Baking: Pavlova

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Without fail, I bake pavlova at least once in France. Pavlova that I never bake in my own country, New Zealand, isn't that funny? This time, the occasion rose earlier than expected, towards the end of my first week back in France. Though, I think it had always been on the back of my mind, so perhaps it had not been really unexpected. 
We went shopping especially in its preparation. Eggs, check. Cream, check. Fruit, check. Pavlova is essentially a massive meringue with fruit decoration on top. The trick is to bake it long and slow, and let it cool in its own good time. I'd like to use less sugar, because it is super generous in the amount needed, but then the cake tends not to hold very well and flop  in in itself. So best to make it wide and flat rather than thin and high.
The electric eggbeaters were put to work and the bowl turned over our heads to check the contents held well and did not fall on us. The French family was all surprised to learn that vinegar was needed in the recipe. Vinegar or lemon juice, a bit of acid is required to... Make the foam glossy, I think?!
While the pavlova was baking, someone had nicked our cream! (For a lovely quiche Lorraine, so she was forgiven.) We had to make do with what was left over, which unfortunately wasn't much... Our cream may not have been the best but we made up for it with our fruit decoration. And what a lovely pavlova it was. The family enjoyed it, thank goodness, and I got to show them a bit of Kiwi cuisine they hadn't tried before. Success!

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