Easy Sugar Free Strawberry Pavlova: a super yummy treat and just 4g carbs!
If you love meringues as much as I do, but don’t want the sugar, this one is for you! 100% keto, LCHF, low carb and sugar free indulgence. But wait…as if that wasn’t enough, there’s an extra bonus…my easy sugar free strawberry pavlova is also super easy to make.
We’ve all been there. We’ve followed a recipe that requires egg yolks. The whites are sitting there in a bowl and we have no idea what to do. Meringues spring to mind, yes, but they need sugar…lots of it…and they don’t always turn out well.
My love/hate relationship with meringues.
I personally had so many flops with meringues through the years. Totally ridiculous. You see pictures of perfect meringues and you follow instructions to the letter, but yours just don’t come out looking even close to those perfect little things. Really frustrating. Despite trying less sugar, more sugar, caster sugar, icing sugar, lemon, vinegar and so on, time after time they just kept disappointing. My meringues would just be too wet and eggy in the middle or so hard and gooey-sticky that they would be impossible to chew without losing a tooth. And then I’d chat with someone who makes perfect meringues every time and they would tell me it’s the easiest thing in the world. So annoying!
Suffice to say that my attempts at making meringues were becoming ever more rare. And many, many egg whites were sadly thrown away. Meringues were eventually banished when I turned to a keto lifestyle. I had to face the reality that, having been so rubbish at it using standard ingredients, expecting decent results now was simply utopia!
A half-hearted attempt that turned into a success story.
A few weeks ago, with an egg white to spare, I had a reminiscing moment and a sudden craving for meringue. Despite my absolute conviction that I would create yet another meringue disaster, I half-heartedly had an umpteenth go at it. No recipe to follow. No sugar free meringue success story ro replicate. I literally spent about 3 seconds considering what sugar replacement to use and then dived in. What the heck. I had nothing to lose.
Stevia or erythritol?
That was my only conundrum. My pure stevia crystals have an extreme sweetness concentration and I reasoned that it would be difficult to judge the quantity needed. So erythritol became my choice of sweetener for the meringues.
I whisked the egg white until it was frothy and just about turned opaque, added 1 tbsp of erythritol and carried on whisking. Then when it changed to pure white and creamy I added another tbsp of erythritol. The whisking continued. At this point I was kind of expecting that so much whisking was about to deflate the whole thing, rather than puff it up as it should. But I persevered out of sheer curiosity…and it worked! My egg white turned into this dense, fluffy and airy mix that really looked the part. Spurred on by a good start, I spooned the mix onto my baking tray and baked it on low heat until it felt crispy and looked dry.
The result: a more powdery texture than normal meringues, but oh so delicious. Even the slightly cooling effect of erythritol was actually quite pleasant. Once cooled, I ate the whole lot with tons of whipped cream and some dark chocolate sauce. I was in heaven!
Was it just a lucky one-off? Nope! Since then, I have made 4 separate batches of meringues in exactly the same way. They’ve turn out great every single time.
How to make easy sugar free strawberry pavlova.
1 egg white will yield 2 meringue nests for the pavlova. All you need to do is whisk egg white and erythritol to infinity and beyond. Spoon half the mixture onto an oven tray, shape it so as to resemble a bird’s nest and repeat with the other half of the mixture. Then bake for ages on low temperature to allow the egg mix to dry up all the way through.
Once you have your meringue nests, you can decide how to make your easy sugar free strawberry pavlova. If you’ve never tried it topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and berries, I urge you to do so. It is to die for. On this occasion, I couldn’t be bothered to make sugar free ice cream, so I stuck with the classic meringue-cream-fruit combo.
Get your berries, chop them up and put them in a small saucepan. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice, a little dry or liquid sweetener to remove any tartness and a pinch of agar. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, then let your compote cool down. At this point you can either use a fork to mash the berries, or you can press them through a fine sieve if you prefer a coulis.
Whip up some fresh cream, or have fun with a syphon…I recently bought one of these and it’s become my favourite new toy!
And finally, stack the meringue nests with whipped cream, strawberry compote and a single strawberry for visual impact.
My easy sugar free strawberry pavlova will be devoured before you can blink. Promised!
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- Servings: 2
- Serving size: 2
- Calories: 108
- Fat: 10g
- Net Carbs: 4g
- Protein: <1g
- whisk egg white until it turns opaque white, add 1 tbsp erythritol and continue to whisk until firm, then add the second tbsp erythritol and carry on whisking until the mixture becomes very stiff, glossy and dense.
- spoon 2 equal mounds onto an oven tray lined with parchment paper and shape like nests.
- bake at 100ºC fan for 1.5 hours, oven door ajar after first 45 mins.
- chop strawberries, reserving 2 whole ones.
- put the chopped strawberries in a small pan with lime juice, stevia and agar.
- simmer on low heat for 5 mins, stirring often.
- allow the strawberry sauce to cool and thicken.
- whip cream until very stiff or use a syphon.
- spread, pipe or squirt whipped cream over the outer part of the meringue nest, plus a little in the centre.
- fill the middle of the nest with strawberry compote and top with a strawberry.
If your meringues become stuck to the parchment paper, ease them off by sliding a large knife under them. Don't worry if a few crumbs are left behind: use them to decorate your serving plate like I did.
Add a few drops of vanilla stevia to the cream before you start whipping it: utter vanilla-y deliciousness!
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