Salted Caramel Pavlova and Happy 2017
2016 just flew by and what an exciting year it was. So many things happened in my life, my career and this blog. Alhamdullilah all of them good.
I got married to someone who supports me in everything I do. Who is okay with eating cold food because I will inevitably have to take a picture of whatever we are eating. It is also after marriage that I understand exactly how difficult it is to figure out ‘aaj kia pakayein’
I started working at DesiAppetite.com where I was able to combine what I studied with what I loved doing. I built a website from scratch, talked about food all day long AND made recipe food videos.
I figured out Google analytics now have a regular presence on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. I am writing more, but also spending time on promotion to make sure everyone gets to know about the recipes I post.
Here’s to hoping that 2017 will be even better than last year.
Here’s a recipe of a decadent pavlova with whipped cream, my favorite salted caramel sauce and strawberries. Pavlova is a dessert that originated in either New Zealand or Australia made from egg whites that are whipped to create a meringue with a crisp crust and soft center. It is topped with sweetened whipped cream and fruit. It was created in honor of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. In recent years, it has become a popular dessert offering by bakers and caterers of Karachi especially in winter when fresh fruits like kiwi and strawberry are in season.
It always looked like a complicated dessert but when I tried it out I was surprised by how simple it was. The tricky part is the baking, which is done on a low temperature till the exterior is crisp. The oven is then switched off, but the pavlova is kept in the oven for at least an hour to ensure that it doesn’t crack.
I followed Ina Garten’s basic recipe for pavlova from HERE. The topping was whipped cream mixed in with salted cream and topped with strawberries.
- For pavlova base:
- 5 egg whites, at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup fine granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- For topping:
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 4 – 6 tablespoons salted caramel
- 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- Preheat the oven to 80 degrees C.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (This way you won't get a pencil mark on the meringue.)
- Place the egg whites and salt in a glass or steel bowl. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes. The peaks will be shiny and firm – they will not move when the bowl is tilted.
- Use a fine mesh colander or strainer to sift the cornflour onto the beaten egg whites. Add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Do NOT beat.
- Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. Pile it with a spoon and smooth it with a spatula.
- Bake for 1½ hours. The meringue will turn crispy on the edges. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
- Meanwhile, make the sweetened whipped cream. Pour out the cold cream into an electric mixer. The cream needs to be cold otherwise it won’t whip properly. Use an electric mixer to whip the cream till it makes soft peaks. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Avoid overbeating.
- Once the meringue disk is ready, invert it out onto a large plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. Top with salted caramel and swirl it in the cream with a knife. Finally top with sliced strawberries (or any other seasonal fruits). Serve immediately.