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SHORT SHARP SWEET TIPS

Family, Sweet Family

Family is possibly the most important part of my life. And by "family" I mean from my mom, my in-laws and my sister to my closest friends.

Living abroad has taught me to value people in a different way, stronger, more powerful.

I am now able to "find family" everywhere I go, cherry pick those who will be by my side throughout life, no matter if from very close or far far away... 

Every time "family" is around I try to make sure that they leave our house with a sweet taste in their mouths after all, what's better than cooking for family? :)

Last Sunday my husband's family was over for lunch. 

We had an amazing time and to wrap it up I served pavlova. 

Pavlova - believe it or not - is a dessert named after a famous Russian ballerina... I like to think it's Irish as this is where I first tasted pavlovas. 

My recipe is a mix of a couple of recipes out there ... I truly hope you enjoy it!

INGREDIENTS

For the meringue...

  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature
  • A pinch of salt
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 drops of natural vanilla essence

For the filling...

  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • 1 punnet of raspberries
  • A handful of blueberries 
  • A handful of blackberries
  • 250ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1oz icing sugar
  • Seasonal berries to decorate

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas 2/Fan Oven 130°C
  • Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment paper and draw on a nine-inch circle
  • Make the meringue in a large clean bowl
  • Whisk the egg whites and salt into stiff peaks
  • Slowly add the sugar, a third at a time, whisking well between each addition until the mixture is stiffened and shiny
  • Sprinkle in the corn flour, vinegar and vanilla, fold in gently with a metal spoon
  • Pile the meringue onto the paper circle and make a deep hallow in the centre
  • Put in the oven and reduce heat to 120°C/Gas ½/Fan Oven 100°C
  • Cook for 1½ to 2 hours, until pale brown but a little soft in the centre
  • Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar and cool completely
  • To make the filling, whip the cream with vanilla seeds and the icing sugar until thick
  • Slice the fruits, if necessary
  • Peel the paper off the pavlova and transfer to a plate
  • Pile on the cream mixture, put the fruits on top, garnish with other fruits and serve