This dessert got me my position with Taste Catering in San Francisco, when I was looking to relocate from Las Vegas. I asked one of the owners, MeMe, to tell me flavors she hated in desserts, to which she responded, “You mean flavors I like?” She eventually listed lavender and lychee as two of her least favorites. When I came out to do my tasting with them a few weeks later, I created this little beauty, which combines therobust flavors of rose, lavender, and lychee in a very subtle and playful manner. Once MeMe and the rest of the Taste gang tried these pavlovas, their faces were full of joy, I got the job, and this became a staple on our menu
- Yield: 10 Servings
- 10 French Lavender Pavlovas
- 1 cup (500 g) Vanilla Bean Chantilly
- 2½ peeled lychee, quartered
- 10 ripe raspberries, cut in halves
- 10 Crystallized Organic Rose Petals
- Place each Pavlova on a plate, a little off center. Fill a deep cup or bowl with hot water (very hot tap water is fine) and set the chantilly next to the hot water. Dip a large soup spoon into the hot water and then immediately skim the spoon along the top of the chantilly to create a quenelle. The heat from the water will cause the chantilly to shine and add elegance to the dish. Place the quenelle of chantilly in the divot of one of the Pavlovas. Wipe the spoon clean and repeat this process until each Pavlova has a quenelle of chantilly on top. If a quenelle is just not your style, place a heavy dollop of chantilly in the center of each Pavlova and move on.
- Place 1 quarter of lychee, 2 raspberry halves, and 1 rose petal onto each quenelle of chantilly. Press each bit of garnish gently to set it into the chantilly, but don’t squish.
- A delicate crumb on the outside and a lovely soft chew on the inside characterize a great Pavlova. To achieve this perfect texture, assemble this dish 30 minutes before you plan to serve it so that the chantilly begins to soften the inside of the meringue and the flavors of the lychee and the raspberry begin to meld with the lavender pavlova. But don’t assemble them too far in advance so they don’t get too mushy, up to 2 hours is ok. Serve and enjoy.