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Magical Meringue

Joanna Schaffalitzky — 

Prepartion Time
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A couple of weeks ago I left a wish on Gluttony for Beginner's blog post and as a result was visited by the magical, mystical Fairy Hobmother aka David from Appliances Online. The Fairy Hobmother has been floating around the blogosphere lately granting wishes left, right and centre.

I was kindly sent an Amazon voucher which I excitedly splurged on new cookbooks to keep me going while my own are packed away. I bought Michel Roux's three books on Pastry, Eggs and Sauces and Nigella Lawson's How To Eat.

The Roux books are beautiful and contain recipes from the simplest of egg dishes to the most complicated pastry creations. The Nigella book I've only skimmed so far but I've already got my on a couple of recipes to try out on the Beau and the rest of my family in the not too distant future.

The best part about the Fairy Hobmother visiting me though is that now you have the chance to be visited too! Leave a comment at the end of the post with a wish for the Fairy Hobmother and you too could have a sprinkling of fairy dust in your life.

To celebrate this I thought I would put up the recipe for that most fairy like of desserts, Pavlova, named for the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. This is Michel Roux's recipe taken from his Eggs book.

Ingredients
Egg Whites
4
Caster Sugar
125g
Icing Sugar
125g
Cream
250ml
Mixed Berries
400g
Other Requirements

Mixing bowl, weighing scales, baking sheet, parchment paper, spatula, whisk, sharp knife

Just a quick note that I have almost halved the amount of cream that M. Roux asks for, as I thought that 400ml of cream would be a little on the heavy side. I have also allowed you to pick your own berries. Personally, I used a mixture of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and red currants, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Preheat the oven to 150°C. Whisk the egg whites into soft peaks. I used an electric hand whisk but you can do it by hand with a balloon whisk or in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

Measure out the caster sugar and gradually add to the egg whites, whisking all the time, until the egg whites are smooth, shiny and form stiff peaks.

Michel recommends that you whisk it for 10 mins after adding the caster sugar, but my mixer was in danger of overheating and dying so I only did it for 5 without any ill effects to the final product that I could detect.

Sieve in the icing sugar to the egg white mix and whisk together until it's thoroughly incorporated. Start slowly or you'll end up with a cloud of icing sugar in the kitchen.

Take a baking tray and line with parchment or greaseproof paper.

Pour out the meringue mixture onto the baking tray into a rough circle approximately 20 cm in diameter and 5 cm high. Place into the oven for 30 mins.

After the 30 mins turn down the oven to 120°C and bake for another 45 mins.

After the 45 mins, turn off the oven and leave the meringue in the oven for at least 6 - 8 hours or overnight. According to Michel Roux the perfect pavlova should be:

...half-cooked in the middle, crisp on the outside, and the edges should be slightly cracked.

After a minimum of 6 hours or, in my case the next day, take the meringue out of the oven, carefully remove the paper from the bottom of it and put on the serving plate you want to use.

Whip up the cream until it forms soft peaks.

Spread the cream over the top of the pavlova and start decorating with the berries.

If you are using strawberries; remove the green top and chop into smaller pieces before adding to the top of the pavlova.

Once you have added all your fruit to the top of the pavlova, serve in generous slices this is not something you can just eat a small bit of.

Don't forget to leave a comment for the Fairy Hobmother, who may come and visit you next!

Comments

Kristin

Re: Magical Meringue

I can't believe you've only just got a copy of How to Eat! Your pavlova looks gorgeous, now I have a craving for one myself.

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

I am way behind on the cook book collection Kristin! All donations gratefully received for the new house :)

Have to say this was the best pavlova I've ever had, so crispy on the outside but really soft on the inside. The perfect combo. So easy to make too!

shellymc

Re: Magical Meringue

That pavlova looks delicious! And what a great prize :D

I think I'll wish for a set of decent knives... my €2 Ikea set aren't cutting it anymore!

(bad pun, sorry)

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

bad dum tish!

Knives is a good wish, and it's better than getting them as a gift as that can cut the friendship. It's very important to give a coin to the person who gifts you knives.

Elaina

Re: Magical Meringue

ooooh this looks gorgeous; my tummy is rumbling already! Meringue is something I have yet to master (I tell myself it won't happen until I get a bright red standalone mixer, sigh!) but I'm going to put it back on my to do list after seeing this post!

E

Paula

Re: Magical Meringue

This pavlova looks gorgeous, I am defo going to try the trick of adding icing sugar after caster sugar. It's my go-to desert so I love trying different ways of doing it!

So...I have a message for the Fairy Hobmother. After moving house and all the chaos that that means I am only getting around to thinking about planting some herbs. I would love a proper planter for them. I would be ever so grateful if you could pay me a visit.... thank you!

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

Hi Elaina, If I can make it using just my crappy electric hand whisk, I'm sure you can too! It's certainly worth the effort and giving up the oven for the evening. Though the temptation to eat it for breakfast is quite large.

Hi Paula, A planter is a lovely thing to ask for! I've just moved house myself and the place is now being refurbished. Can't wait till we get all sorted and I can plant my own herbs. If you do try the pavlova please let me know how you get on.

emer

Re: Magical Meringue

Hi there! What a delicious recipe, definitely next on my list for a dinner party :) xx

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

Hi Emer, It is the perfect dinner party dish, takes very little effort on your part but looks and tastes like you slaved over it.

Daily Spud

Re: Magical Meringue

Can you believe that, much and all as I love pavlova, I've never made one? Sigh. Maybe that's because I don't have an electric mixer (cue hint to Fairy Hobmother). My big, wildest dreams wish would, of course, be for a proper stand mixer, but a halfway decent hand-held electric whisk would still be a step up from where I am now!

PS very impressed that one of your anti-spam words is potato - I approve wholeheartedly, of course :)

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

Ha! The captcha must have known it was you and thrown in potato accordingly.

An electric mixer is a great wish to make! I will keep my fingers crossed that you get the fairy dust sprinkled over you. But then you have to make the pavlova!

sean thompson

Re: Magical Meringue

wish someone would magic one up for me - im literally drooling just looking at the pictures

Josephine M. Battye

Re: Magical Meringue

I never cooked meringue but I'm tempted as I always have plenty of eggs which I buy from a farmer thats calls to the house each week

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

Sean I'm not sure the Fairy Hobmother does food deliveries!

You should definitely have a go Josephine, it is really easy to cook.

Aoife Mc

Re: Magical Meringue

This looks gorgeous, Joanna! Amazing pics as always. I still haven't tackled a meringue of any kind - what with my baking neurosis and all - but these pics are a great help for a beginner like me. I must conquer my fear!

Deirdre

Re: Magical Meringue

You have me drooling with that Pavlova, lovely stuff.

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

Thanks Aoife! I hope this makes meringues seem a little more attainable.

I've been oogling some of the fancier meringues in Michel Roux's Egg book but I think I'll do a bit more pavlova practise first, it's nice and straightforward.

Jenny

Re: Magical Meringue

Your meringue looks fantastic! My favourite dessert is lemon meringue pie! Yummy! My wish from the Fairy Hobmother would probably be a slow-cooker. I hear so many good things about them and anything that will improve my cooking would be a gift for many people!

Ciara OREilly

Re: Magical Meringue

I wish that when I do go to attempt at making this beautiful meringue it turns out as fab as it looks :)

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

ooh Jenny a slow cooker is a great wish. I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Thank you very much for the kind comments about my pavlova. I think I might have to make it again this weekend!

Hi Ciara, give it a go and I'm sure you'll make a fantastic meringue! It's definitely worth the effort.

Colette

Re: Magical Meringue

I rarely make pavlova, but reading this recipe & method has somewhat changed my mind. I think The Ginger Pig Book of Meat might be a good biok to wish for.

Siobhan

Re: Magical Meringue

Oh would love a visit from Fairy Hobmother. This pavlova looks amazing, recently discovered this website and slowly but surely working my way through it.

My wish - more books and recipes to try out please @carnsoreboxer

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

Hi Colette, I only found out about the Ginger Pig book today. It looks great! You should give the pavlova a go, I was amazed how easy it was and had forgotten how good it tasted.

Hi Siobhan, Thanks for all the feedback about my recipes, I'm so glad you're enjoying them! Hopefully you'll get a visit from the Fairy Hobmother and get some excellent cook books too.

Joanne

Re: Magical Meringue

The meringue does look fabulous - and I can imagine changing it now as we move to Autumn. I've also got a soft spot for mangoes, so I wonder how they'd work with the meringue.

Oh, and Fairy Hobmother, please come my way

Joanna

Re: Magical Meringue

Hey Joanne, the original recipe actually has both mango and passion fruit on it, which also looked gorgeous.

Think I might have to make more tasty, tasty meringues!

AlexaFaie

Re: Magical Meringue

This looks yummy! I love meringue so much and was really surprised when my first go at it turned out pretty much perfectly (for how I like it anyway). I've only ever made it by hand with a balloon whisk so if I can do it with that anyone can! :) I'd give this a go right now, but we have a temperamental gas oven and I've not yet worked out what the difference is between the gas marks - there seems to be very little, but then its old and it goes out all the time on lower settings. I'd probably gas us to death.... I have to save any meringue cooking for when I'm at my parents home where I can be sure of the temperature!! :(

I keep hoping that it'll die completely so that the landlord will have to replace it for us.

I'd wish for a set of good quality non-stick or silicone cake tins in different shapes/sizes. As a student I can't afford much cookwear and at the moment only have a flat tray and a cupcake/yorkshire pudding tray to cook with. I bought some other cake tins a few years ago, but my Mum liked them so much she put them in her cooking cupboard and they never returned to uni with me.... :(

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