Food of love – part 1
Sam my gorgeous nine year old made these for me the other evening. Little individual sized pavlovas with cream, mango and passionfruit. I should mention that he made them with eggs from his chickens (he feeds them and collects the eggs so thinks of them as “his chooks”), and passionfruit from his vine (that he also carefully nutures, such is his love for this fruit). If he had his way (and got a cow…from Santa) then the cream too could have been from his own little suburban “farm”. I used to often wish that I had someone willing and able to whip up a quick dessert for me, on demand. This wish was often expressed at night with a hopeful look at Andrew, only to recevie an eye roll in response. But now I have Sam – ever willing and ready to make me dessert. Just a small problem of needing to send him to bed at a decent hour so he can go to school the next day.
He made these little pavlovas all by himself, served them up and took the photos too! I am starting to feel redundant…
He really does make the best pavlovas – just the right amount of crispy outer shell and soft inside, and not too sweet. Yum. These were supposed to be a treat for me on my last day of eating sugar before starting my sugar-free month. (Which as you now know I broke just a mere three days later!). Here is his ‘secret’ recipe:
(makes 6 individual sized pavlovas)
5 egg whites at room temperature
200g caster sugar (this is a lot less sweet than what pavlova normally is. If you like them sweet, add in another 50-100g of sugar)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vinegar (ideally white wine, but he used apple cider)
1 tsp cornflour
Preheat the oven to 160C. Place the egg whites in a stand mixer and whip until soft peaks form. Now gradually add in the caster sugar a spoonful at a time. When all the sugar is incorporated add in the vinegar and vanilla and sprinkle over the cornflour. Mix for a further minute. The mixture should be firm and glossy. Scoop six large spoonfuls onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake at 160C for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 130C and bake for a further 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlovas in the oven to cool slowly with the oven door propped open slightly (we stick a wooden spoon in the door to achieve this). When fully cool top with some thick (or whipped) cream and fruit. Use any fruit you like but passionfruit is essential – it won’t be a pavlova without passionfruit! If you need to store these, when cool place the dry meringues in an airtight container and they will hopefully remain crisp for a day.