Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pavlova roll with an almond crust and strawberry cream

I've failed to post once in this month of October.  I have also failed to cook more than the most perfunctory food to cram in my gob.  I've been having another of those work and study frenzies you see.

But now I'm going to make it up to you with this amazing, decadent, easy-peasy Pavlova roll.  My Mum has always made this for dinner parties and when I was little I thought it was super fancy (and who am I kidding, I still do!).  The recipe for the Pav has come from my Nanna and it is a fail-safe, perfect-every-time kind of a number.

Then there is the deliciousness factor.  The Pavlova is fluffy and moist, the crust is light and crunchy and the berry cream filling is fresh and luscious.  All together it's utterly divine.  I don't know why Pavlova tastes better in a roll.  It just does.

  • 6 egg whites
  • 225g castor sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • cream
  • table spoon of icing sugar
  • strawberries
  • 1 cup flaked almonds

 Heat the oven to 180 degrees and turn it down to about 160 when you put the pavlova in. Line a wide, shallow baking dish - like a swiss roll tin - with baking paper.

Beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form, and add the sugar, beating until stiff and dissolved.  With a large spoon, gently fold in the vanilla, vinegar and cornflour*.  Pour into your tray and smooth out the surface so that it's more or less even.  Then scatter the flaked almonds over the top.

 Put in the oven for about 30 minutes (check regularly to see the top doesn't burn).  Remove immediately and turn onto a clean tea towel.  Roll up in the tea towel and leave it to cool.  Ideally it will roll around itself like a Swiss roll, but my Pav was so successful and fluffy that the most I could manage was a tiny amount of overlap. 

When you're ready to serve it, whip your cream with an extra spoon of icing sugar and a drop of vanilla.  Slice your strawberries very fine.  Unroll the Pavlova (it may crack a little - this is okay as you can patch it up when we roll it again) and line with the strawberries, then the cream.  Roll back up gently and place on a serving tray with extra strawberries.  Voila!

When serving, cut it into inch-wide slices. This is one of those dishes that is astoundingly easy but never fails to impress.  And I've never met anyone who didn't love it!  Pavlova: it's better in a roll.

*To make a regular round Pavlova, spread the mixture into a circle and make the edges a little higher, on a lined tray.  Bake for 30 minutes but leave to cool in the oven before removing it.