Monday, 1 July 2013

Eat: Strawberry Pavlova

I'm pretty convinced I could live off strawberries through the summer months. All of a sudden, they're available in abundance so we've been devouring them at an absurd rate {a box a jokes}. I'm normally perfectly happy to just work my way through a punnet as is - no need for cream, chocolate or any other additions - but a casual Sunday lunch with friends seemed like an opportunity to jazz them up a bit.

A giant pavlova instantly sprang to mind with it's lashings of double cream, crispy meringue and heaps of strawberries. It is easily one of my favourite desserts and so I set about making a meringue for the first time in my life {ridiculous, no?}.

I followed this recipe, omitting the vanilla essence as I'd already added plenty to my whipped cream. I also ignored the instructions for the fruit. Instead, I hulled and generously sliced the strawberries before sprinkling them with a good amount of caster sugar. Once the tupperware is all sealed up, give them a good shake and them just leave them to it, shaking occasionally just to keep mixing everything together. They will become slightly sweetened and the juice and sugar form just enough 'drizzle' to add to the colour of your pavlova topping.

My mum - a seasoned meringue maker - hammered home the importance of leaving the meringue in the oven until it {the oven} was cool. This is to help it crisp up and dry out. I have to say, making my base I was so worried about it starting to colour that I turned the oven off too soon. Whilst the outside of my meringue was lovely and crisp, inside was practically a marshmallow. Perfectly to my taste, but perhaps not everyone's cup of tea so take note! That said, the recipe was actually very straightforward and easy to follow. Always a bonus, especially when the finished product is so delightfully over the top!

The variations are endless too - alongside this, a contender for my favourite has to be caramelised pecans and caramel sauce. YUM.

Love B x

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