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Strawberry Pavlova (Gluten-Free)


Gluten-Free Pavlova (photo courtesy of imcountingufoz)

Pavlova is a dessert with a meringue base that was created in honor of the ballet dancer Anna Pavlova when she was touring in New Zealand and Australia. The main ingredient  that separates pavlova from a normal meringue, is the addition of cornstarch and vinegar to the egg white mixture. The cornstarch, egg and vinegar creates a chemical reaction which results in a fluffy, marshmallow center.

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Strawberry Pavlova Cupcakes (Gluten-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh (organic) strawberries, cut in bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature (they will separate easier if they are cold)
  • 1 cup superfine or regular sugar
  • 1 2/3 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons  gluten-free cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

To Make:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F degrees. Mix strawberry pieces with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside. Place 12 muffin liners in a muffin tin, set aside.
  2.  In a the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a medium bowl with a hand-held mixer), whisk eggs until stiff peaks form. With mixer still on high, gradually add in one cup of superfine sugar, about a tablespoon at a time. Keep whisking until egg whites are stiff and glossy. Mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and whisk until just combined. Whisk vinegar and cornstarch into the mixer and whisk until just combined.
  3. Spoon meringue mixture into prepared muffin liners until mixture just overflows the top of the liners. Use the back of a spoon to fluff out the meringue to create smooth little peaks. Or you can simply use a standard sized ice cream scoop to fill the liners, which also looks pretty.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 220 degrees, and bake for one hour. Turn off oven and allow to cool completely as the oven cools.
  5. Whip cream together with confectioner’s sugar and  2/3 teaspoon of vanilla until soft peaks form. Gently cut the tops off the cupcakes and fill with a dollop of whipped cream and a spoonful of strawberries.
*Tip: Strawberries can be substituted for kiwi, raspberries or any fruit you prefer.

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