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Candied Pansy & Viola Miniature Pavlovas

Author Eva Kosmas Flores

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 egg white lightly whisked
  • 2 dozen organic pansies
  • 2 dozen organic violas
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • pastry brush
  • parchment paper
  • pastry bag fitted with large open-star tip optional

Instructions

  1. To make the candied pansy & viola miniature pavlovas, start by candying the flowers. Lightly brush the petals of a flower with the egg whites. Sprinkle the superfine sugar over the flower until coated. Place on a wire rack to dry. Repeat this process until all of the flowers are candied. Allow to dry for 1 hour, or until the flowers feel crisp when poked.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, beat the 6 egg whites and salt until they begin to stiffen but aren’t dry. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time. Continue beating on high speed until the egg whites are shiny and thick, then fold in the vanilla extract and the corn starch.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Now, you can either use a spatula to simply spread the meringue into small 4-inch discs, or you can do it with a pastry bag to create the spiral pattern. To do it with the pastry bag, scoop the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with the open-star tip and fold the top several times. Secure the folded top in place with a small clip. Starting at the outside edge, spiral your way towards the center as you apply pressure to the bag to make a 4-inch in diameter spiral. Repeat this until you have used all of the meringue. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  4. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar to allow the pavlovas to cool slowly (this prevents cracking). Once cooled, remove the tray from the oven. To assemble, place the pavlova on the serving surface and spread a dollop of whipped cream on top of it. Place several of the candied pansies and violas on top of the cream and serve.