K so pav. Subject of much debate, discussion, and anger. Who invented it, when, etc. What you put on it, etc. Not going to go into it here. My answer to the above questions is usually 'who gives a fuck, it tastes good, make one' so yeh.
It's pretty much a bigass meringue thing that you have added vinegar (tiny bit) and cornflour (tiny bit) to before you bake it on a high heat turned immediately down to a low one, so the exterior sort of crisps instantly and the interior maintains this brilliant marshmallowy texture. Then you top it with cream and whatever the fuck you want. In NZ this usually means kiwifruit which makes me want to scream and throw things, but it is a good excuse to get creative. Berries, pomegranate seeds, chocolate, all are acceptable. You can also flavour the cream and the actual meringue itself so you can actually have quite a bit of a play. This recipe is inspired by Nigella's Prodigious Pavlova from Nigella Christmas but I have taken it and played with it quite a lot.
The gorgeous LeeAnn Yare who has a fabulous shop that I am privileged enough to work next door to for some reason uttered the words 'salted caramel pavlova' to me yesterday and immediately my brain went apeshit and I figured out a way to do it in my brain at work. Here it is. It's still in the fridge and I haven't eaten any of it yet cuz saving it for after dinner but it looks hysteeeeeeeeeerical. Every now and then I'll bake something that is just so insane I can't stop laughing at it and this is one of them.
Eggs. You will need 8 whites.
Sugar. 500gms of brown sugar.
I find the easiest way to separate the whites out is to break the egg into your hand over a little bowl so the white oozes through, put the yolk into another bowl for custard later, and then transfer the white to a big bowl. This way if the shell pierces the yolk you haven't fucked the whole lot. You can't have even the slightest thread of yolk in your whites here or else your whites will not mount properly and it'll be fucked and it'll be your own god damn fault.
Oven at 180c preese.
Take them to about here.
Then add the sugar spoonful by painful boring spoonful about 15 seconds apart so it all melds before you add the next one. By the time you're about halfway through you can add it faster.
You'll end up with this fabulous dusky coloured mass. Your arm might even hurt a little bit even if you're using an electric beater cuz this shit is thick as fuck.
Now sprinkle 4 teaspoons of cornflour over it
with two teaspoons of white vinegar.
And a teaspoon of vanilla.
ok two teaspoons of vanilla.
maybe three. fuck it. vanilla's good.
Now fold it all in with a metal spoon. Use a metal spoon here because the point is to make cutting motions through it as opposed to stirring it with a flat plastic or wooden thing and squishing all the fucken air out of it. Fold it all through good.
Now. Baking sheet and a piece of baking paper. Draw a circle type thing on it. Maybe 25cm or so.
Dot four dots of mixture onto it.
Flip it over and trace your circle again. This will stop the paper from moving every which way to fuck while you're forming your pavlova on it.
You'll end up with that.
There's always some cunt who appears around this stage to get stuck into the empty bowl. You can usually beat them away with a rolling pin or some shit.
Use a spatula or something and sort of.. form it.. going around the sides and just using the circle you made on the paper try to make it so the top is flat and the sides are even. It's pretty easy and quite a lot of fun.
Then bung it in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 120c. Let it be in there for half an hour (do not even fucking THINK about opening the door) and then turn it off completely with the door shut or else it'll just sink and you could maybe play frisbee with it. When it's done, and cold, take it out. It takes about four hours to cool completely so do it ages before you want to do it, even a day before will do.
Now take a cup of sugar in a dry saucepan. Heat on medium. That's all. Let it sit.
After a couple of minutes the edges will begin to melt. Turn the pot around on the element so it's all even cuz some pots/elements have hot spots. You can push it around gently in the pan with a spoon or something but.. don't stir it.
Soon you'll have this. Be fucking careful. Sugar burns will take your god damn skin off. When it gets to about here turn that heat right down to low.
chuck a couple of tablespoons of butter in there, it'll bubble and spit so stir it carefully. This'll calm it down and stop it cooking.
Then about a quarter of a cup of cream. Also be careful. Pardon the blur. I was busy.
When it's all smooth, take it off the heat and add a bare teaspoon of salt flakes to it.
Dribble it sexily over your pav and let it cool.
Now whip some cream. I used about a litre because I am ridiculous.
Also I put maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons of this amazing Cream Soda syrup I bought from Father Rabbit which is another fabulous/dangerous/take-all-my-money shop downstairs where I work.
Salt the beast once more if you think you can take it.
If you require a moment before or after this to go and bash one off then you may do so.
And just for that last tasteful and understated touch I found that halved caramel candies did the job perfectly.