So. I’m on this no sugar mission. My birthday’s coming and I’m wondering what to serve my guests that’s light, healthier and, most importantly, with a sugar-free version for me. Pavlova’s always a good choice, but there’s no way I’m gonna eat that meringue. You know what, I don’t have to. I’ll be happy with some pots de creme: I’ll just make a sugar-free cream and sauce and put it all together in a wonderful cup, throw on some strawberries and almond flakes and that’s it. Life’s simple.
For my guests, however, I did have to go the extra mile. I baked wonderful white meringues for each one of them and waited patiently until I could remove them from the baking sheet, carefully spread the fluffy mascarpone cream on top and then added the magnificent sauce. I love this sauce. If there’s one thing that the GKS cookbook taught me is that any fruit juice will, at some point, turn into a sugar-free sauce that you can use for granolas, pies, fillings, creams, breakfast bowls, etc. This time, I chose strawberries: I had to simmer them for a while (over an hour) but fell in love with the result. The sauce was thick, a bit tangy, but just enough to compensate the sweet meringue (or so my guests told me). I love using whole foods and nothing but whole foods in my cakes! But enough talking, let’s do some eating.
A light, healthy version for this all-time favourite summer cake!
For the mini pavlovas
- 120 g/ 4oz egg whites
- 1 pinch salt
- 200 g/ 7oz fine caster sugar
- 1 tbs cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
For the sauce
- 1 kg/ 35 oz fresh, juicy strawberries
For the cream
- 500 g/ 18 oz mascarpone
- 150 g/ 5 oz Greek yogurt
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbs honey (or to taste)
- Fresh strawberries, almond flakes, pistachio
- Preheat the oven to 90 C/ 195 F fan-forced. In the bowl of your stand mixer equipped with the whisk attachment add the egg whites and a pinch of salt and mix on speed 4 (medium) until just frothy. Separately, mix and caster sugar, cornstarch and cream of tartar. With the mixer running, start adding the sugar-starch mixture one tbs at a time, until you get a very stiff, glossy meringue and all sugar dissolves.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon equal amounts of meringue onto the baking sheets, then flatten with the back of the spoon so that you get mini-pavlovas. Bake for 1h, 1h10 minutes. Do NOT open the oven door during this period. Turn off the heat, and let stand in the oven for 15 more minutes before cracking the door open. Let cool completely in the oven, overnight if possible (or at least 8 hours).
For the strawberry sauce
- Whizz all strawberries in a blender, then pour the juice in a saucepan and simmer until a thick sauce is formed (over an hour), stirring from time to time. Let cool completely.
For the cream
- In a shallow bowl, mix all the ingredients for the cream until well incorporated.
- Take each mini pavlova and spread it with mascarpone cream, then pour the sauce on top and sprinkle with almond flakes or pistachio and fresh strawberries.
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I am telling you: a dessert so light, utterly delicious yet health-friendly has never been invented :) My friends told me that they could have eaten all ten pieces by themselves, no guilt involved.