One of the great things about being a food blogger is belonging to a large, supportive and nurturing community. I have found the food blogging community to be such a great group of people – helping one another through issues (technical problems, marketing questions, working with brands, etc.) – everyone seems to jump to help one another. The community mourns together. And it celebrates exciting life moments just the same. Which is why Lisa and Marla put together an awesome virtual baby shower for Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod, who is expecting her first bundle of joy in just a few short weeks. Not surprisingly, the way food bloggers celebrate a virtual baby shower is by sharing some food! This pavlova is my contribution to the shower that is taking place across dozens of blogs today.
Marla and Lisa were super stealth – they even sent all of us bloggers who are friends with Maria these super cute invitations. How fun!
I admittedly haven’t been to many baby showers in my time (most of my friends are just getting around to that stage in life) but when I think of baby showers, I think of cute little bites, fresh flavors, and light textures. I racked my brain trying to think of a great dish to bring to the shower, and then it finally hit me – pavlova! It’s a dessert that I’ve always been intrigued by, but have never had the pleasure of making. The dessert was named after a Russian dancer, Anna Pavlova, to honor her while touring in either Australia or New Zealand (it has apparently been a source of contention between the two countries for years). Pavlova is essentially a big pile of meringue that is baked up and topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
My good friend Beth actually sent me this recipe back at the beginning of the year for me to try (thank you Beth!). She figured I might want an authentic Aussie recipe for the dessert, and this comes from her friend’s mom (who is Australian). This is actually remarkably easy to make – you whip up egg whites into a stiff and glossy meringue and pile it into a circle. Bake it and let it cool, and then top it with fresh whipped cream and your favorite fruit. As it dries it will crack and dip and do all sorts of funny things – I love its character! It slices clean and pretty and has an incredibly light texture. I enlisted my sister as a taste tester and she said she wasn’t expecting to like it, but LOVED it. She said it was better than cake, and that she’s going to request it for her next birthday. Definitely a sign that something is a winner!
Happy Baby Shower, Maria! I hope you enjoy the virtual display of food and are relaxing and getting ready for your little man! Congratulations!
Be sure to check out all of the other recipes that were a part of the virtual baby shower! I would have loved to attend such an awesome food gathering in person! (Scroll down for the pavlova recipe!)
Virtual Baby Shower for Two Peas & Their Pod
Simple Bites – Lemon Balm infused Lemonade
Ingredients, Inc. – Healthy Fruit Punch
Food for My Family – Lemongrass Soda
Heather’s Dish – Mixed Fruit Punch
With Style and Grace – Truffle Popcorn
Family Fresh Cooking – Baby Peas & Cheese Frittata
Barbara Bakes – Creamy Orange Fruit Dip and Fruit
Aggie’s Kitchen – Pasta Salad with Balsamic Basil Vinaigrette
Reluctant Entertainer – Nutella Berry Bruschetta
TidyMom – Baby Blue Velvet Cake Truffles
i am baker – Baby Pea Baby Shower Cake
Brown Eyed Baker – Pavlova
Picky Palate – Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Sandwich
What’s Gaby Cooking – Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
Cookin’ Canuck – Nutella & Cream Cheese Swirled Blondies
Kevin and Amanda – Baby Blue Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Cups
Sweetopia – Decorated Sugar Cookies
Mountain Mama Cooks – Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Sweetapolita – Decorated Sugar Cookies
Bake at 350 – Petit Fours with fondant pea pods
RecipeGirl – Baby Button Cookies
RecipeBoy – Mud Cups with Gummy Worms
Add a Pinch – Blackberry Tartlets
Dine and Dish – Oven Baked Cinnamon Apples
Wenderly – Handmade Sweet Pea Cards
Our Best Bites – How To: Make a Diaper Cake Centerpiece
6 egg whites, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
1¼ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 9-inch circle in the middle. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Add the granulated sugar and beat for 10 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cream of tartar and beat for one additional minute. Spoon the mixture onto the circle, and use a spatula to shape the egg white mixture into a circle with decorative sides, if desired.
3. Bake for 1 hour, or until firm to the touch. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the pavolva to cool completely in the oven.
4. When ready to serve, beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed. When the cream gets foamy, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until soft peaks form.
5. Transfer the pavlova to a serving plate. Top with the whipped cream and fresh fruit.