Saturday, June 1, 2013

Pavlova- My New, Most Favorite Summer Dessert

             When my kids and I studied Australia we learned about it's national dessert, The Pavlova.  It was created for a Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova in the 1920's when she was on a tour in Australia and New Zealand.  There has been an ongoing feud between the two countries as to which one actually created this dessert.  After eating this dessert, I don't really care which country created it.  I am just so thankful for it, and thankful that I have a sister-in-law in Australia that honored me with her awesome recipe for it.

             This recipe also happens to be one of the easiest I have ever made.  It takes little time to prepare the cake itself, which is a meringue.  The longest time is the baking, which is 90 minutes.  The wait is so ever worth it. 

              You do want to use fresh fruit, which is why I waited until now to make it.

               My kids loved it and maybe it helped that I called it "Marshmallow Cake". 

Ingredients for cake
  1. 4 egg whites
  2. 3/4 Cup caster sugar (don't let the name scare you, it's just ground up regular sugar.  It is not Powdered sugar.
  3. 1 Tbl white vinegar
  4. 1 Tbl corn flour
Ingredients for whipped cream
  1.  1 Cup whipping cream
  2. 3 Tbl caster or powdered sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
Fruit topping can consist of strawberries, kiwi, and passion fruit.  I used mango as well.

First heat up the oven to 390F.  The oven rack should be in the middle.

If you do not have caster sugar, just grind up your granulated sugar in a coffee grinder.  I don't have one so I used my Magic Bullet, Nutribullet with the grinder attachment.  It will be less coarse then the granulated, but not as powdery as powdered.  It kind of looked like sand.

Whip up the egg whites so they start to stiffen up.  It takes about 4 minutes at a high speed with a hand mixer.  Then add the caster sugar.  Continue whipping the egg whites until they are super stiff and shiny.  You should be able to tip the mixing bowl upside down without the meringue budging a bit.

Then gently fold in the vinegar and corn flour.

Place parchment paper on a baking dish.  Use a rubber spatula to gently remove the meringue from the bowl.  Use the spatula to create a round cake.

Place the cake in the oven.  Then immediately lower the temperature in the oven to 250F.  Let the cake bake for 90 minutes. 

After 90 minutes, crack open the oven door and let the bake cool in the oven.  It should take about 30 minutes.

While the cake is baking, make the whip cream.

Beat the whipping cream. When it starts to thicken add the sugar and the vanilla.  Don't over beat it, or it will as my mother use to say "turn into butter".

Slice up the fruit you will use.

When the cake is cool, cover it with the whipped cream, and then decorate with the fruit.

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