Happy New Year Pav
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!! I hope you all had a wonderful time in the last 24 hours, welcoming in the new year. For me, 2013 was eventful in a good and bad way. I took a bold leap of faith regarding my career and happiness, and decided to quit work to return to full-time study, in the hope of pursuing a career in Medicine. I’m currently not quite there yet, but I feel like I’m heading in the right direction. On the bad side of things, I lost 3 very dear people from my life in the space of 6 weeks a few months ago. It’s been a very bittersweet holiday period, as it reminds me that these people aren’t around anymore but the up side has been that my partner’s sister had a baby shortly after the most recent loss, so it’s exciting that the new addition to the family was able to celebrate their first Christmas. I’m really hoping that 2014 will be smoother sailing without the roller-coaster of emotions. To mark the start of a new year, I thought I’d make something that I have never made before – the good ol’ pavlova. For those who aren’t familiar with the pavlova, it’s a meringue-based dessert that is crispy on the outside and marshmallowy soft on the inside, and is served topped with whipped cream and fruit. There’s some conjecture over the origins of the pavlova, some say it originated from Australia and others say it was the New Zealanders that created it (Wikipedia). Personally, I don’t really care where it originated, it’s an absolutely delicious dessert that is a joy to share and great to make for special occasions….like New Years Day! For the Cooking Chook version of the pavlova, I decided to use the amaretto cream I made for the Paris-Brest I took along for this year’s family Christmas Day lunch instead of just plain whipped cream. This pavlova can serves 6-8 people.
Happy New Year Pav
4 eggwhites, at room temperature
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
3 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 qty of amaretto cream (click here for the recipe)
½ punnet (125g) of strawberries
½ punnet (62g) of blueberries
½ punnet (62g) of raspberries
Icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 150°C (fan forced).
Chuck the eggwhites in a bowl and use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat until soft peaks form. Turn the mixer to high and gradually add the sugar, beating well until the mixture is thick and glossy, and the sugar has dissolved. To check if the sugar has dissolved, rub a bit of the mixture in between your fingers. The mixture should not feel grainy if the sugar has fully dissolved. Sift the cornflour over the eggwhites, add the vinegar and gently fold through.
Trace an 18cm circle onto a piece of baking paper (I used a plate as a template) and flip it over onto a baking tray. Heap the mixture onto the baking paper and shape it so it fills the circle on the baking paper. Whack the baking try into the oven, reduce the heat to 120°C with the fan turned off, and cook for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven with the door slightly open. This allows the meringue to dry out. Don’t be too concerned if your pavlova has cracks in it. The cream and fruit will fill those gaps.
To serve, top with the amaretto cream, berries and dust with a little icing sugar.
Note: The only change I made to the original recipe was using amaretto cream instead of plain whipped cream. If you would like to see the original pavlova recipe, click here. I also used parts of the method from this pavlova recipe. It also has some very useful tips too.