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We've Got It Made (Sort of): Pavlova

I'm renewing our segment "We've Got It Made," in which we highlight our joint ventures in the kitchen. HTT is in the house, baby.

After sitting on the recipes from the awesome Mrs. Wheelbarrow class on Easter Desserts for nearly a month, I up and went to the grocery store this a.m. to ensure I had all the ingredients to make a pretty pretty pavlova.
Since I won't be here for Easter, I thought it would be nice to make it anyway.

Mrs. Wheelbarrow's recipe comes from Nigella Lawson's take on the dessert (the link has measurements in metric - thus here's a handy converter - sorry, it's 10:15 on a school night, kids so I'm not typing out the recipe).

It all starts out with the baking sheets - circles drawn on parchment paper to ensure a nice shape for the mini pavlovas.

Then, the real fun is juggling the egg yolks to get all the whites. My over-eager juggling resulted in a few strands of yolk joining the whites -- which can totally corrupt the whole situation. I fished them out, but it may have been major blunder Numero Uno.

Then, I took to the bowl of egg whites with my hand mixer -- unlike the fabulous Mrs. W., I have no equally fabulous Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I have a $30 Michael Graves hand mixer from Target (thank you, wedding registry and fine person/persons who gifted it) and thus nearly throttled my hands and arms to their demise with all the mixing. After 7-8 minutes, adding the sugar incrementally, and no "stiff, shiny peaks" forming,  I switched from the whisk attachment to the beaters and had a little more success getting the snow white foamy mix to get a little more substantial and less runny.

After 10 minutes with the hand mixer, I was over it and Scott was dubious of my capabilities to produce said shiny firm peaks of meringue. I folded in the cornstarch, vanilla and white wine vinegar, stirred it up, and dolloped the mix onto my circles (pencil lead side down, of course).

Not feeling entirely super about my pavlovas, in comparison to the super-firm ones we made in the class last month, I popped them in the oven at 350 degrees F and went about my business. Scott did the dishes. He rocks like that.

Thirty minutes later,  I turned the oven off and kept the Pavlovas in the over for another half hour. I showered and read some of Tina Fey's Bossypants  (it's a total chucklefest -- check it out!) and then before you know it, that 30 minutes is up and Scott is practically drooling (and admitting he ate the tiny dollop of meringue that colored outside of the lines while I was in the shower -- sneaky sneaky.)

Scott supervised me while I whipped the heavy cream, which means he yelled a little when I over-zealously battered the bowl of cream and smeared a little (ok, a LOT) on the kitchen table. And counters. And cabinets. But, whatever.

Topping the pavlovas with the cream and some strawberries soaked in a little sugar and triple sec, we settled down to eat our Sunday evening project. It was a little less chewy and dense than the one from Mrs. W's class, but Scott didn't know that, so he lapped it all up -- he literally licked the plate. (Sorry, hun, but that's blogging for you - we get to overshare way too much on the Internets.)

I think my fatal error may have been the errant yolks getting in the mix, but ah well. When your husband licks the plate, I think you're forgiven.

And that's how we've got it made -- Good night!


  1. Love this post - and don't be discouraged. Was it raining? Often humidity will make meringues less crisp - there' s nothing to do but wait for the weather to change.

  2. Word, the weather definitely changes the meringues, and well, we do live in a swamp. ;)

    I love me some meringue, and would likely have liked the plate too!!

  3. Aha! Yes, of course.
    Dratted D.C. humidity.
    It tasted great anyway..kind of strange mix between meringue and angel food cake!


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