pavlova topped with cream and macerated balsamic strawberries (leave out the balsamic for plain macerated strawberries)
The balsamic vinegar does an excellent job of cutting through the cream and sugar in the pav – perfect if you are not a massive sweet tooth.
One version of this pavlova didn’t survive the car journey to lunch. 5 minutes into our journey to lunch and there is a loud shatter – I’d left the pav on top of the car and it fell off – plate and all! Eton mess anyone!? (credit there goes to my cousin Kate)
It put me off blogging for awhile. I was excited to blog about this recipe and was really happy with the song I had for the blog title. But I was super upset with myself about not being able to bring anything to the lunch – even though no one would mind and it’s a great story to bring – and the smashed plate. It was my pavlova plate and it had so many memories of past happy occasions (Summer BBQs and Christmas events) where a pav was involved. Every time I make a pav and get the plate out (or even see the plate) I think about all these fun times and it puts me in the best mood. It’s funny how we can hold memories in material things. I know the memories are still there anyway.
It was rectangular too – I like rectangular pavs as you can cut them in nice squares or longer, skinny rectangles for eating. And the deep blue went so well with the colour combo of the fruits I use. Although it’s only an Ikea plate – they have stopped making them too! At least I have a photo of it!
Anyway after some mourning, a lot of likes from https://thepeelings.wordpress.com/ and a conversation with my father-in-law’s partner, I decided I am getting back on the blogging band-wagon (I have many recipes written out and photographed) after re-making the pav meant for the blog to photograph and enjoy. This was a circular pav to fit on the circular plate.
4 egg whites (at room temperature)
pinch of salt
250 g castor sugar
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar (original recipe uses white, but I find apple cider is not as sharp)
2 tsp corn flour
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (this is better than extract in the original recipe, it has a richer flavour and the seeds look nice through the pavlova. You could also use 1 vanilla bean and leave the case in your sugar to add a subtle vanilla flavour as it is not needed to steep (like when you would make a custard))
300 ml cream, firmly whipped
macerated balsamic strawberries:
1 1/2 punnets (365g) fresh strawberries
1 tbs castor sugar
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
Set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place baking paper on a baking tray. You can measure out and draw a circle (20 cm) or rectangle equivalent to indicate where the pavlova mixture will go – I have never have.
Using a mixer, or large bowl and whisk, beat or whisk the eggs and salt until satiny peaks form.
While still beating, add in the sugar one-third at a time.
Keep beating until the mixture is silky and peaks are stiff.
Sprinkle over the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla. Carefully fold through with a spatula.
Organise the mixture into a mound of the desired shape (rectangle or circle) on the baking paper. Flatten top and smooth sides. It sits about 3 cm high.
Place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 150 degrees Celsius.
Cook at this heat for 30 minutes.
Turn down to 120 degrees Celsius and cook for a further 45 minutes.
Then turn off the oven and leave pavlova in there to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make the macerated balsamic strawberries, finely slice the strawberries.
Place in a bowl.
Sprinkle 1 tbs castor sugar and 1tbs of balsamic vinegar over them. Toss.
Leave for 15 minutes.
Place on your serving plate (same side up – don’t invert) and top with cream and macerated balsamic strawberries.