Monday, February 04, 2008

Pavlova with Strawberries and cherry



Pavlova – Strawbery and cherry

I’ve been wondering what to do for dessert for a birthday dinner and I’d wanted to try something that I haven’t done before. My inspiration is from a fellow food blogger Margaret of KITCHEN DELIGHTS. Her Kiwi and Passion Fruit mini pavlovas inspired me to do this. My version is a little bit bigger than Margaret’s, as I made 1 pavlova per person.

Although I had pavlova before, made by hubby but I wasn’t so curious by then until now. I can’t find kiwi and passion fruit in the market but I got cherries and strawberries instead. It turned out great but first, it took me a little research on the dessert.

I think its worth to have a little bit of history of this dessert.

Pavlova is a popular merigue dessert in Australia and New Zealand to which both countries believed to have claimed the origin of the dish. The dish is named after Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballet dancer, who had a tour in 1926 and 1929. She was a famous ballerina of her time and her dances best described as light and airy, just like the dessert. Hence, the famous dessert “Pavlova” was named after her.

Well, after knowing such, its time to get to work! Do it!

The good thing with this dessert is you can make the base which is the meringue in advance and just add the whipped cream and the fruits just before serving.

If you have been working with meringue before, you must have been familiar with the stages of the egg white when beaten. Say “soft peak” and “Stiff” stages are very important as to when to start adding sugar and when to stop beating.

Make the meringue:
Ingredients:
4 egg whites
1 pinch cream of tartar, (alternatively salt can be used)
2 tsp. vinegar
1 ½ cup sugar
2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. Vanilla essence


Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. (Gas 4)
2. Cut baking paper into 5 inch squares (make 6 squares)
3. Draw a circle at bottom side of the baking paper. Use this as a guide when you put meringue in each portion. Set aside.
4. In a dry clean bowl, place the egg whites and cream of tartar.
5. Beat the egg white using electric beater until soft peak
6. gradually add sugar whilst continue beating until
7. Add vinegar and cornstarch
8. Add vanilla essence
9. continue beating until stiff. The meringue must look smooth, silky and holds a stiff peak when you lift the beater.
10. In the prepared baking paper, spoon in the meringue making a circular pattern as per the guide, working from the center, create a small well and spread the meringue to the edge of the pattern.
11. Pipe around the meringue to create a little well, where you will put the whipped cream later on.
12. Bake for 1 hour and half. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue to cool completely inside the oven. It is best to do this at night and leave the meringue in the oven overnight. The meringue should be firm and crisp.
13. Store the meringue in an airtight container until you will use them.




Assemble the Pavlova

1. Whip the cream until soft peak. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of icing sugar, beat for few seconds more.
2. Spoon in the whipped cream on top of each of the prepared meringue
3. Place the desired fruit on top of the cream
4. Serve immediately.

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