Monday 6 February 2006
A Pavlova is indisputably a New Zealand invention. I can say that because I know and there is evidence. Today is Waitangi Day, a public holiday in New Zealand. Apart from it being a great day to spend with family I think it is also a great day to celebrate, through the medium of cooking, what it means to be a New Zealander. To me this means Roast Lamb and Pavlova. So for dinner this evening, naturally enough, we had roast lamb and pavlova.
This morning I made the pavlova like this :
4 egg whites
250g of caster sugar
2 teaspoons of cornflour
a splash of white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
300 mL of cream, whipped
fruit - kiwi berries are perfect, passionfruit is good or any other fruit that you like.
Preheat the oven to 180°c.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until peaks form. Continue whisking then add the sugar a bit at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Gently fold in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla.
Scrape the meringue onto a baking sheet with a piece of baking paper on it, making a traditional round, or a more unusual rectangle. Smoothing the shape as you go remembering that the finished pavlova will be an expanded version of this raw shape.
Put the meringue in the oven, turning the temperature down to 150°c as you do so. Cook for 1 hour 10 minutes then turn the oven off. Leave to cool in the oven.
When cool turn the pavlova out onto a plate with the topside down so the outside forms a good shell. Smear with whipped cream and decorate with fruit.
Serve after roast lamb and God Defend New Zealand.