Sunday, 5 January 2014

Pavlova and Meringues

Pavlova and meringues are kind of my specialty.  I don't mean to brag, but they are seriously good.  And what makes them even better is that they are really simple especially if you follow my few little tips!  When making a pavlova I use vanilla creme and I like keeping the fruit simple - just berries or passionfruit but you can decorate it however you like!

Pavlova with Vanilla Creme and strawberries

6 egg whites
300g castor sugar
A pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 150 degrees.  Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on medium speed until light and frothy.  Gradually add the sugar and pinch of salt to the egg white mixture a tablespoon at a time.  Continue mixing until the mixture is white and glossy and smooth when the mixture is rubbed between your fingers, approximately 5 minutes.

To make meringues: Spoon big dollops of the mixture on a baking tray lined with baking paper spaced two inches apart - they expand as they bake!  Bake for an hour or until lightly coloured.
To make pavlova: Spoon big dollops of mixture in a circle making sure they just touch.  Spoon some mixture into the middle and spread it over the bottom - about an inch.  Bake for an hour or until lightly coloured.

Leave to cool on tray before removing from the baking paper.

Vanilla Creme
250g creme frais
250g mascarpone cheese
1 tbs castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl until combined.  It's that simple!  Spoon the vanilla creme into the centre of the pavlova and cover in fruit.

Meringues in the oven
My helpful meringue hints:
#1 It's all about the eggs.  If possible, always use fresh eggs!  I buy my eggs the day I am going to use them and try and get them local and organic.
#2 If you get a chance, use a metal mixing bowl and chill the bowl in the refrigerator before using it.
#3 Rubbing the mixture between your fingers is vital - otherwise you will end up with grainy meringues.
#3 Open the oven after about 30 minutes to let out the steam.

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