Those around here in their 30s - like yours truly - probably remember Rick Astley: a thin, red haired guy that had a really powerful voice. It made me wonder how such a strong voice would come out of such a small person. For my younger audience – who must be thinking “what on earth is she talking about??” - Alex Band would be a similar example. :D
The lavender buds I used in this recipe are just the same: teeny tiny, but full of flavor.
Lavender and white chocolate mini pavlovas
own creation, based on a recipe from Donna Hay magazine
1/3 cup (80ml) egg whites
½ cup (100g) caster sugar
½ teaspoon edible dried lavender
1 tablespoon corn starch, sifted
1 teaspoon white vinegar
¾ cup (180ml) whipping cream
50g white chocolate shavings
lavender buds, to decorate
Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF. Line a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper (I used regular). Trace six 8cm rounds on one side of it then turn the paper over.
Place the sugar and lavender in a small food processor and process for 15 seconds or until the lavender buds are coarsely ground. Sift the sugar into a bowl and discard the excess lavender.
Place the egg white in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form – the bowl must be completely free of fat and/or water.
Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy - rub a little of the mixture between your fingertips; when you no longer feel the sugar granules, the mixture is ready.
Add the corn starch, vinegar and whisk until just combined.
Divide the mixture into the traced circles.
Reduce oven to 120ºC/250ºF and bake for 35 minutes – mine baked for 45.
Turn the oven off and allow the pavlovas to cool completely in the oven – I did this overnight and, even though the pavlovas seemed to be too soft when I turned off the oven, there was a thin, hard layer outside them on the following morning.
Whisk the cream until firm peaks form. Place a layer of whipped cream over each meringue and top with chocolate shavings and a few lavender buds – they are kind of bitter so you might want to decorate your pavlovas some other way.