Sunday 15 November 2015

My Pavlova and I

Assalamualaikum everyone! Hallo and hi, i have been away far too long. I have been busy could be my excuse , but the truth is my blog is not in my priority list at the moment. 

But I feel that I should write as I have been showing my students how to make pavlova... And recently the weather had been so humid and the pavlovas that I have been making using my recipe has become moist and sticky!!! I have also added salt and cream of tartar on top of vinegar and cornflour and vanilla in my pavlova. My pavlova tasted the way i wanted them to taste, but they became sticky! So! I decided that I should experiment with new methods and omitting salt and cream of tartar and vinegar and cornflour....and I also roasted my sugar before adding them to the egg whites!

What did I get? A crisp pavlova with soft marshmallowy interior, baked in about an hour an a half for a pavlova and 50 minutes for mini pavlovas! And do you know that the Meringue Girls swear by the roasting the sugar technique!

What else did I do?? Once I got the technique right I decided to add back my "missing ingredients" ie salt , cream of tartar and vinegar and flour and vanilla... voila, it worked!

But really making a pavlova is all about how the ingredients react wt each other when beaten. Afterall egg whites consist of 75% water abd 25% protein. Beating the egg whites a bit in the beginning of making a meringue speeds up the process of the molecules to absorb sugar. However, if the molecules were overbeaten, they would "shy sway" from the sugar, and that would probably be the end of your pavliva making, fail...period! Unless you add some fresh egg whites to the meringue ( well I do that to salvage my meringue when I make my macarons when this accidents happen...they are real they happen ok!)

In the early days and when I was in Lindon I made BakedAlaska and I whipped my meringue using my hands. And I didn't add anything on top of egg whites and sugar, and my meringue was purrfecttt! Hence, if you used the Meringue Girls way, their meringue consisy of only sugar and egg whites. And their recipe is inbthe ratio of 1:2 egg whites:sugar. But the sugar needs to be roasted in the oven at a temperature of about 200 C, for about 5 minutes whilst you beat the egg whites to be like a shaving foam texture. By warming the sugar the meringue became more stabilised and absorbed the sugar faster. And you have to beat the meringue untill the sugar just dissolved. I was quite sceptical until I tried them myself. It worked! And my pavlova was not super sweet, in fact the act of roasting the sugar gave a caramelised effect to the sugar, when I added salt in my meringue I could comprehend how the Parisian could just eat their meringues just like that!

Would you add salt, cream of tartar, vinegar , cornflour and vanilla? I would not do without them...but adding them would make your pavlova more chewy. And I think best that you weigh your egg whites. Whilst using 4 egg whites and a cup of sugar worked forcme during the dry season, when the weathwr is hot and humid it is a whole lot of different story with my meringue. Hence, now I use the ratio of 1:2 egg whites:sugar with all the additions ir salt creamof tartar vanilla vinegar and cornflower and made my minis in 50 mins and pavlovas in an hour an a half at a temperature of 150C! And I only whisk the meringue until the sugars dissolve and the merigue do not have that gritty feel. 

Okay, enough said, you could give it a shot by using a general recipe such as 4 egg whites and a cup of sugar or you could use a ratio of 1:2 egg whites and sugar ratio. They should all work , the only thing is that having more sugars strengthen and stabilises the meringue. But foung them properly , I could assure you that you would enjoy snacking the pavlovas alone like I did! 

Good night peeps, hope this helps, go make a pavlova!

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