Strawberry Pavlova

Some good friends, who live abroad but are in town, announced that they could pop over for a catch up. I had suggested that I might make them some fresh pizza with a few glasses of Spanish Rioja. I decided, at 8am, that I would make a pavlova to round off the meal. That meant that I had to somehow teleport home at lunch time and throw one in the oven to bake slowly for a couple of hours to ensure it was cool in time.

This is the mixing as it happened (yes I did have the presence of mind to take pictures in the 30 minute window available to me). Stiff peaks before adding the sugar.

Adding the sugar 3 spoons at a time.

After about 10 minutes the incorporated sugar and egg white should look glossy and stiff comme ca.

Stiff and glossy

Then fold in the other ingredients, which if you have never made a pavlova before may seem a little alien to a desert recipe. Vinegar? Salt? Cornflour?

Adding the gooey magic

Then spread out to your desired shape onto some baking parchment.

 

I tend to make it into a disc shape for easiness but I am sure that the more creative amongst you could pipe and sculpt it into a hedgehog, dinosaur, poodle or polar bear. I only had a lunch break remember. :0)

When I returned from work it was nice and cool and ready to be topped.

Crunchy and gooey all at the same time

I know that strawberries are not the most exciting topping choice but they were very juicy, plump and aromatic. I lay them on a bed of just whipped double (heavy) cream.

Top of the pops

I think they liked it!

Seconds anyone?

You will need:

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 8 oz caster sugar
  • 4 tsp cornflour
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 pint double cream
  • Seasonal berries

Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks and then gradually add the sugar until all incorporated and glossy. Fold in cornflour, salt, vinegar and vanilla. Bake “slow & low” (130 deg c) for a couple of hours and allow to cool in the oven (if you can, overnight). Simple yet quite impressive. Enjoy.

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Rock buns

Grandma Harris’ recipe

I don’t usually have this much time to bake and blog however we are on a mid term break so I have a bit of time. Today the occasion is an impromptu visit from my sister and her two little ones. As a result I have been in the kitchen early this morning putting together a few belly banging treats for everyone. My son is also expecting a good friend who moved to Kansas 3 years ago over for the day.

Sybil’s finest

These rock buns come from a recipe that I scribbled down one day (moons ago) when I had the privilege of standing over my Grandma’s shoulder while she effortlessly threw them together for tea one day. To this day it is one my most cherished kitchen memories as she was both an exceptional baker and second mother to me while I was away at boarding school. Sorely missed Sybil :’0(.

This makes about 16 nuggets of sheer nostalgic joy.

  • 8 oz self raising flour
  • 5 oz butter / marg
  • 5 oz sugar (I used caster)
  • 6 oz dried mixed fruit
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 egg to bind
  • Demerara sugar to top (optional)

Sift flour and spice into bowl then rub in the butter to large crumb consistency. Stir in sugar and fruit then bind together with the egg. It may need a splash of milk depending on the size of your egg. The dough should not be too sticky and leave the bowl cleanly. Spoon t-spoon sized blobs onto a greased baking sheet and top with a pinch of demerara  and bake at 200 c / 400 f for 10 -12 mins. Allow to cool – if you can resist :0)

I had to have this one