Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Mini Pavlovas With Mangoes And Cream

I've been missing in action for the past few weeks. Blame it on the heat.. in fact, these days, I blame the summer heat for everything that doesn't go my way!! Summer is at its peak and if you've ever experienced the Indian summer then you know how the heat has this unique ability to sap you of all enthusiasm that you might have towards life. It induces a certain lassitude and inertia that reduces life to spending much of your days indoors, till the better part of the day is over.

And yet, like the proverbial silver lining, summer has its redeeming features. The first, for me, would be the fragrance of summer flowers that come alive in the evening. As the sun sets and the blinding heat of the day recedes, a gentle wind picks up. And it brings with it the sensual and seductive scent of flowers that are unique to the tropics. Mostly white in colour, these are flowers such as jasmine, mogra, tube roses, champa, raatrani and frangipani. Step out of your indoor confines and as the heady waft of these flowers washes over you, it brings a much-needed relief and calm that makes you understand why poets and writers alike, have waxed lyrically about summer evenings!!

The second redeeming feature of the summer is mangoes. I had written last year about India's love affair with the fruit. The fruit is best enjoyed on its own and if it used in any dessert, it deserves that it remains the star of the show. When I first made a pavlova back in January, not only did I fall in love with this Aussie classic but I remember saying to myself that mangoes would be a good fruit to pair with the pavlova.
So, I went with a miniature version of a pavlova and paired it with a simple combination of mangoes and cream. While I abhor going anywhere near an oven in this weather, the beauty of a pavlova is that it can be made in advance during the cooler part of the day. And it takes no more than fifteen minutes to prepare before you pop it in the oven. Once in the oven, it can be forgotten until the prescribed time tells you to switch off the oven and leave it to cool down.

Mangoes and cream is an unbeatable combination but the pavlova base elevates it to the level of an elegant dessert. The light, chewy base is perfect for the summer where a cake or tart base would have been a tad too heavy for the season. And most importantly, the mango remains the star!!

I reckon and hope that these are the last days of the Indian summer as we count down to the monsoons. As we reel under a heat wave, the rains can't come fast enough!! Till then, simple pleasures remain our last refuge!!
Mini Pavlovas With Mangoes And Cream

Adapted from Donna Hay's recipe given here. Serves 2
  • 1 egg white (approximately 35-40 ml) It is important to measure the egg whites.
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. corn flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/4 cup whipped cream
  • Fresh Mangoes, peeled and diced  
  • Pre-heat the oven to 120 degrees C.
  • Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  • Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
  • Add the corn flour and vinegar and whisk until just combined.
  • Shape the mixture into two 3-inch rounds on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and allow the pavlovas to cool completely in the oven.
  • Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Spread over the pavlova, top with mangoes and serve immediately.


  1. This is gorgeous! And you make it sound so easy and perfect for a summer day. It is inspiring me to go oven-wards! I am blaming your lovely pictures for it entirely..

    I am wilting in the heat much as you are. Is it just me or has it been especially severe this year? I hate the extreme summer, but never have I been so uncomfortable, irritable and vocal about it!

    1. Thanks Revati!! I reckon those lovely mangoes you snapped up at the Goan market today morning will make their way to this dessert!! :))

      and don't get me started on the heat.. every year it seems like its the worst summer ever.. I start complaining from mid-march.. so u can imagine for how long I've been crabby!!! the only consolation .. we don't live up north where temps have crossed 45!!

  2. I have missed your posts Sarvani :)
    We are going through a heat wave here too. I am sure it doesn't compare to the indian summer but it still saps all the energy out of you :(
    I love pavlovas and I think your choice of fruit is brilliant. I wish mangos were as readily available here

    1. Sawsan!! :)) don't get me started on the summer... its been excruciating!! Thank god for mangoes!! :)

  3. You cannot beat summer mangoes with cream and the crunch of sugary meringue and the ooey gooey soft filling inside. .... a summer dream. Yep it's winter here in Sydney, can you guess? Anne Marie @ tfd

    1. Anne Marie, right now the summer is so excruciating... I envy you your winter down under and the slow roasts and soups and warm cakes and puddings that you can take advantage of!! :)

  4. You have done it again, the subtle details are beautiful ! Love the music notes below the tracing paper and your photography has reached another level. Well done.

    The Mangos never looked Yummier !

    Dhruv and Shree

    1. Hey hey hey!!! look who dropped by the blog today! :) Thank you so much Apa and Bhenai.. a pat on the back from the professionals.. am thrilled!! :) Much love ..

  5. Wow!!! you just caught me here, mango is that fruit which I always love to have. The pictures and the pavlovas itself with chopped mangoes are just making me hungry for a desert. Have a lovely mangolicious summer!

    1. Haha.. thanks Balvinder!! Mangolicious.. that explains summer perfectly out here!!! :)


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