Pavlova from Nigella Lawson’s, How to Be a Domestic Goddess…
Twice in four weeks has this delicate, GF I might add, delicacy graced our table. I find it to be the perfect summer dessert. Well actually it’s perfect year round, but topped with fresh picked summer berries it is hard to beat. When searching Nigella and pavlova for a recipe link, I also came across this wonderfulness in chocolate.
Pavlova might be my favorite as its lightly, crunchy exterior protects its soft insides.
I piped these into small nests on Silpat liners.
These cradles were filled with lightly sweetened whipped cream and strawberries and topped with toasted almond slivers.
One of the not so perfect pieces gets munched in the process while the “good’ ones get to be dressed for the party.
The second round of meringue was intended to be straight up crunchy to work into one of my favorite desserts. Eton Mess. I was reminded of Eton Mess when we ate at the Whale Wins last week in Seattle. It’s a basic recipe of 4 large egg whites, 1 cup of sugar, pinch of salt or cream of tarter and that’s it. Well that could be it. But I added 1/2 tsp each of vanilla and brandy. Beat the whites till just soft peaks like about how it looks here. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time beating till it’s satiny. Usually I use extra fine sugar but I tried some organic sugar this time and I liked the texture. Not the big crystal sort but definitely not fine.
Then I folded in a 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts for a little somethin somethin. Let me tell you… it worked.
You know the test for meringue is holding the bowl upside down and it doesn’t slip out.
Get a load of this photo. What do you see?
And here? Well I’ll let you decide. I just happened to use hand beaters and I do easily amuse myself. Eton mess is generally crushed meringue , whipped cream and fruit. Really pretty darn close to pavlova except a slight difference in texture. I didn’t do a lot of mixing up on this one. And I’d be lying if I said this meringue turned out really crunchy even though I let it dry out in the oven overnight. We were expecting rain and it was humid. Yes… it is that sensitive.
And the last not so bueno iphone shot maybe the second or third night of meringue (it’s a naughty habit)… all mixed up and not so pretty but you get the idea. I did a little buttermilk into the whipped cream- a nice little contrast to the sweet.
Next those separated yolks will be heading for buttermilk basil ice-cream to alleviate their anxiety of being left out.
Also using meringue: