and creamy sweet potato ice cream filled with torched marshmallows and one bite will make your knees buckle.

jenis sweet potato ice cream 2

Jeni's Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Torched Marshmallows

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes, roasted and scooped out of the skins (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows, toasted

Instructions

    Bake the potatoes
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Prick potatoes with a knife and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until they start to ooze a bit of caramelized goodness.
  4. Remove from oven and set aside until they are cool enough to handle (may be done one day in advance).
  5. Make the ice cream base
  6. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl; set aside.
  7. Place softened cream cheese and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  8. Peel potatoes from skins and cut into cubes (if they are too soft, just scoop them into a bowl). You should have about 1 1/2 cups total.
  9. Combine sweet potatoes and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  10. Reduce heat to low and simmer, mashing up the potatoes, until they are heated through, about 5 minutes.
  11. Puree the potatoes with an immersion blender (or puree in batches in a regular blender).
  12. Return puree to the pan and add the heavy cream, sugars, and molasses.
  13. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes. Be careful because it WILL splatter. A lot. (You can cover the top of the pan with a parchment paper circle with a hole in the middle to cut down on splatter).
  14. Pour about 1/4 cup of the cream mixture into the cream cheese and whisk until combined. Pour remaining cream mixture into the bowl and whisk in the cinnamon until the mixture is fairly homogeneous.
  15. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and immerse in an ice bath for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, you can dry off the bag and place it in your fridge until you are ready to spin the ice cream. (This can be done 1 day in advance).
  16. Torch your marshmallows
  17. Using a kitchen torch, line a baking sheet with parchment and spread about 1 1/2 cups of mini marshmallows on it. Carefully toast the marshmallows until golden and slightly blackened. Set aside.
  18. Spin the ice cream
  19. Spin ice cream according to your ice cream machine's directions.
  20. Pour ice cream into a storage container, layering marshmallows in between ice cream layers and saving some marshmallows to sprinkle on top.
  21. Cover the top with a sheet of parchment, then seal the container and place it in your freezer for at least four hours, or until firm.

Notes

* Pro Tip: If you end up only having regular-sized marshmallows, you can cut them into smaller ones by dusting a cutting board with powdered sugar and cutting them on the bed of powdered sugar. It took me a while to figure this out and I was super excited once I did.

http://wee-eats.com/2015/11/01/jenis-spinalong-5-november-feels-jenis-sweet-potato-torched-marshmallow-ice-cream/

[ Recipes adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Desserts ]

halloween candy cheesecake brownies

kit kat brownieIt’s about that time of year where our houses are filled with candy and we need to figure out what exactly to do with all of it. Well, fear not, I am here to help you out! A couple weeks ago I showed you how to turn our leftover candy into ice cream, last year we made a Halloween candy bark, and now, we take it one step further by shoving that delicious candy into brownies.

You’re welcome.

I found this original recipe in a “Kit Kat” version on Bakerella’s gorgeous blog, though I modified the technique a bit per this article on Epicurious. I did make some with Kit Kats, but also some with toffee and some with Oreos, too… You know, for science.

I think the Oreos were my favorite version, but all of them were surprisingly delicious. Feel free to wedge whatever candy your heart desires between your brownie and cream cheese layers, though I would personally stay away from the fruity stuff. That’s just weird.

kit kat brownie 4

halloween candy cheesecake brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 30 brownies (depending on cutting size)

Ingredients

    For the brownie layer:
  • 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Candy of choice: Kit Kat bars (9 ounces, broken into individual sticks), Oreos (24 cookies), or whatever other candy/cookie your heart desires or any combination thereof
  • For the cheesecake layer:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9 by 13-inch pan with foil and parchment; spray with baking spray or brush with butter.
  2. Make the brownie layer
  3. Stir flour, salt, and baking flour together in a small bowl; set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until the eggs are very pale yellow and reach the 'ribbon' stage.
  6. Whisk the cocoa powder into the butter until homogeneous. Then fold the egg mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour-mixture into the egg-butter mixture until no flour streaks remain.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and press candy and/or cookies into the top of the brownie layer.
  8. Make the cheesecake layer
  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and salt with the whisk attachment until smooth.
  10. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Then add the vanilla extract and beat to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  11. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  12. Once combined, pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie layer and spread with an offset spatula to ensure the entire top of the brownies are covered.
  13. Place pan into the oven and bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top will turn a golden brown, if it begins to brown too much you can cover the top with aluminum foil for the final 15 minutes or so of baking.
  14. Remove from oven and cool in their pan on a wire rack before cutting. *I find that all brownies cut much cleaner after they hang out in the fridge for a few hours.
  15. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

*I find that all brownies cut much cleaner after they hang out in the fridge for a few hours.

*Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

*Kit Kats, Reeses, Oreos, and pretty much any other candy bar you can think of are great for these brownies - feel free to experiment to your heart's content!

http://wee-eats.com/2015/10/15/halloween-candy-cheesecake-brownies/

[ Recipe adapted from Bakerella ]

pavlova with whipped cream and strawberries

wee eats strawberry pavlova

After making October’s candy custard, I was left with an abundance of unused egg whites. Of course I could have done a few things with them… egg white omelets, macarons or meringues… but I decided to try something I’d never had before: Pavlovas.

Pavlovas may seem intimidating at first, but are actually quite simple to make. If you can whip egg whites, then you can make a pavlova. You simply whip egg whites to a stiff peak with a bit of sugar and a dash of vanilla, spread it into several small or one large round on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pop it in the oven to bake away!

As with all egg white recipes, it is imperative that your bowl and beaters are free of any fat or debris prior to whipping, or your egg whites will not reach their light and fluffy potential. We help the egg whites along in this recipe with a touch of cream of tartar and a smidge of corn starch. Start slow at first, until the egg whites become foamy, then turn it up to medium to start adding some real volume to the eggs. To achieve the magical “crispy on the outside while soft of the inside” texture, you will want to beat the eggs to soft peaks before adding your sugar. We then put them in a very low-temperature oven to just slightly “bake” the exterior of the pavlovas while keeping the inside nice and chewy.

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Once baked, allow your pavlovas to cool for a few hours in the oven. Once cooled, your pavlovas will emerge with a crisp, exterior shell surrounding a chewy, marshmallowy interior. Once topped with freshly-whipped cream and fruit, the dessert becomes almost ethereal. Because the pavlova and berries are already sweet, I just very slightly sweeten the whipped cream so it still provides a touch of contrast between the layers. If you like, you may add more sugar than what is called for. If you don’t have powdered sugar, regular granulated sugar is fine, too.

These are a great candidate for dinner parties and gatherings not only because they look absolutely gorgeous, but their super easy to throw together, they can they be made ahead of time, and can even become an interactive dessert if you let your guests choose their own toppings.

wee eats strawberry pavlova 2

pavlova with whipped cream and strawberries

Ingredients

    For the pavlova
  • 5 large egg whites (about 165 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the berries
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, depending on preference
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • For the whipped cream
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

    Make pavlova shells
  1. Place oven racks in top and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat oven to 200F degrees and line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and corn starch.
  3. Using beaters or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until they become foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue mixing, increasing the speed to medium-high until the egg whites become thick and white, reaching the soft-peak stage. At this point, if you were to scoop some of the egg whites out with a spatula they would still flow off of the spatula. Any "peaks" You make would fall over and not keep their point.
  4. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar mixture and continue beating until incorporated. Add remaining sugar in a slow stream and add the vanilla extract. Continue beating until the egg whites thicken and reach stiff peaks. At this point, if you were to scoop some egg whites out with a spatula, the egg whites would stay on the spatula and hold their shape and any peaks would stay pointy.
  5. Mound the egg white mixture into 8 equal-sized rounds, 4 on each baking sheet, leaving about 4 inches in between each mound.
  6. Spread out slightly, making a slight indent in the center of each for the toppings to "sit" in, and leaving about 1 to 2 inches between each. They will stay in whatever shape they are in when you put them in the oven, so don't expect the mixture to spread or settle much (though it may slightly poof a bit).
  7. Bake pavlovas for 1 1/2 hours, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. The meringues should have smooth, dry, slightly shiny exteriors. Turn off the oven and allow the pavlova to cool in the oven for a hour or two, then remove to finish cooling on the counter. You can leave them in the oven to cool completely, but I usually need my oven back by then.
  8. This can be done up to 2 days ahead of time (they technically last longer, but they aren't as good as time goes on).
  9. For the fruit
  10. Mix the sliced berries with sugar and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (can be done up to 1 day ahead of time).
  11. For the whipped cream
  12. Beat cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer until the cream thickens and the beaters start to leave a trail in the cream. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until the cream this thick and almost doubled in volume, until it reaches a soft-peak stage.
  13. Refrigerate until ready to use. This can be made up to one day ahead of time, but is better to make the day of.
  14. Assemble pavlova:
  15. Pavlovas should be assembled right before eating. If the toppings hang out for too long on top of the meringue shell, it will ruin the structure of the pavlova.
  16. Right before serving, top meringues with whipped cream and berries (or any other toppings your heart desires).

Notes

Make sure your bowl and beater(s) are free of any fat/residue prior to whipping your egg whites!

Need help telling if your eggs have reached the proper consistency? Click Here! or check out this video

Feel free to get creative with toppings - mixing some cocoa, coffee, or berry into the whipped cream would be a great place to start. A drizzle of chocolate sauce or caramel wouldn't be a bad idea on, either!

http://wee-eats.com/2015/10/12/pavlova-with-whipped-cream-and-strawberries/