My Pavolva Success!


Home Made Pavlova, originally uploaded by Larelle_M_R.

It was an accident, Gov!

On Wednesday night I was looking to make myself a little treat. I thought of meringue nests. I knew all I needed were egg whites and castor sugar, of which I had (eggs needed to be used up as they were going out of date).

I looked on the ‘net for the correct ratio of sugar/egg and then saw that the oven had to be SO low to avoid burning it would take 1-2 HOURS to cook the meringue. There went my sweet snack for that night!

I still wanted to make the meringue though, to use up the eggs, etc. So I planned to make them the next morning. One recipe I saw said you could cook the meringue for 10 mins, then turn the oven off and let them cool in the oven to finish off baking. Sounded a good idea to me! So I went for that one.

I pre-heated the oven at Gas mark 3 and fluffed up 4 egg whites and a teaspoon of vanilla essence and slowly added 250gms of castor sugar. I didn’t realise it was going to make so much! It made TONNES. I’d scooped out about 10 or 12 meringue nests and still had loads left. So I lined a little sandwich tin with grease-proof paper and filled the sandwich tin with meringue.

I left the oven on for about 20-25 minutes (had it on Gas mark 3 for the first 15 mins, then turned down to GM 2), then turned the oven off and let them finish cooking.

Two hours later, I got all the meringue out of the oven. The nests had crispy tops, but fluffy innards. The shell had a crusty top and a spongy, soft bottom. I transfered the nests on to a plate, and put the shell on a plate, still on the grease-proof paper. I put both plates in the fridge.

At this point I thought “the shell would make a GREAT pavlova base!” and decided to get Em to go to the supermarket and get some strawberries and cream to fill the shell.

Later, I inverted the shell (so the crusty top was now a crusty base) on to the plate, added whipped cream, sliced strawberries and then sat four of the meringue nests on top.

ZOMG! It was LOVELY! The meringue nests gave it a chewy top, then the shell was all spongy and fluffy in the middle and crusty on the bottom. Oh, it was just like pavs you get back home in Oz. NOT what is classified as pavlova here in the UK, with crunchy hard meringue all over and a few token bits of fruit and crappy bits of cream.

It was the pavlova I’d been dreaming of for a LONG time, and all put together quite by accident. It was like an orgasm in a bowl! I just sat there savouring every spoonful. I can’t believe I actually made it!!

Recipes From Scratch.

I saw a story on the BBC that showed from research carried out by the UKTV Food channel that Briton’s can make 10 meals “from scratch” – IE: without the use of a recipe or cookbook.

Number one on the list was spaghetti bolognese. PER-LEASE! If you buy the sauce ready made, as I’m sure most people do these days, the recipe has three ingredients – sauce, pasta and mince. Ooh, hard!

Second on the list was a traditional roast dinner. Erm, again. What recipe *IS* there for that? Get a big slab of meat, or a chicken, whack it in the oven. Roast some potatoes, boil some vegies.

Third on the list was pot noodle. Forth was beans on toast.
LOL – NO! I’m kidding! But it might as well have been.

Some of them do get a little complex down the end of the list. Some people claim to be able to do a cottage pie from scratch with no recipe. That’s fairly bold.

At the end of the list was curry. I can’t help but think for some people who said “Yeah, I can make a curry from scratch.” that their list of ingredients would read:

1. One jar of korma sauce.
2. 500gm of chicken fillets.
3. 75gm of uncooked rice.
4. 15ml of olive oil.

Cook rice to instructions on packet.
Place oil in frying pan, heat. Add chicken, cook to brown, approx 8 minutes. Add korma sauce. Serve with cooked rice.

If they actually can make the sauces from scratch with no recipe to reference, they are better than I could ever be! I suppose if you’re Asian you might be able to do it, as it would be second nature to know what the sauces are made with and they’d be making them regularly.

Another was stir-fry. Well blow me down with a feather! That’s hard. Fry some meat, and a variety of chopped vegetables to your liking, then add some soya sauce, a bit of honey…viola!

Still, if people ARE cooking at home, and regularly enough not to need recipe guides, it can only be good.

Click here to read the story from the BBC.