Winter citrus season is upon us! In other words, all orange everything! From Cara Cara to Blood orange, I thoroughly enjoy this time of year and the fruits that come with it. Since everyone is looking forward to lighter bites in the new year that won’t interfere with goals/resolutions today’s mini blood orange pavlovas are the perfect treat for 2022! Delicious airy meringue pavlovas, topped with blood orange curd, blood orange segments, coconut cream, dark chocolate and pecans. Each bite of pavlova is like a fluffy cloud and an orange cream dream. They’re also heart shaped, dairy and gluten free and a wonderful dessert option for Valentine’s Day.
Mini Blood Orange Pavlovas
Light and crisp mini blood orange pavlovas, topped with easy blood orange curd, coconut cream, orange segments, pecans and dark chocolate.
I tried making pavlova for the first time, early in 2021. The flavors were so delicious I ended up experimenting with more recipes and serving it for dessert at family gatherings. But what exactly is pavlova?
What is Pavlova?
Pavlova is a dessert made from meringue that’s crisp on the outside with a light soft and airy center, commonly topped with fresh fruits, jams, and whipped cream. It is classically formed into one domed shape, baked and then cut into slices for serving. Pavlova is a super versatile dessert, that can be made in multiple sizes, flavors and shapes.
How does pavlova taste?
If you love meringue kisses or any kind of meringue, then you’ll love pavlova too. It’s mild sweet and creamy flavor, pairs wonderfully with any topping you can think of, from fruit to chocolate! Texturely, it is addicting with a chewy soft center, that melts in your mouth, however it is not as crisp as meringue kisses. The pavlovas topped with the blood orange curd and coconut cream, tastes very similar to an orange cream pop, but elevated, with notes of chocolate and pecan for additional crunch.
How to make mini blood orange pavlovas
Making a pavlova is just like making meringue. It requires only 3 ingredients, whisking egg whites and sugar or sugar syrup together until stiff peaks form. For mini pavlovas, transfer the meringue to a piping bag fitted with tip 1M. Pipe the meringue onto a parchment lined baking sheet, into heart or circular shapes. Then transfer to an oven on a tiered temperature to bake.
The blood orange flavoring in these pavlovas comes from the toppings, such as the curd, coconut cream and orange segments. The blood orange curd is also only lightly sweetened so it’s not too sugary when paired with the pavlova.
Italian Meringue pavlova
I’ve recipe tested pavlova using different meringue and discovered that I like Italian Meringue the best. Since Italian meringue is thicker and denser it is a great option for pavlova, yielding more consistent results! This discovery came after my French meringue pavlova deflated twice after baking. Because I prefer Italian Meringue for macarons, I gave it a try with the pavlova and it worked nicely! The trade off, is that this pavlova is not as light as French meringue, but still equally delicious and my secret to serving pavlova that won’t deflate! I’m sure Swiss meringue would offer a similar result to Italian.
How to make Italian Meringue
Italian meringue is different from French meringue. It does require more steps and a candy thermometer but is totally worth it! It’s made by whisking a hot sugar syrup into the egg whites until glossy peaks form.
To make Italian meringue, measure the ingredients, then heat sugar and water together in a pot. When the sugar mixture reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit, begin whisking the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer. Gradually increase the whisking speed to medium-hi and continue whisking until the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees Fahrenheit. Then remove the sugar syrup from heat and slowly pour it down the side of the mixing bowl, into the egg whites, with the mixing speed still on medium-hi. The meringue will thicken. Once, thick and glossy stiff peaks form, transfer to piping bag fitted with tip 1M.
Preparing the mini pavlovas
Trace six 5″ heart shapes onto parchment paper roughly 2 inches apart. Pipe and fill in the heart with the meringue then top with a second layer of piped meringue. Hollow out the center of each meringue heart with the back of a spoon, to hold the filling for each pavlova. Pipe additional pavlova or meringue kisses on a second baking sheet lined with parchment. Follow the video below and bake as directed.
Easy blood orange curd
The blood orange curd used to top the pavlova, is very easy to make and requires just a few ingredients. It’s also incredibly delicious, velvety and not too sweet with bright blood orange flavor. Whisk eggs and sugar together until combined and bubbling. Stir in fresh squeezed blood orange juice and zest and continue whisking until thickened. Then add 1 tablespoon of vegan butter. Transfer to fridge to cool.
Topping possibilities are endless for pavlovas. Simply adjust the ingredients as desired. Common fruits include berries, stone fruit, tropical fruit. Other toppings include whipped cream, jams, curds, coconut, chocolate, nuts and blooms. Just be sure to wait to add the toppings, until serving.
How to assemble the pavlovas
To assemble the pavlova, start with the orange curd, filling the cavity of each pavlova.
Then top the coconut cream, orange segments, meringues, pecans, chocolate and pecans.
Finish each pavlova with orange zest and optional edible glitter dust. Serve and enjoy!
Mini Blood Orange Pavlovas
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 10+ heart pavlovas 1x
- Category: Baking
- Method: Pavlova
- Cuisine: Dessert
- Diet: Gluten Free
Light and delicious mini blood orange pavlovas, topped with an easy blood orange curd, coconut cream, orange segments, pecans and dark chocolate. Dairy and Gluten free
Pavlovas ( Gluten Free):
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp egg whites (or 90 grams)
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar (or 230 grams)
- 3/4 cups water (or 158 grams of water)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice & 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed until combined
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Candy thermometer
- Parchment paper
- 5” heart to trace
- Piping bag
- Piping tip 1M
Coconut Whip (Dairy Free)
- 1 can of full fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge overnight
- 1-2 tbsp sugar
- Zest from 1 blood orange
Blood Orange Curd:
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cups organic sugar
- 1/4 cup squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- zest from 1 blood orange
- Blood orange segments
- Chopped pecans
- Dark Chocolate
- Edible glitter dust
For the mini pavlovas:
- Preheat oven to 265 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trace six 5″ hearts onto a sheet of parchment paper.
- Place egg whites into the clean mixing bowl.
- To make the sugar syrup, heat granulated sugar and water in a pot on medium heat, with a candy thermometer attached to the side. *Make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot*.
- Once the thermometer’s temperature reaches approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit, begin mixing the measured egg whites on medium speed.
- Once the egg whites are foamy, add the cream of tartar to the egg whites to stabilize, then continue whisking on medium gradually increasing to medium high.
- Watch the sugar syrup closely.
- As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees Farenheit, remove from heat.
- With the mixer at medium-high, begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the meringue, whisking until well combined.
- The meringue will become thick and glossy.
- Pour in the lemon juice and cornstarch mixture, + the vanilla bean until combined.
- Continue whisking until the mixing bowl begins to cool to room temp and stiff peaks are achieved.
- Use a rubber spatula to transfer the meringue to a piping bag.
- Pipe the meringue in the heart shape, filling in the center of the heart, then piping a second layer of meringue (see video).
- You’ll have enough for at least 10 pavlovas, but reserve some of the meringue for making meringue kisses for topping the pavlovas.
- Bake the pavlova hearts in a preheated oven at 265 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Then, turn the oven down to 205 degrees Fahrenheit and bake at 205 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes. At this time you can also place the second tray of meringue kisses in the oven to bake.
- After the 1:30 minute baking time, turn oven down to 185 degrees, then bake the pavlova for an additional 30 minutes.
- Then turn the oven off completely and cool pavlova in the oven for a at least an additional 2 hours.
- Remove chilled can of coconut milk from the fridge.
- Open the can and spoon out the coconut cream and place it in a mixing bowl.
- Whisk coconut cream until medium to stiff peaks start to form, then stir in the sugar, and orange zest.
- Continue to whisk until fully combined, then transfer to the fridge to keep cool until ready to serve.
Blood orange curd:
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until combined on medium low.
- Whisk in juice and zest.
- Continue whisking until thickened and bubbly.
- Whisk in 1 tbsp vegan butter.
- Continue whisking until combined, then transfer to the fridge to cool.
Assembling the pavlovas:
- Assemble just before serving.
- Top the pavlovas with the cooled blood orange curd.
- Spoon the coconut whip onto the top of the curd.
- Then add the orange segments, chopped pecans, meringue kisses, dark chocolate and edible glitter.
- Garnish with orange zest.
- Serve immediately.
Make the pavlovas a few days in advance and store in an airtight container until serving.
Keywords: how to make pavlova, Italian meringue pavlova, valentine's desserts, blood orange pavlova, gluten free pavlova, heart shaped pavlova, easy valentine's dessert ideas, elegant valentine's desserts, blood orange curd
Did you know that the Pavlova dessert is named after the ballerina Anna Pavlova? Considering how light and airy it is, I completely understand the connection!
This mini pavlova recipe is gluten and dairy free making it a wonderful alternative dessert option for anyone with food sensitivities.
With Valentine’s Day coming up next month, this would be a wonderful dessert for you to make! Whether for yourself, your kids, significant other or for Galentine’s Day, it’s guaranteed to be enjoyed by all!
Tag me or comment below if you give the recipe a try!
This post titled Mini Blood Orange Pavlovas was seen first on Posh Little Designs. All Rights Reserved. 2022
Kelly J Williams says
Brandi these Pavlovas are stunning! The flavors are mouthwatering! I love citrus anything and your presentation, photography and composition are just so gorgeous making this heart shaped Pavlova magazine cover ready-much applause for all the pretty little details: tiny meringues, the blood orange slices, chopped pecans & edible glitter-so posh and elegant!
Posh Little Designs says
Thank you so so much! I love pavlova and the pairing couldn’t have been more delicious! These are on the list to enjoy together soon!