Strawberry Pavlova with basil-sugar

The strawberry season is not over yet and there are a few more strawberry recipes in our pipeline. My mother prepared this really amazing dessert the other day, called Strawberry Pavlova. A Pavlova is a meringue based dessert and it is said that it originally comes from Australia and New Zealand, where it still is a typical dessert which is enjoyed during the holidays.

She gave it that certain something by adding some Cointreau to the strawberries and basil sugar as a topping. I am not exaggerating, when saying that the combination of these flavors was really outstanding. I have never eaten basil with a sweet dish before, but it perfectly harmonized with the ripe strawberries.

Strawberry Pavlova

Recipe for Strawberry Pavlova with basil-sugar

Ingredients: 

  • 500 g strawberries
  • 4 g egg white
  • Dash of salt
  • 175 g sugar
  • 250 ml cream
  • 1 tsp of vinegar (for the gloss of the meringue, the stability and the crisp outside and soft inside)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla sugar
  • Cointreau
  • 2 bunches of basil
  • 2 Tbsp of white rock sugar
  1. Preheat the oven at 200°C and prepare a tray with baking paper
  2. Beat the egg white with the salt and slowly add the sugar until it is a shiny, stiff mass. Add the vanilla sugar and the vinegar.
  3. Put the meringue mass on the baking tray in circled shapes with a diameter of about 10 cm (one per person). Try to make a hollow in each of it, where you can drape the strawberries later on. In the end it is supposed to look like a little plate.
  4. Reduce the heat of the oven down to 150°C and place the tray in lower half of the oven. Bake the meringue for 15 mins, then reduce temperature to 120°C and bake it for the next 2 – 2.5 hours while leaving the stove door slightly open.  The meringues need to dry, you might want to turn them after half of the time. Then wait until cooled down.
  5. Cut the washed strawberries in small pieces and marinate them with some Cointreau.
  6. Wash the basil and pick off the leaves, chop roughly. Mix it with the rock sugar in a blender until you have a sort of “sugar pesto”.
  7. Whip the cream.
  8. Put the meringues on a plate, fill the hollows with the whipped cream, put the strawberries on top and garnish with the basil sugar.
  9. Feel the different flavours in your mouth and enjoy!

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