On New Year’s Eve, I cooked for some friends and realized that dessert needed to be on the lighter end of things, because who wants to go out to New Year’s parties feeling all weighed down with chocolate and butter, etc. etc.? That’s how I came up with Pavlova, something that I’d only really made once before (actually twice) but never served to guests because it always seemed so delicate and ephemeral and kind of risky. But a risky dessert on New Year’s Eve is a good way to kick off the new year: taking chances, living on the edge, whipping egg whites. So I got to work.
If you make the ice cream in the previous post, you’re going to find yourself with an excess of egg whites: specifically, six egg whites that you should not, by any means, throw away. Resourcefulness is what separates good home cooks from great ones; and there, with that bowl of egg whites, you can make a delicate, memorable dessert, especially if you top it with whipped cream and berries. The dessert in question is pavlova, named after the Russian ballet dancer Ánna Pávlova. Depending on your taste for sweets, it may either be the best or worst dessert you’ve ever tasted.