As a little girl, I remember my mom baking mounds of Christmas delights for all the family to enjoy. My mom is a keen baker unlike myself, to be perfectly honest baking is somewhat of a challenge for me.
This week in romancing the home we all settled on “A Christmas Pudding/cake”. I would have loved to have featured my mom’s special Christmas cake or even her Christmas mince pies. My mom starts her preparations by dousting the fruit mince in loads of brandy months ahead.
But alas this time of year has been quite busy for me and time pretty much got away before I knew it, it was blog time!
So in the spirit of Christmas and pintrest…lol. I set about finding a Christmas dessert that would inspire me and challenge me. My very first attempt at making a “Pavlova”.
“Pavlova” is a classic! Everyone loves “Pavlova”
I found inspiration as usual on Pinterest and created a wreath pavlova and I have to admit, there is some sort of secret to getting your pavlova just right.
But before I get ahead of myself and tell you what I did wrong here is the recipe for a quick meringue.
x7 xl egg whites – *see tip below
x1 1 cup caster sugar – I used Valia sugar…*see my tip below:
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml whipping cream
mixed berries for garnish
mint leaves for garnish
100grm icing sugar for garnish
Preheat oven to 100deg Celcius
beat egg whites in a mixer and add 1 tbs of caster sugar one spoon at a time
allow the egg to incorporate sugar till you add another spoon.
Mix on high speed till meringue forms firm peaks
Spoon onto a baking sheet that has been proofed, do so in a circular fashion to create your wreath.
reduce oven heat to the lowest and bake for 1hr 30min. leave in oven overnight to cool. The heat caught in the oven will bake the meringue slowly to a crisp texture.
*so this is where I went wrong…I placed my meringue into a “too hot” oven and it browed before it started to bake off! But in hindsight, I quite like the colour. However, I think the trick is to bake at a long steady low heat…do not hurry this one.
Once the meringue is cool, carefully place onto your desired dish.
Whip cream till firm and dollop onto the meringue wreath. I did not add any sugar to the cream as I did not want it to be too sweet considering the meringue has a lot of sugar in it already.
Now for the fun part…place your berries onto the wreath and decorate as you would a decor wreath, the mint leaves give it a lovely fresh feel and they add to the taste.
Dust lightly with icing sugar through a sieve and enjoy!
Here are some top tips before you try this recipe out:
- Vanilla sugar: I keep a jar of sugar with some vanilla pods in it for baking.
- Run out of Caster sugar: Using a food processor add regular sugar to the blender and whala…caster sugar…
- Separating your egg whites: Cold eggs separate easier than room temperature eggs. Always separate one egg at a time in case you get any yolk. The slightest bit of yolk in the white. You will never get your meringue to fluff up.