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What can I say?? I just love to bake!! Ever since I would go to Grandma's house as a little girl and bake highlight cakes or help Ninny make her famous vanilla cookies, I've been obsessed with baking! Not only from recipe books, but freestyle too! With a father as a chef, i suppose it is in my genes! Some of my favourite memories from growing up were those moments after dinner when my dad would get his sweet tooth pang and have me help him whip up a batch of toffee fruit kebabs, or irish caramels! I used to love how he never followed recipes, he always just knew what ingredients worked with one another and how to play with quantities. So, from an early age, i had learnt from the master and i was well on my way to bake on my own! When i was 7 years old, i used to bake chocoloate cakes to sell to the mothers of my friends when they came to watch our Saturday morning minkey hockey games! Before i knew it, i was being commissioned from my school teachers to bake cakes for them at $2 a pop! This blog holds just a few of my favourite tried and tested recipes which I've thoroughly enjoyed both baking and eating! So enjoy!!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Good 'ol Pavlova

This is a great pavlova recipe and contrary to popular belief, it's actually very simple to make!!  Being Australian, there's always an occassion requiring a pav, so you can always make it a few days ahead of your BBQ and store it in an airtight container until you're ready for it.  Who doesn't love a good pav??

Cooking Time: 1hr (+ 3 hours or so / overnight to cool completely)
Preperation Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 8-10

 - 3 large egg whites
 - 175g castor sugar

For the topping:
 - 175ml double/whipping cream
 - 350g mixed berries (or any fruit of your choice to decorate)
 - A little icing sugar

1)  Preheat oven to 150'C

2)  Place the egg whites in a large CLEAN bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks and you can turn the bowl upside down without them sliding out (it's very important, though, not to over-whisk the egg whites because, if you do, they will start to collapse).

3)  When they're ready, start to whisk in the sugar, approximately 25 g at a time, whisking after each addition until all the sugar is in. Now take a metal tablespoon and spoon the meringue mixture on to the prepared baking sheet, forming a circle about 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter

4)  Then spoon round blobs next to each other so that they join up to form a circle all around the edge. Now, using the tip of a skewer, make little swirls in the meringue all round the edge, lifting the skewer up sharply each time to leave tiny peaks. Now place the baking sheet in the oven, then immediately turn down the heat to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C) and leave it to cook for 1 hour.

5)  After 1 hour, turn the heat right off but leave the Pavlova inside the oven until it's completely cold. I always find it's best to make a Pavlova in the evening and leave it in the turned-off oven overnight to dry out. Some of the best bakers in the world believe that the secret of successful meringues of any sort is to let them dry out completely, which is what this method does perfectly. To serve the Pavlova, lift it from the baking sheet, peel off the paper and place it on a serving dish. Then just before serving, spread the whipped cream on top, arrange the fruit on top of the cream and dust with a little sifted icing sugar.

See, not that tricky after all!!

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