6 June 2005

Pavlova - the Australian dessert

Lana wanted to contribute towards the fine fare we were enjoying with our host family so the best thing we could do was make a Pavlova. A Pavlova is a meringue with a light crunchy exterior and soft fluffy inside. The top is lathered with cream and topped with a selection of fresh summer fruits. Perfect for Christmas (in Australia) or Independence Day (in the US)
I went out with the Dad and gathered the fresh fruit and cream, whilst Lana made the Pavlova and let it cool in the oven.
By the time dinner was over and dessert was to be served, Lana had created this masterpiece. As this was our host's first experience of Pavlova we were interested in the reactions. "Ohhh. Mmmmm." was the basic summary.

Pavlova recipe:
6 egg whites - (if small eggs use more egg whites)
pinch of salt
2 cups Sugar
1.5 teaspoons white vinegar
1.5 teaspoons vanilla essence
(No humidity - use the air conditioning if you have to)

Preheat oven to 250F
Ensure egg whites are at room temperature
Beat egg whites and salt to firm peaks
Gradually add in sugar whilst beating
Once all sugar is in, fold in vinegar and vanilla essence.
On a flat tray/cookie sheet covered with foil or cooking paper, dump the stuff on their and mould it into a round or oval mound. Smooth it around making it look pretty.
Stick it in the oven for an hour. The exterior should get crunchy by the time it is cooked - unless it is humid when it may be softer.
Once done, turn off oven and allow to cool inside the oven. The gradual cooling process will stop it from sinking too fast.

The last bit:
The top should crack and fill the top with whipped cream (heavy whipping cream with a little sugar is better than the canned stuff) and decorate with fruit, grated chocolate or whatever you wish. Fruit's good as you can tell everyone it is healthy.

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