pink meringues – two ways

my love of meringues goes a long, long, long, long, long way in my house… they’re whipped up quickly and they’re just so versatile! i’ve made them as pavlovas, as cake toppers and even as mushrooms for a cake decor (not featured yet, but it’s in my pipeline since last year… duh). so here’s a compilation of two of my favorite meringue recipes of all times: eton mess (with home made meringues) and pavlovas. depending on your mood, you can adapt this and top with just about anything that you like. in summer, berry coulis are nice! here, i made a rhubarb compote. tangy, summery and cool!
firstly, i made the meringues. pink ones! just add a little food coloring before spooning them onto the baking pan. for version 1, the eton mess, crush the meringues, add some vanilla cream and strawberry coulis. for the pavlova version, top the whole (mini) meringue with vanilla cream, rhubarb or strawberry coulis and basil coulis. and it’s yum! 
pink meringues – two ways: 
eton mess with vanill cream and strawberry coulis 
mini pavlovas with vanilla cream, rhubarb compote and basil pesto
for the meringues: 
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. red or pink food coloring
1/2 lemon for cleaning the bowl before starting
for the vanilla cream:
2 cups cream
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. whipped cream stabilizer
for the strawberry coulis:
500 g (2 cups) strawberries
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
for the rhubarb compote:
500 g (2 cups) rhubarb, finely chopped
4 tbsp. sugar
1 cup cranberry juice
4 tbsp. grenadine (pomegranate) syrup
for the basil coulis: 
1 bunch basil leaves
3 tbsp. pistachio oil
1 tbsp. acacia honey
1/4 cup pistachios, unsalted, finely chopped, for decorating

strawberries, for decorating

for the meringues preheat the oven to 160 degrees c /  320 f and line a baking pan with parchment paper. clean the bowl with half the lemon: just wipe over the bowl to remove any leftover grease, as this will keep the eggwhites from turning stiff. whip the eggwhites for a couple of minutes until soft peaks form, then add the sugar, cornstarch and baking powder, slowly, bit by bit. continue to whip for another 2-3 minutes, until stiff (if you turn the bowl on its head, it shouldn’t drop or fall down). fold in a couple of drops of the red food coloring (you don’t need to evenly combine it, it’s nice if the effect is slightly ‘marbled’). spoon the eggwhites onto the parchment paper in little, unperfect but charming heaps. no need to leave extra space between the meringue piles, as they won’t rise significantly. bake (or rather, as i always put it) dry the meringues in the oven for about 1 hour (to check if they’re done try and remove one from the parchment; if it comes off easily, they’re fine! the bottom should be dry when you knock at it), then turn off the oven and let them cool down  completely in the oven with the oven door closed. can be made up to 3 days ahead; store in airtight containers at room temperature until used.
for the vanilla cream whip the cream on high, then add the sugar, vanilla extract and whipped cream and whip some more. 
for the rhubarb compote wash the rhubarb and chop finely. heat the sugar in a saucepan and let caramellize (without stirring). deglaze with the cranberry juice, then add the rhubarb and grenadine syrup. cook for about 10 minutes, until rhubarb is soft. remove and let cool completely.
for the basil coulis bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. quickly blanch the basil leaves in it for about 10 seconds. remove and cool in ice cold water immediately for a couple of minutes. drain and pat dry, thoroughly. put the leaves in the bowl of a food processor, add the honey and pistachio oil and pulse / puree until smooth. put aside at room temperature. chop the pistachios to sprinkle the pavlovas later.
to assemble the eton mess: 
crunch up about 1.5 (depending on size) meringues. now put the crumbs in the glass in layers: start with the meringue, then add a dollop of whipped cream, a spoonful of strawberry coulis and proceed until the glass is full. finish off with a dollop of whipped cream and coulis. 
to assemble the pavlovas:
place one meringue on a plate, add a generous dollop of the vanilla cream, top with some of the rhubarb compote and a teaspoon of the basil coulis. sprinkle with pistachio and add a strawberry on top.
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