Monday 18 November 2013

Raspberry Summer Fruit Pavlova

This is a variation on that great New Zealand dessert standby, the pavlova. I love pavlova: so simple, so delicious, and excellent for feeding to gluten free guests, just make sure you use actual corn-flour, not wheaten cornflour. Anyway, inspired by some layered versions I have seen lately, I decided to add some freeze dried raspberry powder into the mix and layer it up with some seasonal strawberries. Baked in a little over 1 and a half hours, it made for a great dinner party dessert. If your a Christchurch resident, you will find the raspberry powder at Rayward Fresh in Harewood.

Raspberry Summer Fruit Pavlova

It all starts with a standard pavlova mix.

6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
2 - 3 tablespoons freeze dried raspberry powder

250ml cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 punnets of strawberries

Preheat the oven to 125deg. C and line a baking sheet with non-stick paper.

Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Ensure the bowl and whisk attachment are spotlessly clean. Any grease will stop the egg whites from foaming up.

Combine the caster sugar and cornflour.
Add tablespoon lots of the sugar mix into the egg whites and beat well after each addition. The mixture should be smooth, glossy and thick enough to keep its shape when stirred.

Take the bowl from the mixer and fold the raspberry powder through the meringue.

Place equal amounts of meringue into two round shapes of equal size. I left the top one looking rustic and lumpy looking.

Bake at 125deg. C for 20 minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 100deg. C for the remainder of the cooking time.

Leave to cool on the tray for about half an hour before transferring the bottom layer onto a serving platter. Do this by cutting the paper in half so you can lift the first pavlova up supported by one land underneath. Place your other hand, fingers spread, on top of the pavlova. Quickly invert the pavlova, then peel the paper from the bottom. Place the first hand onto the base and invert again. Gently place on the serving tray. If this all sounds too freaky, then you can just put the pavlova, paper and all - trimmed around - onto the serving plate. 

Whip the cream and icing sugar until stiff. Remove the leaves and stalks from the strawberries and chop into quarters depending on their size.

Fold 2/3rds of the strawberries through 2/3rds of the cream and spread onto the pavlova base. Place the top half of the pavlova on top and spread with the remaining cream .

Pile the remaining strawberries on top and your done! A simple, cheap and easy dessert that everyone will love.

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