Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse and Strawberries

Sonja_For The Pleasure Of Eating

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I’m Sonja and “For The Pleasure Of Eating” is my food blog.

Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds or discover new recipes, my blog is the perfect place to find ideas that impress your family and friends while creating a party in your mouth!

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Using molasses-rich muscovado sugar gives this Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse and Strawberries its deep caramel notes. I’m topping them with two options, both Pistachio-Protein Mousse, but one is with oat cream as base, the other with plant milks. Crowned by seasonal strawberries, marinated in lime juice, with a hint of vanilla sugar, these are a divine summer treat, as a friend who got to try them remarked.

Why You Want to Make Them

The Inspiration for the Brown Sugar Pavlova came from Ottolenghi, one of my all-time favourite food heroes. He makes one big pavlova, where I wanted several small ones. And he uses it with very different (utterly delicious) toppings.
Making a Swiss Merigue for them gives extra stability and a texture that just melts in your mouth which being soft in the middle, but without sticking to the teeth as classic Pavlova might.

The contrast of the sweet, but deeply caramelised Pavlovas to the creamy Pistachio mousse on top with the lime spiked strawberries creates an experience that is pretty far from your white classic meringues with cream and fruits. It has a complexity I always missed in Pavlova recipes I tried before.

Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse

The Ingredients

The Pavlovas are very easy: Dark Muscovado sugar, mixed thoroughly with white sugar, to get rid of clumps. Egg whites. A pinch of salt. Chopped Pistachios if you want and feel brave enough to try and carefully fold them in at the very end. On bad days risking the meringue to collapse.

In the picture you see a tiny bowl with a tsp of cornstarch and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. I tried version with and without and found no difference. So you can leave both out without problems. Plus, if you go the swiss merirgue way I describe below, it’s more stable anyway. So while it’s in the picture from the ingredients, I didn’t include it, as I didn’t find it necessary in the end.

Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse ingredients

The Protein Pistachio Mousse on top, as with so many of my recipes, contains protein powder, which serves, beside its purpose to add protein to any sweet treats, to lend flavour and sweetness, so I’m able to drastically reduce the added sugar. It also adds a lovely custardy consistency and more creaminess, which is always a plus in my book.

The plant milk version is also super low in calories, which makes it entirely suitable for weight loss, as the meringues itself have less calories than you might think, despite all the sugar needed. The fact that they are mostly…well…air, might not be noticeable in their delicious flavour, but certainly in their energy content.
The cream version, as I’m lactose intolerant when it comes to any non-fermented milk products, is made with Oatly Cream, which I really enjoyed using.

Fat free Greek Yoghurt. Both for protein content and creaminess. But also a pleasant tang against all the creaminess.
And Pistachio butter. I found a fantastic one at Bulk. But if you can’t find it, try almond butter. Both also contain a good bit of protein, perfect for building muscle.
https://www.bulk.com/ie/pistachio-butter.html

Strawberries with lime were my choice of fruit for this Brown Sugar Pavlova, as they are still in season and contrast just perfectly with the two other parts of this dessert.
You could absolutely use other berries of your choice or maybe cherries, as they go very well with Pistachios.

The addition of Pistachios to the meringue itself is, I noticed after the second failed attempt, a little tricky. If you add them too early, chop them too finely or mix them in with the mixer, they will instantly deflate all the fantastic fluff due to their fats.
I ended up with one big bowl of baked and risen, but very moist in the middle miss-trial. Still really delicious and we munched it all, but most certainly not picture perfect.

The Process

Compared to classic meringue, the Swiss version takes a bit more patience, as you first whip it over a hot water bath until warm and all sugar has dissolved, then take it off the stove and keep whipping (a stand mixer is great here!) until cooled down again. All in all, that takes about 10 minutes. As opposed to 5 for classic. But then…it’s just 5 minutes more.
Which is completely worth it, when you see the shiny, caramel coloured, firm peaks in your bowl and just know how incredible your Brown Sugar Pavlovas will look and taste.

Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse Process

At this point the real test in patience arrives. Thankfully in form of low heat oven time, which you can use to get on with your day or have a tea or read or all of the above. They do need 1h at 130C, and another 2h ideally, in the switched off oven, so they can slowly firm up without collapsing. After that they should be fine for a few days. If you like the outside extra crisp on the next day (or it’s raining outside, I’m not kidding. A friend who makes meringues often enlightened me that Pavlovas often fail on rainy days.) you might have to re-crisp them in the oven for a few minutes at low heat.

Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse Process

The Pistachio mousse, if you make it with cream can either be set with gelatine of left as fairly soft peaks, which tastes delicious, but might not hold up for long on the table.
The plant milk version, due to its very low fat content, does need gelatine to set. I tried arrowroot powder, but it didn’t have the needed stabilising powder here.

In a blind test with a very willing victim, the plant milk version was deemed better, which was quite the surprise, as you’d think more fat means more flavour. But it has a very refreshing lightness to it, that makes it a great summer dessert, without being too rich.

For both I whipped all the ingredients except the gelatine together first, warmed the gelatine powder for 20 seconds with a few tablespoons of water in the microwave to dissolve it, then added carefully some of the cold mix, to bring it to roughly the same temperature and continued to mix the cream while drizzling it in slowly.

In the fridge it goes for an hour, and you are nearly done.

I decided to slice the strawberries for the top, but you could just cut them into pieces roughly. Just let them stand with a tablespoon of lime juice and a teaspoon of sugar or honey mixed in, for a few minutes while you plate up your Pavlovas.

Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse

Meal Prep

These are great to prepare, as both the Brown Sugar Pavlovas and the Mousse will keep happily for a few days. Pavlovas in an airtight box. Cream in the fridge. Strawberries are ideally sliced on the day for maximum freshness. If you are expecting guests, but have a busy schedule, this is fantastic.

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
What other recipes would you like to see?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot. 🙂

Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse and Strawberries

Using molasses-rich muscovado sugar gives this Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse and Strawberries its deep caramel notes. I’m topping them with two options, both Pistachio-Protein Mousse, but one is with oat cream as base, the other with plant milks. Crowned by seasonal strawberries, marinated in lime juice, with a hint of vanilla sugar, these are a divine summer treat, as a friend, who got to try them, remarked.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting/cooling time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Pavlovas
  • 4 fresh egg whites
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 125 g dark muscovado sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla powder or scraped out seeds of ½ vanilla pod
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Pistachios Roughly chopped (optional)
  • Pistachio Mousse Plant Milk version
  • 1 cup Soy milk Use full fat here for creaminess
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup fat free Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 scoop protein powder I used MyProtein Buttered Popcorn
  • 2 tbsp pistachio butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp 1 pck gelatine powder
  • 3 tbsp water to mix gelatine powder into
  • OR
  • Pistachio Mousse Oat Cream version
  • 1 cup Oat cream or whipping cream
  • ½ cup soy milk full fat
  • ¾ cup +2 tbsp fat free Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 scoop protein powder I used MyProtein Buttered Popcorn
  • 2 tbsp pistachio butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp 1 pck gelatine powder (optional for this version. Sets firmer)
  • 3 tbsp water to mix gelatine powder into
  • Topping
  • 3 cups strawberries
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp white sugar or sweetener of choice

Instructions
 

  • Mini Pavlovas
  • Draw 6 circles on your baking paper, each around 4in diameter. I used the lid of a tiny casserole dish I had as guidance, but you might have a jar or glass that roughly fits the measurements.
  • Turn the baking parchment around, so the pen lines are visible, but won’t touch your Pavlovas.
  • Ensure your mixing bowl and whisk are clean and grease-free.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 170 C/ 340F, turning it down to 130C/260F as soon as you put the Pavlovas in. This will help them crisp up, but not burn. Be careful not to leave the oven at the higher temperature, or you will have burned pavlovas. I tried that out for you. You are welcome.
  • Combine egg whites, caster sugar, dark muscovado sugar, vanilla powder or seeds, and salt in a heatproof bowl.
  • Place the bowl over simmering water; whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm. About 4 minutes.
  • Transfer mixture to a stand mixer and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form and it has cooled down mostly. About 5 minutes.
  • Pipe or spoon the meringue onto the circles of your parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave a little indentation in the middle, to hold the cream filling later. Pull up some pretty peaks with your spoon.
  • I found spooning to have a prettier and more rustic look than piped, but your Pavlovas, your choice.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 130°C (260°F) for 1h, turning the try after about 30min, to ensure even cooking. After the 1h, switch the oven off, but keep it closed for 2h, to allow the Pavlovas to bake and cool inside.
  • Pistachio Mousse Plant Milk version
  • In a small bowl, combine the gelatine powder and 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for a few minutes to bloom. Microwave for 20 seconds and mix thoroughly, so you have no clumps.
  • In a bowl with hand mixer, blender or food processor, combine the milk, fat-free Greek yogurt, honey, protein powder, pistachio butter, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and well combined.
  • Add 2 tbsp of that mix to the warmed gelatine, whisking after each, so it comes to room temperature.
  • While again whisking the milk mix, slowly drizzle the gelatine into it.
  • Taste the mousse and adjust sweetness or flavourings if desired.
  • Put the bowl in the fridge for about 1h to set.
  • Pistachio Mousse Oat Cream version
  • In a bowl with your hand mixer, for better control over the whipping cream, whisk the cream into firm peaks. Add the fat-free Greek yogurt, honey, protein powder, pistachio butter, and vanilla extract and whisk until you have soft peaks.
  • At this point you can decide if you like the consistency (it will firm up a little in the fridge, but not much), or if you prefer adding the gelatine for a more mousse like structure.
  • If using, in a small bowl, combine the gelatine powder and 3 tablespoons of water. Let it sit for a few minutes to bloom. Microwave for 20 seconds and mix thoroughly, so you have no clumps.
  • Add 2 tbsp of the cream mix to the warmed gelatine, whisking after each, so it comes to room temperature.
  • While again whisking the cream mix, slowly drizzle the gelatine into it.
  • Taste the mousse and adjust sweetness or flavourings if desired.
  • Put the bowl in the fridge for about 1h to set.
  • Strawberries with lime
  • Right before serving, cut the strawberries to your preferred size and shape. Mix with sugar and lime juice and let them stand at room temperature, while you assemble the Pavlovas.
  • Very carefully and with a very flat spatula transfer the mini Pavlovas onto serving plates.
  • Top with a few tablespoons of the Pistachio Mousse, then with the strawberries. Sprinkle with a few chopped pistachios if you have them.

Notes

Nutrition for Plant milk version:
Calories: Approximately 220-260
Fat: Approximately 5-7 grams
Protein: Approximately 4-5 grams
Carbohydrates: Approximately 40-45 grams
Sugar: Approximately 35-40 grams
Cream Version:
Calories: Approximately 380-420
Fat: Approximately 11-13 grams
Protein: Approximately 8-10 grams
Carbohydrates: Approximately 60-65 grams
Sugar: Approximately 50-55 grams

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal
Nutrition Facts
Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Pistachio Protein Mousse and Strawberries
Amount per Serving
Calories
300
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword For Guests, High Protein
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

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