Pavlova

This is a recipe for a one layer pavlova. It is made of meringue, lemon curd, whipping cream, and fresh strawberries. This is not something that makes good leftovers, so assemble only when you are ready to serve. Otherwise it will get mushy and ruined. It takes a long long long time to make, but it tastes great and isn’t particularly difficult. The meringue is high protein, no fat, and super healthy. The lemon curd is moderately healthy. The whipping cream is not healthy at all, so use it sparingly. Note that you will need parchment paper for this recipe. And a Kitchenaid mixer.

MERINGUE:

Ingredients:

4 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 c sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp white or rice wine vinegar
a few drops vanilla extract
a few drops rose extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Trace a 9 in circle on it.
  3. In kitchenaid, blend egg whites, salt until stiff peaks. Then add sugar. Fold in cornstarch, vinegar and extracts in the end.
  4. Place the meringue on the 9 in circle and shape into a flat disk.
  5. Lower oven heat to 300 F and bake meringue for 75 min.
  6. After 75 min, turn off oven and let meringue cool while in oven.

LEMON CURD

Ingredients:

4 large egg yolks
1.5 c sugar
1/2 c fresh squeezed lemon juice, and zest of the lemons you used for the juice
6 tbsp butter
1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in small saucepan. Whisk. Stir over medium heat constantly for around 5 min, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon.
  2. Take off of heat.
  3. Add butter, stir until smooth.
  4. Transfer to medium bowl, cover with a sheet of plastic. Fridge until cool, at least one hour.
  5. Note: if the yolks curdle and mixture becomes lumpy, use a strainer to get rid of the curdled part.
  6. Note: the lemon curd lasts for 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze it to use later.

STRAWBERRIES

Ingredients:

1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartererd
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp sugar
pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Mix well. Let sit for 15 min to 2 hours at room temperature. I like to put it in a pyrex bowl with a lid.

WHIPPING CREAM:

Ingredients:

1 pint whipping cream (this is the same as 2 cups)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
some lemon zest

Directions:

  1. In kitchenaid on high, mix until stiff peaks form.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

  1. Take the meringue off the parchment paper. Put on cake stand over a cute doily (they sell disposable ones at Walmart).
  2. Crack the top of the meringue with a spoon
  3. Option: You can mix the lemon curd with whipping cream, and THEN put it on the meringue. Or you can have two separate layers.
  4. Top with lemon curd, then whipping cream, then strawberries. Serve immediately.

TIP: You can buy lemon curd if you don’t want to make it. Or lime curd, passion fruit curd, grapefruit curd, or orange curd. (In that order of yumness). You can find rose extract in an Indian grocery store. If you don’t like rose, you can skip it altogether.

 

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Chocolate Fruit Cake (UK)

Nigella Lawson Recipe

INGREDIENTS
Makes: about 10 slices

350 grams prunes
250 grams raisins
125 grams currants
50 grams piece candied orange peel
175 grams soft unsalted butter
175 grams dark brown muscovado sugar
175 millilitres runny honey
125 millilitres tia maria or other coffee liqueur
2 – 3 oranges (juice and zest)
1 teaspoon mixed spice
4 tablespoons cocoa
3 large eggs (beaten)
150 grams plain flour
75 grams ground almonds
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

METHOD
Preheat the oven to gas mark 2/150°C/300°F. Line the sides and bottom of a 20cm / 8-inch round, 9cm / 3½ inch deep, loose-bottomed cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment. Before proceeding any further, read the following which explains how to do it if you need the encouragement. The paper should come up higher than the sides of the tin; think of a lining that’s twice as deep as the tin. Cut out two circles of paper, and two very long rectangles that will fit along the sides of the tin coming up from it like a top hat. Before you put the rectangular cut-out paper in, fold one long side in of both pieces, as if turning up a hem of about 2cm / 1 inch, and then take some scissors and snip into this hem, at intervals of about 2cm / 1 inch – as if you were making a rough frill. Grease the tin, lay one circle on the bottom and get one of your long pieces, then fit with the frilly edge along the bottom, which you press down to sit flat on the circle to hold it in place. Press the paper well into the sides, and repeat with the second piece. Now place the second circle of paper on the bottom of the tin, but on top of the two pressed-down frilly edges, which will also help to hold the pieces around the edge in place. Finally, wrap the tin with brown parcel paper, again making it higher than the sides, and tie it in place with kitchen twine.
Put the fruit, butter, sugar, runny honey, Tia Maria, orange juice and zests, spice and cocoa into a large wide saucepan and bring to the boil gently, stirring as the butter melts. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then take off the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes are up, it will have cooled a little (though you could leave it for longer if you wanted). Add the beaten eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula, however you like, to combine.
Pour the fruit cake mixture into the prepared cake tin. Place in the oven and bake for 1¾–2 hours, by which time the top of the cake should be firm but will have a shiny and sticky look. If you insert a cake tester into the centre of the cake it will still be a little gooey in the middle.
Put the cake on a cooling rack. It will hold its heat and take a while to cool, but once it has, unmould it from the tin and, if you don’t want to eat it immediately (and like any fruit cake it has a very long life), wrap it in baking parchment and then in foil and place in a tin.