One of the best parts about blogging is the community it creates. Nothing makes me happier or more proud than seeing my food blogger friends live out their biggest dreams. I never get tired of walking around the book store and knowing so many of the authors of the gorgeous cookbooks that are being published right now. As an avid cookbook collector, I love adding to my collection – and even better to add new volumes next to the author’s previous books. Shauna Sever’s latest book, Real Sweet is going to probably live in my kitchen. I love buying different sugars and sweeteners, but rarely have any idea what to do with them. Coconut sugar, muscovado, turbinado, agave, maple syrup, and honey. I know how to use the liquids in dressings and to pour on pancakes and scones. But for baking, notsomuch. This book has opened my eyes to the possibilities. Deeper flavors. Complexity. Richness. A baker’s dream.
Case in point, this Raw Sugar Pavlova. I’ve made pavlova a million times, but the simple addition of turbinado sugar changes the game. It is deeper, more developed, and incredible. I always thought that meringue was good, this is the real deal. I whipped some cream and simmered some blueberries and raspberries in pure maple syrup until the berries started to pop. I made mini pavlovas, but you could make one big one if you like. You could also just make some cookies and crumble them to make Eton Mess. (Which is what I did with the leftovers. Ah-mazing.)
Raw Sugar Meringue:
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)
- 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Maple Soaked Berrries:
- 1 pint blueberries
- 1 pint raspberries
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt.
This is what turbinado sugar looks like. It is also called raw sugar. It is coarser than granualted sugar, so we need to melt it or it will be grainy.
Heat some water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Set the mixing bowl over the simmering water and whisk until the mixture is thick and the sugar has dissolved. The easiest way to tell is to rub some between your fingers, but make sure that all of the sugar hasn’t sunk to the bottom.
Add the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Beat on high speed until the meringue is stiff, glossy, and voluminous. (Such a great word. It makes me feel very Nigella.) Add the vanilla bean paste.
This is what it will look like when it is ready. It takes 8 to 10 minutes.
Take the bowl off of the mixer and add the cornstarch. Gently fold in with a rubber spatula.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Pipe or spoon meringue onto the baking sheet. I piped mine into a nest. But you could do a flatten it out and the middle with be more marshmallow-y instead of crisp. Bake in a preheated 250° oven for 1 1/2 hours. Then turn off the heat and let cool completely in the oven for another hour.
Add the berries and maple syrup to a saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the berries soften and begin to release juice.
Make some whipped cream. Top the meringues with cream and spoon berries on top.
Thank you to Shauna and her team at HarperCollins for allowing me to publish her meringue recipe. Heads up – Shauna is giving away a few copies plus a basket of her favorite natural sweeteners on her blog (USA residents only).