Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pavlovas Redux

We were pleased to make pavlovas for a second time this month. Actually, more like the third time. In any case, my how things have changed since the first go-round... We were also glad to be able to have our friend, Cat, join us from out-of-town for this challenge.

By this point, we are old pros at meringue. Since we didn't have superfine sugar, we ground some up in the food processor. 

Sara is our resident egg-separator. She did a great job. We beat them until foamy and then added in the cream of tartar followed by the sugar bit by bit.

Once glossy, we folded in the corn starch, vinegar, and vanilla.

And then we made two pavlovas and baked them on low for quite a while. Perfection!

We only decorated one with berries and whipped cream, and divided it up four ways. 

It was a crowd-pleaser, or at least a 3/4 crowd-pleaser, since it turns out Cat is not a fan of meringue. But we all enjoyed the berries and whipped cream, and some time reminiscing with good friends.

Thank you, Daring Kitchen and challenge host Marcellina!

Recipe 1: Pavlova
Servings: 8 to 10 serves or less if your guests are hungry

4 egg whites (approx. 120g or 8 Tbsp using 57g / 2oz eggs), at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup / 225g / 8oz caster/ superfine sugar
3 tsp / 8g cornstarch (Australia - cornflour)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar

Preheat the oven 135°C / 275°F / Gas Mark 1 and prepare a large flat tray by lining with nonstick
baking paper.

Beat egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Continue beating
while gradually adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until the meringue is
thick and glossy and the sugar has dissolved.
Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still "gritty" with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and gently fold in the sifted cornstarch, followed by the
vanilla and the vinegar.
Pile the mixture onto the baking paper lined flat tray. It should be about a 20 - 25cm / 8 - 10" circle.
Hollow out the center a little.
Bake for 1 ¼ hours. If your oven runs hot and the pavlova is colouring simply lower the temperature
by 5 or 10 degrees.
Cool in the oven with the door ajar.
Once cool store in an airtight container unless using straight away.

To Assemble the Pavlova just before serving
1 baked and cooled pavlova, as per recipe
2 green kiwi fruit and 2 gold kiwi fruit, sliced, or you choice of fruit
1/3 cup shredded coconut, toasted
Passionfruit curd, recipe below
Chantilly cream, recipe below
Remove the baking paper from the pavlova and place on a serving tray. (I recently saw Nigella
Lawson prepare a pavlova and she simply turned it upside down on a serving tray, removed the
baking paper and decorated the pavlova. Once decorated no one could tell it was upside down.)
Spread the Chantilly cream over the pavlova, drizzle with as much of the curd as you like, decorate
with slice kiwi fruit and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Recipe 2: Passionfruit Curd [we did not make this and instead used fresh berries]
Makes:2 ½ cups / 600ml / 20 fl oz

150ml / approx. 1/2 cup + 2tsp strained passionfruit pulp
2 Tablespoons of passionfruit seeds
20ml / 1 metric Tbsp / 1 US Tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice
170g / 1 1/2 sticks / 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
200g / 9/10 cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

In a medium saucepan place passionfruit pulp, lemon juice, butter and sugar. Cook over a medium
heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
In a bowl place eggs and additional egg yolks and whisk eggs until combined.
Whisk the eggs and slowly pour in the passionfruit mixture. It is important to keep whisking while
you do this.
Strain the passionfruit curd mixture through a sieve back into the saucepan to remove
any “eggy bits”.
Add the passionfruit seeds and continue to cook over a low/medium heat until the mixture has
thickened and coats the back of a spoon. At low heat this can take as long as 10 minutes. At medium
heat it can take as little as 5 minutes.
Be careful not to overheat and overcook the mixture – you will then have passionfruit flavoured
scrambled eggs. I like to not risk further cooking of the curd by pouring the cooked mixture into a
glass jug until cooled.
Once mixture has cooled place in a sterilised jar and store in the fridge. Passionfruit curd will last for
a couple of weeks in the fridge.

Recipe 3: Chantilly Cream

300ml / 1 1/4 cups / 10 fl oz full fat cream (about 35%)
16g / 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
5ml / 1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients.
Using a hand whisk or electric whisk, beat the cream in a stainless steel or glass or china bowl (not
plastic- doesn't seem to whip as well).
It is whipped properly when it is still soft and billowy but holds its shape when the whisk is
Once the cream is whipped, cover and store in the fridge.

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
Pavlova can’t be frozen. Assemble right before serving and if you have any leftovers store in the
refrigerator. Eat for breakfast the next day – eggs, fruit and dairy, right?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Baking JDs for Kate Spade

Oh my, this was an exceptionally cute daring kitchen challenge!

Erica braved the task of making our dough. We've made dark green spinach pasta before (with, uh, somewhat limited success), but this time around we jumped on the SF juice craze, with pomegranate and "groovin' greens." Turns out that green juice is somewhat weak sauce...

But, we started rolling out the dough,

and lo and behold, it developed a subtle striping pattern.

You thought that was fancy? Next we mastered the art of farfalle.
We were pleasantly surprised at how easily these came together. We brought them over to our friends for book club. They were very tasty with both a tomato and pesto sauce (no leftover pom taste). 

On to the next!

Patterned Pasta
Hosted by



200g / 7oz / 1.5 cups plus 1 tbsp ‘00’ grade pasta flour
2 medium eggs


200g / 7oz / 1.5 cups plus 1 tbsp ‘00’ grade pasta flour
7 tbsp spinach juice (obtained by putting roughly 175g / 6oz of spinach through your juicer)
1 medium egg


200g / 7oz / 1.5 cups plus 1 tbsp ‘00’ grade pasta flour
7 tbsp beetroot (obtained by putting roughly 110g / 3.8oz beetroot through your juicer)
1 medium egg


n.b. The ratio of dry to liquid ingredients required is variable depending on your particular brand of flour, how large your eggs are and the climate of where you live. Your dough should be smooth. If it has cracks and won’t come together add a little more of the liquids, conversely if it is overly sticky or loose then add a little more flour.

1. Tip your flour onto a work surface to make a mound and make a cavity in the centre with your hand or the back of a spoon and add the wet ingredients into the cavity.

2. Using a fork, whisk the liquids, gradually incorporating the wet into the dry. If the liquid breaches your flour fort, don’t panic, have a plastic scraper to hand and use it to drag the liquid back into the flour.

3. Knead the dough for approximately ten minutes until it is smooth.

4. Wrap the dough with cling film / saran wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes (but ideally one hour).

5. Take your base colour dough, and on a lightly floured work surface with a rolling pin, roll it out to circa 0.5cm / 1/5” thickness and half the width of your pasta machine lasagna slot.

6. Roll through the lasagna slot on your pasta machine at the thickest setting twice. Fold both sides of the length into the center, lightly roll with your rolling pin then put through the pasta machine again at the same setting.

7. Decrease the thickness setting of your machine by one slot and put the dough through twice. Continue in this manner until your pasta is approximately 1.4mm / 1/16” thick (on my machine this is setting 5).

8. Cover it with clingfilm / saran wrap or a clean tea towel and put aside.

9. For each accent colour, take the dough and complete steps 1 - 3 above, then run it through the linguine cutter on your pasta machine. If doing this by hand, lightly flour the dough, roll into a tube lengthwise and slice into thin strips then unravel it immediately. Cover straight away with clingfilm / saran wrap or a clean tea towel and put aside.

10. Lay strips of your linguine over your base colour in whichever colour combination you like and trim off the excess. Press lightly with a rolling pin to secure in place.

11. Pass through the lasagna slot of your pasta machine at the setting closest to 1.4mm / 1/16" (on my machine setting 5).

12. Your dough is now ready to be shaped into whatever you wish. You can use it to make a lasagna, roll it up into penne or stuff it with your favourite fillings to make ravioli or tortellini. See below instructions for making cute little bow shaped farfalle

13. To make farfalle: With a sharp knife cut into rectangles, I use pinking shears to make a zig-zag edge along the widths but this is completely optional.

14. Pinch the centres together with your fingers and you have farfalle!