Almond Pavlova Cake with Dulce de Leche, Whipped Cream & Strawberries

I am so excited to finally share this recipe with all of you. I have been testing this dessert for quite some time now and finally achieved a perfect recipe.

I love Pavlovas, the crunch exterior from the baked meringue with a soft and chewy inside, combined with refreshing whipping cream and a fruity topping, for me, makes a perfect dessert.

But this is not your traditional Pavlova. There is a restaurant in Miami called “Piononos” and they make a Pavlova similar to this one. The base is very thin, compared to a traditional round, high and fluffy Pavlova, making it super crunchy with just a touch of soft and chewy inside. And to top the already delicious Pavlova they add Dulce de Leche, Whipped Cream, and Strawberries.

So, here is the deal, I don’t live in Miami, I used to, but when I did this dessert was not as Instagram famous as it is today, so I really never had a chance to try it. But the curiosity had been killing me for months. I knew I had to try and replicate it. I went on a mission, I called one of my BFF’s that lives in Miami and is an amazing cook (check out her page @alarovi) and asked her if she had any idea how I could replicate it, turns out she had done it herself. So, with her tips, extensive internet research, and my knowledge of traditional Pavlova making, I finally achieved what I believe is a very delicious nontraditional Pavlova that will forever replace any other Pavlova I make in the future. It is honestly incredibly tasty; I recommend you give it a try!

Prep time: 3hours - Cook time: 1hour - Total time: 4 hours
Servers: 8 ppl

Ingredients:

For the Pavlova Base

125 grams of egg whites (about 4 whites)

250 grams (1 1/4 cup) of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

125 grams of ground almonds

For the topping

1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk, label removed

200 grams of heavy cream

500 grams of strawberries, clean and sliced

Directions:

To make the Dulce de Leche:

  • Place the can on its side in a large pot. Fill the pot with room-temperature water, making sure the water level is at least 2 inches above the can.

  • Set pot over high heat and allow to come to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours for a lighter caramel, and up to 3 hours for a darker caramel; check the pot every 30 minutes to ensure the water level stays above the can, adding boiling water as necessary to top it up.

  • Using a pair of tongs, remove the can from the water and set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature (important: do not attempt to open the can while still hot, which can cause pressurized hot caramel to spray dangerously).

  • Once it has cooled, open with a can opener and used as much as you like. The rest can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

For the Pavlova Base:

  • Preheat the oven to 300F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or parchment paper (at least 24 centimeters in diameter).

  • To make the meringue base, place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl or a clean, dry saucepan. Place the bowl with the whites and the sugar on top of a pot or saucepan that has boiling water on the stovetop. Stir continuously with a whisk or a hand-held electric mixer until the sugar has completely melted (if you have a kitchen thermometer, this will be at 122F).

  • Remove from heat and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer. When the mixture begins to look white and foamy, add the vanilla and continue beating until the bowl does not feel hot and the meringue forms peaks when you lift it.

  • Remove from the blender and add the ground almonds in 2 parts to the meringue, folding it with a spatula until it is all incorporated.

  • Place the meringue on the previously prepared tray in the desired way.

  • Bake for 40-45 minutes. Then turn off the heat and leave the meringue there until it cools completely (approximately 30 more minutes).

To make the whipped cream:

  • When the base has completely cooled, beat the heavy cream on medium speed until it doubles in volume and has a stronger and creamier texture.

To assemble:

  • Place the dulce de leche on top of the previously baked meringue, then place the cream and finally the strawberries. Serve immediately. Keep refrigerated.

All photos were taken by the incredibly talented Mále Reguero.

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