Six geese a-laying… I wonder how it would be like baking with goose eggs. On an episode of ‘Sweet Genius‘ hosted by Ron-Ben Israel, contestants had to use ostrich eggs in their dessert creation. The eggs were so big and their shells so hard, the chefs had to resort to using knives to hack the egg open! For now, I’d rather stick to the more predictable and manageable chicken egg.
Eggs are essential in baking. They provide texture, structure, moisture, and flavor to baked goods and desserts. Last year alone, the average Singaporean consumed 308 eggs in a year, and the local farming industry churned out a whopping 384 million eggs and imports more! The bad news is, most of these eggs are not free-range. For a glimpse of the atrocious living conditions of battery hens, Jamie Oliver’s Fowl Dinner is a good place to start. I hope Singapore will one day be like the UK, where more free-range than battery eggs are produced.
Today’s recipe is a feather-light dessert that uses only egg whites. Pavlova was created and named after Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova. (You never know when such information would come in handy. I scored one for the team when that question came up at a local pub quiz, booyah!) Known to soar onstage as though on wings, the famous ballerina obviously needed to keep sweet endings to her meal light. This dessert is a light and refreshing end to a heavy Xmas dinner, especially when you’re celebrating Xmas in the tropics. Perhaps that’s why this dessert is so popular in Australia and New Zealand (who by the way, are still arguing over which of them invented the pavlova) where they celebrate Xmas during summer.
This recipe is extremely fast to put together. So fast, that you MUST have all the ingredients scaled out and ready to go before embarking on any step. Failure to do so will send you scrambling for the next ingredient and you’ll risk over-whisking your meringue.
(Courtesy of Diane Dueck)
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 cup (120g) caster sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup (60g) icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp cornflour, sifted
1 cup whipping cream
Fresh fruits, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 200F/120C.
2. Whisk egg whites with a little caster sugar, until egg whites rise till double or triple in volume. Add rest of caster sugar gradually until a medium-stiff meringue is formed.
3. Add vinegar on low speed. Then quickly and gently fold in sifted cornflour and icing sugar.
4. Spoon onto parchment paper, making a slight nest shape.
5. Bake for about 1 hr at 200F/120C.
6. Turn off the oven and let pavlova cool and dry out in the oven.
7. Just before serving, whip some fresh cream and pile onto the middle of the meringue. Garnish with lots of fresh fruit. Enjoy immediately!
If you missed out on past recipes in the 12 days of Xmas recipes series…