02 June 2017

POMEGRANATE PAVLOVA

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert, with a crisp outside and a soft, light, marshmallow-like inside, usually topped freshly whipped cream, and fruit. It is incredibly easy to make, yet so elegant, and, more importantly, delicious.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when making this cake. First of all, use a metal or glass bowl that has absolutely no traces of grease in it. Any amount of grease can cause the egg whites not to whip up properly. Also, do not overbeat the egg whites, because they will deflate.
Finally, the baking and cooling. Pavlova is very fragile, and you have to pay additional attention to it. Bake it in a low oven for the required time, then turn the oven off, and slightly open the oven door, thus leaving the cake to cool down gradually.


Ingredients
For the meringue
2 medium egg whites
150 grams granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ tablespoon cornflour (corn starch)
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
For the topping
150 ml heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 small pomegranate (arils only)


Preparation
Place the egg whites into a large glass bowl (metal also works well), and whisk with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form. Once the egg whites hold stiff peaks, start adding in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, beating really well after each addition, until the meringue looks glossy.
Sift in the cream of tartar, cornflour, and vanilla, and mix them in with a wire whisk. Take a large baking sheet lined with baking paper, and place the meringue in a circle, about 12 cm in diameter. The meringue should not expand that much as it bakes.


Once you place all of the meringue on the baking sheet, use a spoon to make a crater in the centre of it. Bake the meringue in a preheated oven, at 100°C (220°F), for an hour, then turn the oven off, and open the oven door just a little, so the meringue can cool down gradually. This will prevent the sinking of the cake.
When the meringue is ready, whip the heavy cream with the vanilla, until soft peaks form, and spread it on top of the cake. Finally, top everything off with pomegranate arils, and serve. Yields 4 generous servings.

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