Because where I come from Christmas is celebrated in the middle of summer we aren't big on huge meals and heavy desserts. For us, the holidays were celebrated with cook outs and pool parties and desserts that are both light and decadent. Enter the Pavlova. Invented in 1926 to honor Anna Pavlova the Ballerina, its a giant pile of sugar, held together with egg whites and topped with whipped cream. If you want to pretend its healthy you can add fresh fruit on top of that, or you can just go for broke with shaved chocolate (see, this is why i said don't tell Jen and Danny).
There are many pavlova recipes out there on the internet now, but this is the one that I have been making since I was a teenager. It works. You'll also be pleased to know that making this a day or two before you plan to eat it is actually best. Once it is room temperature store it in a cupboard in an air tight container and it will be fine. It does not need refrigerating until you add the whipped cream (which you don't add until right before you serve it)
- 4 Large Egg Whites
1 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 200g (7oz) Sugar
- 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
- Fresh Fruit or Chocolate for topping
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
- Using a pencil draw a circle aprox 8 inches across on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Place paper, pencil side down, on a large baking tray.
- In a large bowl using a mixer, beat egg whites with a large pinch of salt until foamy.
- While beating, slowly add in sugar and beat until meringue is thick and glossy, about 7 minutes.
- Beat in cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla.
- Pile the mixture on the baking paper and smooth to form a cake shape, keeping it within the pencil line.
- Place in the middle of a pre-heated oven and immediately reduce the heat to 210F (100C). Bake for one hour then turn the oven off but leave the pavlova in the oven for two to three more hours.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Top with whipped cream and fresh fruit and/or shaved chocolate just before serving.
Magickally speaking this dessert brings a whole lot of smiles and satisfies any sweet tooth. the energies will be slightly different depending on the toppings you choose, but most of the magic is in the egg and the sugar.
Eggs: fertility, spirituality, rejuvenation, mysteries
Sugar: banishing, preserving, enhancing, protection