According to urban legend, the dessert Pavlova was named after famed ballerina, Anna Pavlova....go read it on Wikipedia yourself. Since I am not into ballet, I don't know who the heck Anna is, and couldn't care less, I just wondered if a dessert were named after me, what would it be? Probably something REALLLLLY fattening, rich, artery clogging, orgasmically good, (ahem)....quite the antithesis of a Pavlova, which is basically air trapped in egg white. A Pavlov, on the other hand, would imply salivating at the ring of a bell.
Anyway, I found myself staring at 6 egg whites, after making some tiramisu, and vaguely in the recesses of my alcohol destroyed brain, I recalled Lyrical Lemongrass saying she loved Pavlovas. Egg white, pavlova, egg white, pavlova. A strange connection was forming as the wheels in my head spun, and I thought, ah, why not. My last attempt had been an unmitigated disaster, the meringue was soft like a pillow, and the whole thing was like a giant, marshmallow that consisted of an entire sugar cane plantation.
As I was going out for Good Friday service, and drinks thereafter, (take care of the life hereafter followed by drinks thereafter....a good philosophy of life), I had to rely on the maids to follow my instructions for turning off the oven, and I really had to leave it to chance as I wouldn't be around to rectify any shortcomings.
Thanks to a tip given to me by Masterbaker, Nigel of JHP Fame, I told the maid to leave the meringue IN the oven overnight, and not to open the oven door at all, after switching it off. the next morning, as I arose with the mother of all hangovers, I was inordinately relieved to see that the pavlova was crispy on the outside.
So, here's what you do.
6 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vinegar
Beat the egg whites on slow speed until white and frothy, and gradually add in the sugar and cornflour, increasing the speed gradually, and finally add in the vinegar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Stiff peaks means if you turned the bowl upside down, the meringue wont fall out and when you lift the beaters, a peak will form, that doesn't wilt like a flower in midday summer sun.
Spoon onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper if non stick, in whatever shape tickles your fancy. I did one flat 8" disc, and one 8" diameter nest.
Bake in slow oven, 120C, for 1½ hours. Turn off oven and leave in oven as long as possible. (overnight in my case)
2 cups whipping cream, whipped to stiff consistency. (careful, there's no turning back from overbeating your thing)
Optional, some sugar to sweeten the cream, but bear in mind, the pavlova is sweet.
Fruits of your choice, in my case,
1 punnet driscolls strawberries, RM23.90
1 punnet blueberries RM14.90
1 punnet jackfruit RM4
2 organic passionfruit RM5 (Cheaper than the imported passionfruit which are about RM6 each...the ones that look like withered testicles)
I sandwiched a layer of cream and strawberries between the disc and nest, and chucked the rest of the cream and other fruits into the nest. The result,....ta dah.
(Pictures are courtesy of Lyrical Lemongrass, linked on flickr, so Gal From Abu Dhabs... dunno if you can see)
It was a hit, if I may say so myself. [Patting self on back]. As Malays would say, enter basket lift oneself.