Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Pavlova anyone?

This is the recipe you need if you want an easy dessert 
that will feed lots of people 
and always seems to impress.
I shamelessly knock this up whenever I am bringing dessert 
and the great thing is
 people seem to always be so happy to see it!
Ingredients are simple: eggs, sugar, whipping cream and fruit.
Takes an hour or so to bake and then you are ready to feed a crowd.


Image: Ingrid in Beijing

Image: Ingrid in Beijing
I use Delia's recipe and it never fails 
- well apart from the time the oven was broken 
and I didn't realise! 
But that hardly counts.

Have a practice now if you haven't tried it before and then you are ready for the Christmas season.

Here's how I made this version, from my head, because it is so simple:
Ingredients::
Eggs ~ 5
Sugar, fine caster sugar is best~ 10oz (250gm)
White wine vinegar ~ 1 tsp 
Cornflower ~1 tsp 
Cream that will whip ~  1 pint or about 500ml (depends on how much you like cream)
Fruit for the top ~ strawberries, kiwi fruit & bananas, raspberries, peaches... your choice
Icing sugar to dust

Method::

  • Turn oven on to 150C
  • Take a large flat baking tray, add a layer of silicone paper and spray lightly with Pam spray (or lightly oil)
  • Measure the sugar and have it ready (sift if necessary)
  • Separate the egg whites and add them to a large mixing bowl. I use my Kitchenaid here but a hand held mixer works fine. Keep the egg yolks for something else.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they have 'soft' peaks. If you are new to this, the egg whites should stay in the bowl if you turn it upside down! But don't whip beyond this otherwise they start to break down.
  • Add the sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time. Whisk in well each time before you add more. If you doing this in a tabletop mixer you don't need to stop whisking, just keep adding sugar bit by bit.
  • When all sugar is added and whisked in well, add the vinegar and cornflower. This is optional but seems to give a nice chewy/ crispy texture, but it works well without them too.
  • Spread the meringue lightly onto the baking sheet (oiled as above) and make a large circle. Make a rim - slightly higher at the edges. I take a thin skewer and whip up some of the peaks to make little points, to be a little fancy.
  • Turn the oven temp down to 140C and add the meringue in on a shelf just below oven centre.
  • Bake for one hour. 
  • After one hour, turn the oven off but leave the meringue in the oven till cool. It helps it to totally dry out. Take the meringue off the tray and carefully slide it onto a very large plate or use a serving tray, (IKEA has one that does this job well).
  • Whip the cream to be softly-stiff - too stiff and you won't be able to spread it over the top of the meringue.
  • Scatter fruit of your choice over the top and dust with icing sugar. 
  • It is best not to add the cream and fruit more than an hour before serving. The meringue itself will store happily in a container for several days at room temperature.
Footnotes::
The normal size is made with 3 egg whites and 6 oz of sugar, baked in the same way but producing a smaller Pavlova!
It is so easy 2oz of sugar per egg white- so just make it the size you want. 
My meringues are never pure white but with the cream on top they look and taste great. Any tips for keeping meringue white would be gratefully received!
Start with a smaller 3 egg white Pavlova and then you are ready to party with a big one!
Happy whisking.

6 comments:

dolie said...

Looks absolutely delicious and very impressive. Must remember to invite you to dinner so you can offer to do the dessert.

Astrid said...

Mmm, looks delicious! Will definitely try it to impress the Texans!

Fiona said...

Mmmmm - now I'm hungry!

spectacularfairywren said...

yum - that is beautifully shot.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog Ingrid! You are so creative.. always have been! And you know I love your pavlova too... when can we come for dinner ;-)) Love from Deb in Thailand xx

Mayda Villar (Cuatro en la Carretera) said...

This looks delicious and so beautiful!!

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