Do you know that the renowned Pavlova cake was first created in honor of Ana Pavlova, a famous Russian ballerina in the 1920s? And do you know that the cake did not originate from Russia? Until now, there is still an argument whether this cake that everyone loves originated in either New Zealand or Australia.
Pavlova cakes are everyone’s favorite for dessert. But with this recipe, you will be baking mini Pavlova cakes with a distinct twist. Make your dinner with your beau a little more special with this mouthwatering meringue-based dessert.
Mini Pavlova Meringues:
1/2 cup of superfine baker’s sugar or cane sugar
3/4 tsp. corn starch
2 large egg whites, room temperature
½ tsp. of kosher salt
1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. salted caramel sauce
½ cup of heavy whipping cream
½ cup of cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp. of sugar (superfine baker’s sugar or cane sugar)
Pinch of kosher salt
½ tsp. of vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1/2 cup of chopped Diamond Nuts Original Glazed Walnuts
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
Mini Pavlova Meringues:
- If you are making your own homemade caramel sauce, do it first and let it cool.
- On a sheet of parchment paper, trace six 2-inch circles with 2 inches in between. Place the parchment paper upside down on a baking sheet so you can see the circles.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch and sugar and set aside.
- In the clean bowl of the stand mixer or with a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium-low speed until soft peaks form. With the speed on medium-high, slowly pour in the sugar and corn starch mixture in a continuous stream. Increasing the speed to high, add the vanilla extract, and whip until stiff, shiny peaks form.
- Use a spatula to dollop the whipped meringue into mounds on the circles of your parchment paper.
- Prepare your caramel sauce. The caramel sauce should be thin enough to drizzle, but not hot or warm. If needed, give it a 5-10 second zap in the microwave to soften. Working one at a time, drizzle 1/2 teaspoon caramel sauce on each meringue mound. With a toothpick, skewer, or chopstick, swirl and shape the meringue as desired. Use the back of a spoon to put a small indent in the center of each meringue, so toppings can stay on top once baked.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the meringues are dry and slightly crisp to the touch, but not browned or cracked. Cool on a rack before topping and serving.
- Meanwhile, as the meringue is being baked, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whip the cream on medium-high speed until it begins to get frothy.
- Add the vanilla paste and salt and whip just until it forms soft pillowy peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Without cleaning the stand mixer bowl, add the cream cheese and beat on medium-high speed using the paddle attachment until soft and smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed and beat in the sugar. With the mixer on medium-low speed, slowly add the whipped cream, a little at a time, and fold just until completely smooth. Chill while the meringues bake.
- When cooled down, divide the cheesecake mousse over the top of each baked meringue, drizzle with caramel sauce, sprinkle with chopped glazed walnuts, and top with a pinch of flaky salt. Serve within an hour.
When making this recipe, it important to consider the moisture in the air. You can extend up to 10 minutes or longer on a rainy day. Just keep an eye on them. These salted caramel Pavlova cakes will last for several days in an airtight container when refrigerated without toppings. Once the toppings are added, they will easily get less crisp over. You should top them just before serving.
In New Zealand and Australia, Pavlova cakes are considered an important part of their cuisine. They bake them during celebrations. Indeed, serving salted caramel cake for dessert can make dinner more celebratory.