A Sweet Treat – Pavlova

Sweet, dessert, pudding, whatever you like to call it, is the topping-off of a good meal. Carefully chosen to balance the type of meal preceding it, it can be a delight … and so very, very tempting, because one thing they nearly all have in common is a high carbohydrate content.  Still, don’t you find that  no matter how filling the main meal was, there still seems to be room for the sweet treat? (in our pudding stomach 🙂 ) And my favourite – the Pavlova – is no exception.

It is believed that the dessert we know as the Pavlova was created in honour of the Russian ballet dancer Ann Pavlova when on a tour of New Zealand in the 1920s (though Australia hotly contests this, claiming to be the nation that hosted this culinary naming)

It is one of my favourite desserts and a long time ago I found a virtually fool-proof method of making them which has become much appreciated in the family as when I make them I usually make 3 bases at a time (well, if you have the oven on you may as well fill it up, and they do keep quite well in a sealed cake tub) and this means more than one meal-time gets this treat.  These Pavlovas are also brilliant for when you have a horde of people round – each one cutting into 8 generous servings. Best when the fruit is in season – so choose in-season brightly coloured soft or softish fruit when you can (hard fruit, like sliced apple, just doesn’t sit as well with this dessert)

9 inch pavlova on 30 cm dia annmade octagonal slate cake plate

Ann’s Pavlova ( or Vacherin  – not the cheese!)  

This  looks like meringue but it is really an adaptation I have made of a Vacherin – which is a type of meringue made with icing sugar (usually whisked once, but over hot water – my method seems to work just as well and be less of a bother)

Makes a 9 inch Pavlova base or 40 half mini meringues

2 egg whites

4 oz of sieved icing sugar.

Method

Whisk the egg whites until in stiff peaks.

Sieve the icing sugar and add to the whipped whites.

Whisk again until the mixture returns to stiff peaks

Either scoop into a piping bag and pipe small meringues onto a  greased baking sheet  (makes about 40 halves)

Or line the base of a 9” sandwich tin and grease the sides (or line a baking tray , draw a 9” diameter  circle, grease the sheet, spread or pipe the mixture over the area of the circle – adding a little more towards the rim.

Bake at 160 C or 140 C fan oven or Gas mk 3 (until palest fawn)

15- 20 mins for the small

1 ½  – 2 hours for Pavlova

Allow to cool gradually – I usually turn the oven off and allow it to cool before removing the pavlova bases.

To decorate use either 4 – 8 oz Cornish Clotted Cream or whip at least a quarter pint of Double Cream (taking care not to make too thick – nor runny) and spread evenly and thickly over the top.  Decorate with slices of soft / softish, fruits.

For mini-meringues. Whisk 1/4 pint double cream, place in piping tube with rosette nozzle. Pipe on one half – squeeze lightly as you stick the other half on.

Hope you find this recipe works well for you too!

Food is such an important part of our lives, it brings back memories, it can brighten our day or it can be a drudge and a scourge. How people eat and what they eat can help set scenes in novels too, can tell y0u a lot about the character without spelling it out. Take this excerpt from my novel Some Kind of Synchrony

The unexpected aroma of pizza, unmistakable in its amalgam of cooked cheese and oregano, stopped her for a moment, standing in her own hall, a rabbit poised for flight.  Then Andy appeared, filling the kitchen doorway.           

       ‘Thought I heard the door,’ he said and turned back into the kitchen.  Faith grabbed up the shopping bag and her handbag, pushed the door shut with the vigour it required, and followed him.  Two large size Pizzas stood on the table, one with the lid flopped back and a ragged wedge missing.  Andy held the remains of this piece in his fingers as he lounged against the worktop.  ‘Thought we’d have a pizza tonight – got the kids a video out too,’ he smiled, shoved the thick crust into his mouth and chewed contentedly, wiping his fingers on his jeans then folding his arms. 

I hope it’s painted a picture of Andy for you – to read the first three chapters of this book, and my others, free in PDF  just click here

And back to sweet treats. I hope you’ve all entered my Win a KINDLE draw if eligible – and let all your friends know so they can enter too! As for the Pavlova –  like I said, it is my favourite (and probably my downfall last week in FWT?),   so what is your favourite sweet treat – do let me know!

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What do you get after Week of Feasting? FWT? Week 12

Well, to be honest, it wasn’t quite a whole week of feasting, but when you eat out or eat rather too well for four days out of seven it sure begins to feel like all you have done is eat … rather too well.

As you’ll know if you have been following FWT? I’ve been doing this blog since a few weeks after I started keeping a record on the drop-down pages, from Jan 1st 2012, weighing in at 12 stone and deciding to DO something about it. I am far too busy with my business annmade slateware, and my novel-writing, to take time out to visit a gym or run around the roads, so this is my solution, less than 15 mins of resistance weight training a day and some stretching and aerobics (max half an hour) yes – that’s it, Not Dieting – though not overeating (supposedly) and keeping an eye on the carbohydrate consumption. All details on the drop down pages from Fat Woman Thinning?

The week began as usual with Sunday, which I have noted before is quite food- heavy, right from the fry-up of egg, bacon, mushrooms and tomato followed by (thin) toast butter and marmalade – through a full traditional English Roast dinner with dessert to follow! yep – that’s a full foody day. So when I add to that a meal out with friends on Tuesday evening of a well-endowed mixed grill, even with restricting the chips to 6 [ok – yes – they were large chips 🙁 ] and that after having eaten a main meal at lunch time (though no tea)

As if this were not enough, Wednesday being my parents 59th wedding anniversary we took them out for lunch. I chose wisely – I thought, chicken breast wrapped in bacon and topped with a slab of melted brie. With plenty of salad, a few carrots, calabrese and 2 small new potatoes. Then I came unstuck  as I plumped (get it) for a pavlova! (enough sugar in that to launch a space rocket)

Which brings me to this weekend… family .. I mean FAMILY down for the anniversary. Lunch (mid afternoon type) for 20, Turkey, salmon en croute, new potatoes, calabrese, salad,.. followed by Pavlova (yes I know – but if I say so myself I do make a very nice pavlova) and Mille feuille, and Anniversary cake ( a chocolate and vanilla marbled sponge cake – iced) and clotted cream.

 

Oh and then a wide range of cheeses to select from with crackers and grapes.……

 

 

BTW – all photos of food on Slate – show annmade slate products.

So am I surprised that I did not show any weight loss this week?

No, not really. Especially as, though I kept up most of my weights I had missed more aerobic and stretching sessions than I had completed.

So – still at 10 stone 9lbs.

Waist measurements ?  Well, as you would expect, on the relaxed measurement – no change….. BUT  to my amazement …..

on the pulled in tight measurement  HALF and INCH loss. Now every time I ‘pull in’ as TIGHT as I can .. so last week would have been pulled in tight, I can assure you ..

yet half an inch .. yes I double checked.

I shall hang on to that measurement as a sign! And make sure next week is 1, normal in eating pattern, and 2, well exercised.

Ok, then cheerleaders .. I’d love to hear you comments on this week!

And don’t forget to enter (and tell everyone else to enter) my free and easy-to-enter Win a KINDLE competition – all the details HERE   – don’t leave it too late – only 1,000 allowed to enter – then it must be drawn!

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