Nana’s Pavlova

Pavlova. Even the name is beautiful. It is an Australian desert (though New Zealand often tries to steal credit for its invention with ‘facts’ and ‘historical evidence’) consisting of a soft marshmallowy center, crispy meringue shell and all topped with cream and fruit. It tastes like an angel is taking a nap on your tongue.

“But Deira, why is this recipe any better than all the other recipes floating around the internet?”
She once gave me a hand written copy and it is one of my most valued possessions.

For those of you unfortunate enough to have not been born in Australia and experience the overwhelming joy of a slice of celebratory pav after a BBQ on Christmas, this recipe is dedicated to you. Like a piece of charity to your taste buds.

6 egg whites (room temperature)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 level dessert spoons of Cornflour
1.5 tsp vanilla essence
1.5 tsp white vinegar

500ml whipped cream and fresh fruit to decorate
(I like strawberries, kiwi and blueberries best)

Prep 25 min, Cooking time 1.5 hours
Pre-heat oven to 135 Celsius (if possible, lower or turn off the fan)

1. Beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar and beat until very stiff. Gradually add the sugar, beating to thick glossy meringue.
Fold in the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla.

2. On a flat tray lined with greased paper spread the meringue into a 20 cm circle. Lightly indent the center and decorate the sides with the back of a spoon.

3. Bake on 2nd bottom shelf in moderate oven for 5 min then reduce heat to 135 Celsius for 1.5 hours. Pavlova may be left to cool in stored heat.

Note from my nana-in-law: I turn mine over onto a pavlova plate and decorate when chilled with cream and strawberries.

Enjoy the best food in the world my friends!

Coconut Ice (Ice Baby)

I love puns but unfortunately I have no excuse for using them as I am not a dad, but I say to heck with convention, I’ll just embrace my lame-ness, along with my love for this sickeningly sweet, almost not a food, recipe that could have been ripped from the soul of Sandra Lee herself (it was actually ripped from the brain of my mother).
This recipe is very easy and cheap to make. It tastes so good that I could sell it by the gram (one more bad Vanilla Ice reference… I’ll try not to do that again)

Coconut Ice:

1 can (300ml) Sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Cream
4 cups of Dessicated coconut
3 cups of Icing sugar
Vanilla essence
Pink food dye

1. Line a 30 x 20cm  lamington tray with aluminium foil. Sieve icing sugar and mix with the coconut. Add the condensed milk, cream and vanilla and combine until it forms a dough-like consistency. You’ll have more fun if get your hands in and knead the dickens out of the mix!

2. Take half of the mix and knead in the colouring until it is a consistent and bright pink. Press the mix firmly into the tray using your hands or the back of a spoon (if it gets too sticky, dust it with icing sugar). Pack on the next layer with the remaining mixture.

3. Cover with cling wrap and allow it to set in the fridge for a few hours (overnight is best). Flip it onto a chopping board and cut it into cubes.

These make a great little gift when wrapped in cellophane, kind of like the stuff you’d find at a church fate sold by a lady named Maude.

PS: Leave a comment below with your best Vanilla Ice pun, collaborate and I will listen (last one, I promise)