How lovely to see those mugs in a modern range of colours. When I saw the photo I remembered being a teenager, rounding off the evening with a cup of hot chocolate, sitting at our kitchen table with all my family, reviewing Life.
Pavlova is a dessert also loaded with sentiment as it appeared regularly at Christmas and feast days. This year I dressed it up in a new shape to celebrate Valentines day.
I knew this dessert would be controversial at our dinner table, and I was teased, but I felt like treating our guests to a taste of summer in mid winter, (that’s my excuse).
The addition of cornflour and vinegar to to the meringue gives the centre a marshmallow texture that is wonderful.
Put aside guilt about air miles: blueberries from Chili, raspberries and strawberries from Spain, our kiwis only travelled 15 miles! Give your taste buds a treat ~ enjoy, we did!
- 3 egg whites
- 6oz caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- ½ pint double cream, or creme fraiche
- 4 kiwis
- 8oz strawberries
- 4oz raspberries
- 4oz blueberries
Set the oven to 130°c.
This meringue recipe is for a 9″ round pavlova; I created a heart shape roughly the same area on non stick baking parchment and put it onto a heavy baking sheet.
Whisk the egg white until stiff, (when you remove the whisk the meringue holds its shape in a peak) add the sugar a third at a time whisking between each addition to peak. Fold in the sieved cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence.
Spoon out onto the baking parchment and spread to within ½” of the edges as it will expand and rise as it cooks. Cook for 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours until the outside starts to colour and becomes crisp, test the middle with gentle pressure, it should be slightly soft.
Put on a cooling rack for a few minutes then peel off the paper. If it cracks don’t worry. Whilst the meringue is cooking prepare your chosen fruit. Whip the cream until thick and spread over the base then arrange the fruit.
It can be completed in advance as the cream creates a barrier from any fruit juices and the outside of the meringue stays crisp.
Tip: A vanilla pod stored in a packet of caster sugar offers a great alternative to using essence when the two ingredients are combined in a recipe.
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