Berry Pavlovas: Crunchy Colorful Sweet Birthday Bites
Today is B’s birthday and while in the middle of cleaning the house, preparing a little get together for him and speed training a puppy, I realised that I always wish my parents a happy birthday or mother’s day, father’s day, etc…on this blog but I rarely wish B. a happy birthday. Without wanting to make a big deal about it, I think he is a big deal, but a crunchy, colorful and sweet one.
He is very instrumental to my being here doing the things I do and sharing things with you. He happily ventures his spoon in dishes and desserts I set out in front of him. He knows to always take his cell phone with him while running an errand for me at the grocery store. He has quickly come up with associations to remember who is so and so that I keep talking about, and stopped asking me if I have the hiccups when I giggle at the screen chatting online at night. He looks forward to other bloggers' visits as he has an excuse to use all the attachments on the vacuum cleaner (he is so going to yell at me for telling you this!). But more importantly he has more than accepted my bizarre schedule as of late and for that he deserves extra kudos and a public "I Love You – You Rock – Happy Birthday!"
There will be cake for him and a few guests for dinner tonight but this morning he will have some pavlovas filled with fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Boy do I love summer lately! I can’t get enough of the gorgeous fruits at the market lately and berries have been either my breakfast or my lunch a
couple lots of times this week . I can’t say he chose to have this has a birthday breakfast but it’s been a juggling of egg yolks and egg whites lately in the fridge and some room had to be made. Knowing him, I know he’ll have more than one!
I made the shells when Chris was here and kept them in an airtight container at room temperature so they would still be crunchy today. There were just a touch softer in the middle but with the heat and humidity of South Carolina, that was to be expected. To fix that, I turned the oven on to 350F last night before going to bed, put the meringue shells in it and turned the oven off. It helps give them some of that crisp back so I can still hear him say "so-crunch-what is-crunch-for dinner-crunch-tonight- crunch crunch ?"…I love that sound!
Makes 8-12 shells depending on size
3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Preheat oven to 275F. In small bowl, mix the sugar and corn starch together and set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk, start whipping the egg whites to soft peaks. Start with the machine on low speed to break them a bit and get them "shaking" then increase to speed to medium high. Slowly add the sugar mixture in a slow steady stream, or one tablespoon at a time. At this point you can either spoon the meringue, making 12 circles on 2 parchment paper lined baking sheets or fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the shells onto them. Bake at 275 for 30 minutes and reduce your oven to 250F and continue baking them for another 30 minutes.
For the berries: I did not measure how much of each berry I was mixing in, I went with a couple of handfull of each, sprinkled some sugar on top and chopped fresh mint and let it macerate for a couple of hours.
Rosa's Yummy Yums July 27, 2008 um 8:05 am
A nice way to celebrate a birthday! Happy Birthday to B!
Vera July 27, 2008 um 8:53 am
Helen, Very Happy Birthday to your husband! And Very Best Wishes!
How lovely and fresh these mini birthday cakes are!
Christy July 27, 2008 um 9:05 am
"He looks forward to other bloggers' visits as he has an excuse to use all the attachments on the vacuum cleaner "—I find that hilarious in a very endearing way!!
Happy Birthday to Mr. Tartelette, and be sure to enjoy yourselves this evening!!
Barbara July 27, 2008 um 9:50 am
Happy Birthday B. I hope you both have a fun day Helene.
Manggy July 27, 2008 um 9:59 am
Awww, you’re so sweet, Helen 🙂 You have the magic meringue touch! Mine usually seem to go overboard on the coloring unless I set my oven to a ridiculously low temperature!
La Tartine Gourmande July 27, 2008 um 10:35 am
A happy birthday to ton petit amour, pour sur. He is well taken care of a niveau des papilles, ca pour sur !
Anonymous July 27, 2008 um 12:23 pm
Happy Birthday to him!
I always joke around that it is not easy being married to a pastry chef (specifically if it is me since I am so crazy and (slightly?) mental). Ice cream machine running in the morning, too many eggs in the fridge – sounds like life in our house 😉 .
Enjoy the festivities,
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) July 27, 2008 um 12:27 pm
I think that husbands who put up with our blogging — and not just put up with it, but actually help in so many ways to make it more fun for us — deserve many, many pavlovas! Happy Birthday, B.
LizNoVeggieGirl July 27, 2008 um 12:30 pm
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, B!!! :0) Helen, those pavlovas are gorgeous – perfect celebration treat!!
Mercotte July 27, 2008 um 12:31 pm
Superbe …je cours en faire pour le dessert de ce soir j’ai tout sous la main !
Bravo! j’aime bp la photo avec le fouet les oeufs et le sucre
Anonymous July 27, 2008 um 12:48 pm
Happy birthday to B!! And what a wonderful alternative to a birthday cake–the pavlova looks gorgeous!
Cannelle Et Vanille July 27, 2008 um 1:44 pm
Happy birthday B! These will make anyone happy Helen!
Lis July 27, 2008 um 2:27 pm
Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Beeeeeeeeeee! Happy Birthday to you! And many mooorreeeeeee!
Cate July 27, 2008 um 2:34 pm
Those pavlova shells are beautiful! What a perfect summer dessert, and happy birthday to B!
Homekeeping Heart July 27, 2008 um 2:39 pm
I love, love, love meringue desserts. Say, Happy Birthday, B!
PheMom July 27, 2008 um 2:58 pm
Happy Happy Birthday, from all of us to you (B), Happy Happy Birthday and may all your dreams come true!!
Those little pavlovas are really darling!
Lori July 27, 2008 um 4:12 pm
Happy Birthday to B. How lucky he is!
THose Pavlovas are so cute. Leave it to you to shape them so beautifully.
Susan @ SGCC July 27, 2008 um 4:13 pm
Here’s wishing B a very happy birthday! Your pavlovas are perfection! I love to make them myself, but the last few attempts fell flat (literally)! I think it was too much humidity. So, I’ll just sit here and enjoy yours. 😉
Lizzie July 27, 2008 um 4:48 pm
Well someones lucky! Happy Birthday to him!
Anonymous July 27, 2008 um 5:06 pm
Monsieur Tartlette is a lucky man…those photos are awesome as usual.
kellypea July 27, 2008 um 6:04 pm
Your hunkster B is crunchy, huh? Dood. That’s a new one. Bwahahahahaha! Happy Birthday to B, Helen! I hope your evening together is full of romance and, um, crunchiness. 😉
Ivy July 27, 2008 um 6:58 pm
Awe, this post is so sweet, a tribute to your hubby’s birthday. 🙂 These are such a great idea. They look wonderful. It’s meringue with fruit right? or…?
Have a great day!
That Girl July 27, 2008 um 7:25 pm
I’ve been meaning to make something like this for ages!
Chris July 27, 2008 um 8:33 pm
Hey! I recognize those! 🙂 Beautiful….and tasty lookin'. Happy Birthday, B!!!!!!!!
montague July 27, 2008 um 8:43 pm
happy birthday – and YUM.
Veron July 27, 2008 um 11:07 pm
Happy Birthday to B! Gorgeous Pavlovas!
glamah16 July 28, 2008 um 12:25 am
I hope your husband had a great B Day.I like your new header.
Cookie baker Lynn July 28, 2008 um 1:07 am
Your pavlovas look like confectionary clouds – just gorgeous. Happy Birthday to your wonderful husband!
Emily July 28, 2008 um 2:17 am
Happy Birthday B!
Enjoy those delicious-looking pavlovas.
PG July 28, 2008 um 4:29 am
My aunt used to make pavlovas at family events. Sometimes mixed with chocolate chips. I have been wanting to try pavlovas with berries for a while now – I really like the pipped look too!
Anonymous July 28, 2008 um 5:45 am
Wow! Talk about coincidences…just this afternoon, I was reading a novel and one of the characters was fixing "pavlovas with kiwi" for dessert. I had no idea what a pavlova was. I finally realized that it must be some sort of meringue, but was still trying to picture them in my head. Then I clicked on your lovely site and all questions were answered! 🙂
Anonymous July 28, 2008 um 6:32 am
Happy birthday to your true love! What a great way to start another year of life 🙂
Pea and Pear July 28, 2008 um 9:29 am
I feel sorry for my husband he never gets a treat this delicious… you have set the stakes high 😉 They look delicious!!!!!
aforkfulofspaghetti July 28, 2008 um 10:35 am
Beautiful, as ever. A wonderful summer dessert.
Nic July 28, 2008 um 11:51 am
He is one lucky fella to get pavlova for breakfast!
Anonymous July 28, 2008 um 12:45 pm
So glad you decided to celebrate B’s birthday with us by sharing a cute story and a wonderful dessert. Great husbands make life wonderful.
Half Baked July 28, 2008 um 12:50 pm
Hope B had a happy birthday! What a lovely birthday dessert.
Anonymous July 28, 2008 um 1:47 pm
Oh my, those look just perfect! I never have that kind of luck – I can almost taste those just looking at them! So professional looking!
lululu July 28, 2008 um 2:38 pm
Hey, happy birthday to your hubby!!! Your dessert looks fantastic!
Jen Yu July 28, 2008 um 3:14 pm
First, a very happy birthday to such a wonderful man. I couldn’t be happier knowing that my dear friend has found an equally fantastic partner in life. So Happy B’day to B-man!
Secondly… pavs are an awesome dessert – the shells you made are gorgeous! I make free form because my piping skills suuuuuck.
You’re the best 🙂 xxoo
Snooky doodle July 28, 2008 um 4:31 pm
these look really cute anf light. I ve never tried pavlovas maybe its time i try them. Wish your husband a happy birthday . Hope it will be a great day 🙂
Patricia Scarpin July 28, 2008 um 6:58 pm
Oh, I’m late but I mean just the same: happy birthday to the hubby!!
Lauren July 28, 2008 um 7:59 pm
Happy Birthday to B! These look absolutely fabulous and still really easy (my favorite kind of dessert). How many pavlovas does this recipe make?
I think I just might try this for dessert night tomorrow night! Thanks for your great suggestions.
Helene July 28, 2008 um 8:17 pm
Lauren: it makes about 12 shells of 3-4 inches in diameter.
Mrs.French July 28, 2008 um 9:20 pm
Happy Birthdays to our Bs…we are lucky to have them!
Anonymous July 28, 2008 um 11:45 pm
Quel joli gateau d’anniversaire! Je t’ai remis un prix pour toutes tes jolies creations! Look at my blog.
Bronwyn July 28, 2008 um 11:51 pm
They look lovely, but they are meringue shells, not pavlovas. The interior of a pavlova has a marshmallowy sort of texture. In New Zealand and Australia (in one of which the pavlova was invented – we are still fighting about that) a wife used to be judged on her pavlova-making abilities (only partly joking here). Crunchy all through is a big F for fail.
Anonymous July 29, 2008 um 12:24 am
This is gorgeous!
Helene July 29, 2008 um 1:44 am
Bronwyn: yes the center is marshamallowy but the edges stay sort of crunchy, which these were. They got an F for Fantastic from or Australian neighbors so I will keep calling them pavlovas.
Peabody July 29, 2008 um 6:23 am
Beautiful and happy birthday to B!
Joy July 29, 2008 um 6:24 pm
Happy Birthday B!
Joy July 29, 2008 um 6:24 pm
Happy Birthday B!
The P & A Food Chronicles July 29, 2008 um 7:58 pm
beautiful pictures!!! delicious goodS
Mallory Elise July 29, 2008 um 10:45 pm
t’es trop mignon! -joyeux anniversaire a ton mari, moi aussi j’aime beaucoup de faire qqc pour quelqu’un et dire un dedication sur mon blog.
Dwiana P July 30, 2008 um 2:24 am
oh what a lovely pavlovas!! love the color and style.
Y July 30, 2008 um 6:55 am
What a lovely way to celebrate his birthday. Happy belated Birthday to him! 🙂
Katy July 30, 2008 um 7:17 pm
Pavlova is my FAVORITE DESSERT EVER. This makes me realize that I haven’t made meringues in forever. And it’s my birthday this week!
Helene July 31, 2008 um 1:27 pm
Bronwyn: I have made pavlovas before. Again, my readers know this is a version and I trust them to look for the original. Regarding getting the rong idea about a national dish: it is good to direct people to an original version but it is important to allow people to be creative. as a guest to someone’s house making Matcha Green Tea eclairs, I ould not pound it on the host about the "original". I’d be having my blood pressure through the roof everytime I turn the computer on. I welcome traditions and the creative minds it inspires.
Jaime August 1, 2008 um 3:24 am
those are so cute!
Fifi Flowers August 3, 2008 um 12:54 am
That looks so beautiful… too pretty to eat!
My New Zealand s-i-l always makes palova with berries for our summer time affaires… so lovely!
Happy Birthday to hubby!