Posts Tagged With: cream

Pineapple & White Chocolate Pavlova

Following the success of my first ever homemade meringues back in October last year, I’ve been keen to have a go at a full-blown pavlova. A sweet, snowy mountain adorned with smooth white cream and colourful fresh fruit, I’ve always thought pavlovas make a spectacular dessert, as well as being a nice lighter alternative to cake.

I thought if my attempt turned out like the delicious marshmallowy-on-the-inside-crisp-on-the-outside individual little clouds I made previously I’d be happy, but I was worried that this monster version would be more temperamental, and cook unevenly or shatter into sad little bits of chalk dust when baked. Luckily, I needn’t have had such concerns as it came out beautifully.

Although the topping combination was my idea, I can’t take credit for the meringue base here. My kitchen-whizz mum suggested I use her failsafe pavlova recipe from her trusty old copy of The Love of Cooking by Sonia Allison (from 1972!), and it proves that the oldies are certainly goodies as it worked perfectly. It’s definitely going to be be my go-to recipe in future!

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Now here I must confess that I’m not a massive fan of berries, which are a staple of the quintessential pavlova. I love anything strawberry, raspberry or blueberry flavoured, but I just don’t enjoy the texture of the fruits themselves. However, I needed something that would cut through the sweetness of both the meringue and white chocolate, so I decided to use refreshingly sharp pineapple instead and I think it worked really well.

The finished article went down an absolute storm with my family, and I’ve definitely been bitten by the homemade meringue bug, so I’ll certainly be making more pavs in the future!

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INGREDIENTS – serves approx. 6 people

For the meringue base:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 225g/8 oz caster sugar
  • Quarter tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vinegar (any kind will do)

For the topping:

  • 1 36g sachet Dream Topping + milk as needed by the packet instructions (or 250ml/0.5 pint double cream)
  • 1 432g can pineapple chunks or slices in juice, drained
  • 50g/1.5 oz white chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • A sprinkling of white and pink edible pearls (optional)

METHOD

For the meringue base:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 130 degrees C (or 110 fan) and line a large flat baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place the egg whites in a very clean mixing bowl and whisk with the cream of tartar until white and frothy.
  3. Continue to whisk while adding the sugar a few tablespoons at a time until stiff, glossy peaks form – this will take a good few minutes (you should be able to hold the bowl of mixture over your head without it spilling out!)

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  4. Gently fold in the cornflour and vinegar with a spatula (and don’t panic at the odd acidic smell like I did – this will disappear once it’s cooked, I promise!)
  5. Dollop the mixture in a rough circle on the baking parchment, ensuring it’s in a thick layer so you can’t see the paper through it at any point.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for around 1-1.5 hours, until a crisp shell has formed and the meringue is very slightly golden on the top but mostly white.
  7. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.

For the topping:

  1. Prepare the Dream Topping (or cream) according to the packet’s instructions – it should be quite thick and not runny – and then pile it on top of the meringue base.
  2. If using pineapple slices, cut them into small chunks and scatter on top of the Dream Topping, followed by the white chocolate chunks.
  3. Finish with a sprinkling of a few pretty pink and white pearls if you fancy, and serve immediately.
Categories: Other Treats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Custard Cream Cake

Originally posted 21/03/2015

This recipe is basically a large version of the cupcakes I created but never got round to blogging about after being inspired by the custard cream biscuits I made here: http://www.cloud9point1.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/custard-creams-strawberry-milkshake-creams/

I made this quick and simple cake on a whim while round my other half’s after discovering he had custard powder in the cupboard and it was absolutely scrumptious with its light sponge, smooth icing and lovely vanilla flavour. If you want to make it a bit more of a ‘show stopper’ bake by all means double the quantities and make as a double layer cake sandwiched with extra custard buttercream and top with some custard cream biscuits or other decorations to finish, but if you’re just after something delicious with minimal faff then look no further than the recipe below 🙂

I love the sunshine yellow colour!

INGREDIENTS – makes 1 deep sponge of approx. 8in/20cm diameter

For the cake:

  • 160g/5.5 oz self-raising flour
  • 170g/6 oz caster/granulated sugar
  • 170g/6 oz butter/margarine
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 heaped tbsp custard powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 100g/3.5 oz icing sugar
  • 50g/2 oz butter (unsalted if preferred)
  • 1 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

For the cake:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (or 160 fan) and line the cake tin with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the butter/margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale then whisk in the eggs.
  3. Fold in the flour, custard powder and vanilla extract until a batter of a soft dropping consistency has formed.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for around 20-25 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
  5. When baked, leave to cool on a wire rack before turning the sponge out of the tin. At this stage the cake can be frozen for decorating at a later date if you wish.

For the icing:

  1. Place the butter and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk while gradually adding the icing sugar and custard powder until a thick, fluffy mixture has formed.
  2. Spread the icing onto the top of the cooled cake using a palette knife, then dive in!

This recipe can also be used to make around 12-15 cupcakes instead of one large cake (sorry about the very dodgily edited old photo!):

Categories: Layer Cakes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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