Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recipe for Life: Pavlova

Want a great dessert recipe. For Pavlova, Australia's favourite dish! Ah yes, we lay claim to it ;-) 

Ah yes, there is some argument discussion about the true origin of this dessert dish. The New Zealanders have some claim. Nonetheless, we LOVE it in this great country! It fits our life style, relaxed and cruisey. It's yum. You can mix it up a bit, by changing the toppings you put on. And you can even cheat, it's available in packet-type mixes and premade. Must admit though that my love is for the made-from-scratch version. I like it a bit crusty! Crustiness in a pav (that's the nickname for a pavlova) is great, crustiness in other areas of life not-so-great...

See this crust, it's yummmm.

So, the recipe. Well, like the good old scone, the pav has a reputation for being tricky to make. But it's not. Really! You do need to have one of these, mine is of the Kenwood variety. Not so pretty but plenty of grunt! And you need big eggs. The guys I use are on average over 60g each. Other than that it's only about the beating. You need to do plenty of beating... So here we go with another Recipe for Life.

Recipe from Life - Pavolva

This recipe was sourced from the Marie Claire "Kitchen - the ultimate recipe collection" book.
4 egg whites
a pinch of salt
1 cup of white sugar/caster sugar (heaped)
1 tablespoon of cornflour
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar 

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Beat egg whites with salt, 'til firm
- While beating, gradually add sugar
- Beat again 'til mix is shiny white and kinda creamy
- Then fold in cornflour, then vinegar (fold 'til no clumps)
- Dollop mix (technical term!) onto flat biscuit tray lined with baking paper
- Spread mix 'til it's a rough circle and about 1-2 inches thick (beware, it will spread a little on tray)
- Cook for 5 minutes @180, then lower temp to 150. Cook for an hour. 
- Turn oven off and allow pav to cool in oven! Overnight if necessary. Or wedge a wooden spoon into oven door to allow slow cooling.
- Whip cream, cut up whatever fruit you like and add as topping!

Extra Tips
- You can double this recipe with confidence and it will feed hordes of people!
- Though white wine vinegar is not an 'everyday' ingredient it will last forever in your pantry
- We do a yoghurt and berry topping for a healthier version. Very nice, though not to the small people's taste. 
- I use normal white sugar 'cos I'm too lazy to keep/make caster sugar and it works fine, just be sure to beat well. You can't overbeat this mix!

This pav was made at the boy's request. As a birthday dessert rather than another cake! We were very pleased, we were over cake, it was the second birthday dinner in as many days... So I added candles:-) And tinned berries. All good. His reaction said it all; the eyes were shiney and he had a second helping (I think he would have had a third if we'd allowed!). There you go, a great dessert just in time for the weather warming up. We're heading for a lovely day today - yay!