I am very British when it comes to desserts, I love the classics and just simply don’t believe that anything can beat them. Obviously I am always willing to try new things, in terms of dishes and recipes, but when I am in need of comfort food I always go with what I know. In the winter it is much more warming, like crumbles with custard or toffee puddings. However, in the summer you get all the amazing tarts, meringue pies and my favourite, pavlova or eton mess. This has been my favourite dessert probably since I actually first started eating real food, and has always been a go to within our family. When I really started to get into cooking, I was only about 12 and used to spend hours watching typical cookery shows on TV. My grandma and I would sit and just enjoy shows like Masterchef, Rachel Koo and Nigella. I watched Nigella make this effortless pavlova once, and served it with loads of delicious summer dishes for friends. It instantly made me want to have a go at cracking the dessert I always craved. For a while, I had been put off making it, as everyone always seemed to make out that is was extremely difficult to make meringue. Nigella inspired me to have a go anyway, so a few days afterwards I did. As I had watched her recipe on TV, I don’t think I had the book yet, so looked up a recipe for the meringue online. I found the Delia Smith one, which I think everyone in the country has probably had a go at once in their life. I made the meringue and was completely astonished by the perfect pudding I had produced. It was so easy, and such a simple recipe to follow. I still use this recipe 3 years later, and don’t think I will ever change.
I wanted to share a pavlova recipe here on the blog, but wanted it to be a bit different as I think most people probably already know how to do it without even having to ‘Google’ the recipe. For this pavlova, I have given it a sort of Princess theme. It is basically just a pink pavlova, but works beautifully for the summer. I made this once last year for my family, and they loved it as it just makes it look that little bit more extravagant. It doesn’t taste any different to a normal pavlova, just looks a lot more girly. I can really imagine this being in the middle of a summer picnic spread, or at a summer birthday party and everyone just tucking in. I think this will be a new way for me now to create my favourite dessert.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour (rest overnight)
Serves: A lot!
3 large egg whites // 175g caster sugar // 8tsp pink food colouring // 600ml double cream // strawberries & raspberries
I always make the meringue the evening/night before, as it needs to stay in the oven overnight as it cools.
Begin by making the meringue. Grease a baking tray and line with greaseproof paper. Pre-heat the oven to around 200 degrees (180 fan). In a large mixing bowl, add the egg whites. Whisk with an electric whisk until they form stiff peaks. I always check regularly, by trying to turn the bowl upside down. Be careful not to over whisk them, as they will collapse. Start to whisk in the caster sugar, about a table spoon at a time. Once all the sugar has been added, the meringue should be glossy. Add 4tsp of the pink food colouring and quickly whisk one final time.
Using a metal spoon, you want to place the meringue in a circle, so you have nice defined round edges. Then put some meringue in the middle, spread it out so it isn’t at all as high and make sure there are no holes. Using a fork, you can flick up around the edges for added affect. Place in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 140 degrees (120 fan). Leave the meringue to cook for an hour. Once an hour has passed, turn off the oven completely, and leave the meringue in there until it has completely cooled. This avoids cracks in the meringue.
I always do the last two steps just before serving, so that it is as fresh as can be. In a large bowl, add the cream and final 4tsp of pink food colouring. Whisk up with an electric whisk until thick and creamy. It should be pink and able to hold its shape. Again, don’t over whisk as the cream will separate. Place this on top of the meringue in the centre, and work the cream outwards with a palette knife. Chop up the strawberries in half and mix in a bowl with the raspberries. You can then just pour this over the cream, and it should be even as they were in the bowl.
*if you want added flavour, add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract to the double cream once whipped.
For added effect, you can add a dusting of icing sugar very lightly. I only ever do this if I know the whole thing is going to get eaten quickly!
– yummyyyyyy –
This recipe is my own, however is obviously not the first time you will have seen it. The meringue recipe I use is from Delia Smith. You can find an example here.