I am almost never late. I hate lateness for all the reasons anyone might do. It implies a certain sense of importance… that the late person somehow thinks their time is so much more important than the poor person waiting. It’s plain rude. And yet here I am with a late recipe. I could tell you I’ve been working every day until silly o’clock recently. Or I could tell you that I’m not feeling so good. Or I could just stop making excuses and get on with the recipe. The late recipe. Here she is… ta da! I hope she was worth waiting for.
Comments, as always, welcomed.
Pecan & banoffee mini pavolovas
Makes about 7 but depends how large you make your mini pavs.
- 120g egg whites (about 4 but depends on size of your eggs)
- 200g castor sugar
- 5g cornflour
- 5mls white wine vinegar
- 70g crushed pecan nuts
- 400mls double cream
- Toffee sauce – homemade or bought
- 2 bananas
- 7 whole pecan nuts
- More crushed pecans if you wish
Whisk your egg whites until beginning to hold their peaks. Then whisk in 1 teaspoon of the castor sugar at a time. I know this is laborious but if you rush it and throw the lot in you’re less likely to make sure it all dissolves into the egg and you might end up with weeping meringue. Might.
Once the sugar’s all in, the mixture should look really white and glossy, then add in the cornflour and white wine vinegar. Whisk again. The combination of these ingredients makes for a mallowy chewy middle to your meringue so whilst they’re desirable they’re not a reason to run to the local shops if you don’t have them. Then use a metal spoon to very gently fold in 50g of the crushed pecan nuts. Don’t stir or use your mixer as if you do the meringue collapses.
Pop some foil or baking parchment on a baking tray, fixing it down with a little sticky meringue. Then spoon about 2 heaped tablespoons of the meringue onto the foil/parchment to make each nest. You can leave in a big snowy heap or use your fingers and the back of a teaspoon to slightly hollow out the middle for holding double cream later. Up to you. (You can squash the meringues after baking instead to make a pocket for the cream if you prefer, but they will crack as you do this.) Then sprinkle another 20g of the crushed pecans over the top of the meringues.
Bake at the bottom and on the middle shelf of a preheated oven at 140C. (For these are the coolest areas of most ovens and we’re trying to dry these meringues out, not bake them so that they brown.) As soon as they go into the oven turn it down to about 100C, or 90C for a fan. Then after 45 minutes turn the oven off entirely but don’t open it.
About 35 minutes into baking I tend to open the oven door and have a little prod to make sure the oven has worked it’s magic and the outsides of the meringue are hard. If not they need a little longer than the aforementioned 45 minutes. Then I DO NOT OPEN the oven for the last ten minutes of baking. I turn the oven off and then leave the little snowy meringues to slowly come to room temperature for a few hours. Easier to just make these last thing at night and leave them until the morning in your oven.
Once completely cold I fill with whipped cream, sliced bananas (dipped in lemon juice if not serving immediately to stop any browning) and toffee sauce, oh and more pecans. Both crushed and whole. This is a serious dessert for people who are serious about things like cream, sugar and nuts.