Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Boxing Day!

We made it through, huzzah! A brunch with lovely friend Chrissie, then lunch with my family at sister Jo's house, then popping into the shop (?!) to deliver iceblocks to the hard working kids who perversely decided to spend the day sorting out the stock room. After they were done we fed them a late vegetarian Christmas dinner of falafel, hummus, and lovely salads. Followed by an espresso pavlova.
This is my second helping. It did not last long.
Pavlova is the WTF of desserts. It is simply sweet, and bland, and to me it is the perfect base recipe on which to get creative. I make rose scented ones, orange and balsamic vinegar with white pepper ones, and I thought I would try one with a shot of espresso in place of the hot water.
This was delicious!
Here is the recipe:

Hot Water Pav with Espresso

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
1.5 cups of caster sugar (I found raw caster sugar so used that)
2 egg whites
1T each of cornflour and vinegar (balsamic gives the best flavour but malt is fine)
a pinch of salt
a teaspoon of really good vanilla paste
1/3 cup of boiling water or freshly made and still hot espresso (stovetop in this case)
Now this is the weird bit. Put EVERYTHING into the beater bowl and beat it. Get it beating fast or the hot coffee may cook the egg whites. It's never happened to me but I worry!
Beat it on max for about 10 minutes, or until it is thick, glossy and not grainy at all. I ended up adding a wee bit more hot water to mine this time
The way I cook it is c/- Nigella, thank you darling. I draw around a dinner plate on a piece of silicon baking paper, turn it over so the drawing is not facing up, and stick that paper to a baking tray with a few blobs of mixture. Then pile the mixture into the circle and shape it nicely. Believe it or not this two egg white mixture makes a dinner plate sized pavlova. Double it and you have a pav big enough for 10-16 people!
Turn the oven down to 120 and pop the pav in. Let it cook about 40 minutes - it is ready when the top is crisp and has a hollow feel to it when lightly tapped. Turn the oven off and leave it in there to cool.
This I topped with vanilla flavoured whipped cream, slices of orange marinaded in triplesec overnight, and grated dark chocolate. I think it would also be delicious with black doris plums.

So, did the kids get the stock room finished? Yes they did! When we popped in to deliver cold drinks and iceblocks about 3pm, I was quite concerned about the enormity of the task, especially as I had to ask them to redo nearly everything because of the shapes and sizes of what was to come. But they got it all done by 7.30!
And here they are in the kitchen after dinner and after gifts were unwrapped, tying each other up with the leopard print ribbons. I KNOW RIGHT? This is what you get from giving burlesque performers too much sugar and too much leopard print! (the gifts were all leopard print too)
For those of you who read long you will know that Charlie (left) and Jack (right) are not the children of my loins but of my adult life choices, and I am their mother for the same reason. And it is rather lovely that they have a very brother/sister relationship. This moment looks rather intimate but was really about concentrating on what to do next with the ribbon. It was hilarious in the way overtired antics can be!
Merry Christmas to you all and may you make sensible life choices, especially in regard to Boxing Day Sales xo


  1. Thank you for the recipe. It sounds delicious. Hope that you had a nice time. The fabric shop sale doesn't start here until tomorrow but will heed your advice. Xx

    1. Good plan. I am tidying up my studio and having a clear out, mostly due to past not sensible life choices, usually at sales!