Its almost time to say goodbye to 2013 and ring in 2014 with all its shiny newness and possibilities.
We just got back from spending a week on the beach in Byron Bay and it was heaven. We woke up each day and went for a surf just as the sun was coming up. Other than that we played board games, drank too much wine and relaxed.
We are having a New Years bash at our place this year so tomorrow I’m going to start preparing some little finger food type things for it, but first here is a great recipe for a pavlova. This is especially cool if you are having a dinner party on New Years Eve because its super festive AND the base can be made the day before and stored in an airtight container so it saves you spending too much time in the kitchen when you should be partying it up with your guests.
This is not one of my healthy desserts but it is the festive season and I am trying out my touches on some classic Aussie dishes plus its Corey’s favorite.
* A little confession… I made this pavolva last week and I was rushing to finish everything before we left for Byron so I didn’t give myself enough time to prep for this shoot. While rushing I was very clumsy and the top layer of meringue cracked into pieces when I picked it up. I managed to get it to look good still and therein lies the beauty of the pavlova, besides even if you mess it up really badly, you can still just turn it into the British classic Eton Mess.
If you have a good standing mixer then this takes hardly any effort at all to whip up, however there are a few things to keep in mind when making a pav to ensure yours turns out spectacular with a crispy shell and marshmallow center
1. Use room temp egg whites
2. Make sure the bowl you use is super clean and free of any residues
3. Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved before it goes in the oven as it will “weep” if not.
- 8 large egg whites
- 600g castor sugar
- 3T white vinegar
- 3T cornstarch
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 500ml cream
- 100g white chocolate
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 punnet of cherries
- 1 punnet red currants
- Optional: raspberries and blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 150C
- In a large clean bowl whisk the egg white until they form stiff peaks.
- Gradually add the castor sugar little by little until it is fully incorporated and dissolved. You can test by using your fingers to feel if the granules of sugar have dissolved. This takes quite a while but it is very important that sugar be dissolved. The mixture will be thick and glossy.
- Add the vanilla, cornstarch and vinegar and whisk through.
- Place 2 large sheets of baking paper on 2 big baking trays and turn half the mixture out in the center of the each piece of paper.
- Shape the mixtures into pavlova rounds making each round as high as you like.
- Place them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 150C before turning the temperature down to 120C and baking for another hour then turn the oven off, leaving the door slightly ajar and leave the pavs to cool completely before removing from the oven.
- When you are ready to serve, whisk the cream until thick. Grate the white chocolate into the cream, reserving a little to sprinkle on the top. Layer the 2 pav bases with cream and berries in the middle and more cream on top. Then finish it off with more fresh berries on top and grated white chocolate.