Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Mini pavlovas




*** I doubt if I do not update my blog anytime sooner, my baby sister is going to buy a ticket and fly all the way from Hong Kong to hunt me down. LOL. When I spoke to her earlier today, I promised her I would be updating it (FINALLY!!!), she was thrilled. So this is me keeping my promise :D Enjoy! ***



Sweat: 2%
Sweet: 98%

I have over a handful of recipes that I need/want to blog. Out of these, I have picked the most recent and most desirable dessert - Pavlova. Funny that I have always thought pavlova is an English word until my colleague brought it up when tasting it that I finally realised it was Russian. And even funnier, despite the name being Russian, this dessert has its roots in Australia/New Zealand. Complicated, huh? Right, I am definitely not the best person to explain the history of food, or everything in general, so if you are interested in knowing a bit more about this Pavlova, feel free to visit the link here.

Although it was an easy dessert to pull together, I worried a bit about the meringue because I had never baked it before (macaroons do not count!). Plus I (still) do not own one of those posh, colourful Kitchenaid mixers which I believe will produce the best meringues, or mixture of anything. Fortunately, my £4.99 cheap white hand-mixer from Argos did the job well.  When these meringue babies came out from the oven, they just looked perfect. So delicate. 






I was really, really satisfied with the end result and the lovely compliments that I received from those who tried them. Crispy on the outside yet soft and fluffy inside that was almost impossible to resist. Indeed, the marshmallowy texture in the middle reminded me of looking up at the clouds and letting myself drown in fantasy. 




To make it a little bit more special, I added two tablespoons of Amaretto into the cream. The flavour was very subtle which was exactly how I wanted it to be. Not sure those who tried the pavlova noticed that :P Feel free to explore your own flavoured cream to go with the meringue and fruits as long as it is not too overpowering. 

Here are what they look like - my first pavlovas :)




Ingredients:

4 Egg whites
2 tsp Cornstarch
1 cup Caster sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Lemon juice
1 cup Double cream
2-3 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Amaretto
Mixture of berries
Icing sugar

Method: 

1. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C.
2. Beat egg whites in a clean, non greasy bowl until soft peaks. Slowly add in the sugar. Continue to beat until the meringue becomes glossy and shinny. Make sure the sugar is totally dissolved. 
3. Add cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla extract to the meringue. Fold to combine well.
4. Line up the parchment paper on the baking tray and gently spoon the meringue onto it. If you are making smaller ones like me, make sure you leave enough space in between them because they do rise in the oven. Bake in the oven for around 70-80 minutes. Leave them to cool completely before transferring them onto the cooling rack.
5. In a bowl, beat double cream and sugar until peak form. Fold in Amaretto or any other alcohol of your choice. You can leave the alcohol out if you wish.
6. Make a little crack in the middle of the meringues. Spoon cream in and top up with fruits of your choice. Dust icing sugar over the pavlovas and serve :)


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