Ryan Thomas is a university graduate who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
Great Dessert tp Use Up Egg Whites
Egg whites accumulate in my kitchen like sand in the desert. There are so many recipes that I make use only egg yolks. Sure, you can make angel food cake with the leftover egg whites, but how many angel food cakes can you make until it starts to become repetitive?
Recently I've tried another tack: pavlovas. Pavlovas are such a wonderful, light, airy, and pleasant dessert: meringue with clouds of whipped cream and beautiful fruit on top. They have a delightful taste and an even more delightful texture.
I decided to make a pavlova with a twist—specifically, with quince preserves. Quince reminds me a bit of pears, but with a slightly darker tang to it— perhaps like a mix of pear and apricot. In other words, the perfect thing to mix with whipped cream to produce a new pavlova topping!
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I combined the quince with whipped cream, vanilla extract, and balsamic vinegar (for extra tang) to produce an addictively sweet and wondrously refreshing cream topping for the chocolate and cinnamon base.
I based this recipe on my chocolate coffee and orange pavlova recipe. My quince pavlova didn't rise as much as the chocolate coffee one; or more precisely, it deflated after rising, I think this was mostly due to different eggs and the lack of counter space as I was cooking something else at the same time, which forced me to keep the pavlova in the oven with the door open and thus caused it to atrophy.
For the meringue base:
- 6 egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tatar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
For the whipped cream topping:
- 8 ounces quince preserve
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
For the fruit topping:
- Your choice of fruit (e.g., kiwi, banana, strawberry, etc.)
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- In a large bowl, combine the egg whites with a pinch of salt. Beat until they begin to form loose white peaks, slowly adding in the rest of the 1 teaspoon of salt throughout. Slowly integrate the 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powdered, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, while continuing to beat. Once it is integrated, add in the 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, cream of tartar, and cornstarch. Beat until everything is stiff, firm, and glossy.
- Place parchment paper on a baking dish, pinning down the edges of the paper with small stones or coins. Using a plate, draw a large circle about 9 inches across. Ladle the meringue onto the baking paper, forming a circle and piling it up, decoratively swirling the top. Form a slight depression in the center to hold the cream.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 75 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
- In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream until it begins to form soft peaks. Then add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar. Beat more, and once incorporated, add in the quince preserve and beat until there are stiff peaks.
- Spread this cream over the top of the meringue. Decorate the top with various fruit options such as blueberries, bananas, kiwis, strawberries, etc. Dust with powdered sugar.