Sundays with Chef Peter….
Good day dahlings, hope you all had a fabulous week!
Another interesting and wonderful week with President Barack Obama being elected to a second term and if you were lucky enough as I was to be in Bangkok on Friday then you would have seen the fabulous Royal Barge Procession along the Chao Phraya River, 52 ornate barges with over 2,000 oarsmen, spectacular!
Thank you for the comments on the meringues last week, it’s interesting to hear what works for you and dahlings it seems Kuala Lumpur is in need of a good meringue shop!
With some friends this week, we got on to the subject of the meringue and one declared she loves Pavlova and why hadn’t I covered that too, I said already.... it was another story dahling!
Better idea she said, make one for dessert that evening as I was staying for dinner, you see dahlings, the trouble you get into when people know you can cook! Her reason for loving Pavlova over my meringue was the combination of the crisp crust and soft, light center. I myself have mixed feelings about this dessert and is not really anywhere up there on my list of favourites. When I worked at the Savoy we used to make a lot of them for buffets and banquets and unless doing them individually, they tended to get messy and less attractive once the first slice was taken and especially if the commis chef had left the Pavlova in the oven too long!
Anyway dahlings at least New Zealand has one famous dessert (though some Australians disagree) as this is where it originates from being created for the dancer Anna Pavlova by a chef while she was on her world tour, how fab!
Very simple to make, all you need is 4 egg whites, 225 grams of castor sugar, 2 teaspoons of white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of cornflour. Before you start your meringue pr-heat the oven to 160 ̊c and prepare your tray with non-stick baking paper and an outline of the shape of your Pavlova.
No Kitchen Aid today but a good hand blender with a whisk attachment which works fine (imagine what it must have been like when all this whisking had to be done by hand :-/).
Like with meringue, start to whisk the egg whites till they are snowy and then start to add the sugar slowly, when you have added all your sugar give the meringue a good whisk till nice and stiff (5 minutes or so). Put the speed down to slow and add the vinegar and cornflour and give it a good whisk till all combined. Spoon or pipe your meringue on to the paper so you have a good thick layer (4-5 cm). Pop your meringue in the oven turn the heat down to 120 ̊c and cook for 1 and a half hours turning your tray if necessary to get an even colour.
After this I normally turn off the oven and leave it there till I am ready to assemble the dessert, best just before serving but can also be in advance (you may just lose some of the crisp).
I whip some cream with a little sugar to make a Chantilly and I layer my meringue with the cream to make a sort of cake but you can just put the cream on top the meringue if you want to keep it simple and top really with any fruits you like.
This time I had some mixed frozen berries so I just added some sugar and cooked them in a double boiler for an hour to make compote, chilled and served on the side.
Since this day, out of interest, I was looking on the internet for other Pavlova recipes and there are really so many with different ways and variations to the recipe but the main thing with the Pavlova is the addition of vinegar and cornflour which gives the Pavlova it’s texture and I have always used my recipe which has never failed me. Here it is to re-cap…
4 Egg Whites (140 grams)
225 grams Castor Sugar
2 Teaspoons white distilled vinegar
2 Teaspoons Cornflour
If it’s a lovely sunny day where you are this Sunday, there you go, something to treat your family with, happy baking dahlings!
See you next week.......