Summer Fruit Pavlova

This is another updated blog post for a recipe I’ve done a couple times before. The first time was in July 2016, and the second time was in the form of a pavlova wreath from Christmas last year. I am sorry for the lack of new recipes; I’ve been struggling to find inspiration lately. IMG_2514-5So today we’ll be discussing how to achieve the perfect pavlova, crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. I accidentally cracked the shell when I was decorating it, as a strawberry slid off the top and simply broke the pavlova.IMG_2426-17.jpgHere are some tips and tricks I hope you’ll find useful:

1) The bowl and utensils should be grease free and extremely clean, as fat will prevent the egg whites from whipping to their full volume. If you are concerned about this, simply wipe your bowl and the beaters with lemon juice/vinegar.

2) The egg whites should not contain any egg yolks, as this will also prevent the egg whites from whipping. I find that they are easier to seperate when cold, but then should be bought to room temperature to ensure the meringue reaches full volume.

3) The sugar should be added gradually, a teaspoon at a time, mixing well in between each addition in order for it to properly dissolve. Once all the sugar is added, I like to beat the meringue on high speed for a further 5-7 minutes for it to reach stiff peaks. This results in a meringue that is easier to shape, and results in a pavlova that is soft in the centre.IMG_2491-104) The cornstarch and vinegar creates a soft pavlova, and is folded after the meringue is beat to stiff peaks. This should be done gently to retain the air that was just created from whipping the egg whites.

5) The pavlova is shaped through upward swipes and an indent/nest in the centre to ensure even cracking.

5) The oven is first preheated at a high temperature first, then reduced to a lower temperature in order to ensure the pavlova bakes long and slow. This ensures a crisp outside and marshmallowy centre. After baking, it is cooled with the door ajar so that the cracking is more controlled.IMG_2511-3

7) Finally, when decorating, I prefer to add no sugar in the cream since the pavlova is already quite sweet. Also, the combination of fruits should have some tartness – in this case the passionfruit.

I hope you’re having a great week, and please enjoy the recipe!

 

Pavlova

Ingrdients
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) caster sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cornflour, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp vinegar

To decorate:

  • 300mL thickened cream, whipped
  • Summer fruit of your choice (blueberries, strawberries, passionfruit etc.)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and draw a 20cm (8 inch) circle. Flip the paper over.
  2. Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed. Gradually increase the speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Very gradually add the sugar, a teaspoon at a time, whilst beating on medium-high speed.
  4. Once all the sugar is added, beat on high speed for 5-7 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add sifted cornflour, vinegar and vanilla seeds (or vanilla extract). Gently fold until completely combined.
  6. Spoon the mixture onto the baking paper. Using the circle as a guide, shape into a tall circular shape. Then, using an off set spatula, swipe the side of the meringue upwards and create an indent/nest in the centre.
  7. Place into preheated oven (on bottom rack) and reduce temperature to 120°C. Bake for 70 minutes.
  8. Turn oven off. Leave pavlova in the oven with door ajar to cool completely.
  9. When cool, take it out of the oven and transfer onto a plate.
  10. Decorate with whipped cream and summer fruit of your choice.
  11. Refrigerate until cool and ready serve!

 

 

 


Thermomix: Frozen Fruit Sorbet

If you’ve been following Beyond Our Sky for a long time, then you’ve probably seen this recipe before. This was actually one of the first blog posts I did, in June 2016 (see here), when I used to photograph outside with a blue background instead of a white one. I decided to do an updated blog post due to its recent, increased popularity.IMG_2345-16.jpgIt’s been a while since I last posted but a lot has happened between now and then, including the finishing of grade 12. Since this is a shorter blog post, I will go into more detail about it later.IMG_2349-9So that’s it from me today. This recipe is perfect for the summer, as it is very refreshing and creamy. Unfortunately, it only works if you have a Thermomix but in the past I have posted this mango sorbet recipe which uses an ice cream machine instead. I hope you enjoy!

 

Frozen Fruit Sorbet

Makes approximately 1L of sorbet. 

Ingredients
  • 500g seasonal fruit of choice (e.g. raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, mangoes, peaches) frozen.
  • *80g caster sugar (see notes)
  • 1 egg white
Method
  1. Place sugar into mixing bowl and mill 10sec/speed 9.
  2. Add fruit and chop 10sec/speed 8. Scrape down sides and bottom of mixing bowl with spatula to loosen mixture. Transfer mixture into another bowl.
  3. Insert butterfly whisk. Return mixture to Thermomix and add egg white.
    Mix 30-40sec/speed 3 or until a smooth and soft consistency is achieved.
  4. Serve immediately or place into the freezer in a freezable container to store.

*Notes:
If you’re using a sweeter fruit such as blueberries – reduce the sugar to 60g. If you’re using a more tart fruit such as raspberries – 80g of sugar is enough.

 

 


Pistachio and Cardamon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

This will be the last blog post until next holidays because school starts tomorrow, and as you already know, I don’t have time during the term to blog. So I hope you enjoy this blog post, it is a bit of a different flavour combination than usual.Cake16-9 final.jpgThis recipe is actually from Molly Yeh, and it’s light and fluffy and so moist. The flavours also work really well together with the nutty, spiced-cake and tartness of the buttercream it isn’t overly sweet.Cake22-2 final.jpgAnd this cake is obviously a naked cake which used to be and still is one of the biggest cake trends. Sometimes I do prefer it over a drip cake simply because it is less trouble and work. Like you don’t have to wait for the glaze to cool or making sure if the frosting is perfect.Cake33-9.jpg A naked cake is meant to be a bit rustic with some of the cake layers showing through. I also really like this cake stand which I got from the Finders Keepers Markets and it matches the cake perfectly. I also used it in my previous sponge cake blog post.Cake33-20.jpgThen these are photographs of the inside; as you can see the cake has a slight green hue due to the pistachios. You can add green food colouring of course if you want the colour to pop, but I prefer keeping it natural. I hope you enjoyed this post, my last one for about 3 months. One of my favourite parts about blogging is actually having the opportunity to somehow inspire people, and when I read your comments or receive messages from you guys it makes my day. I cannot thank you enough.

 

Pistachio and Cardamon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Pistachio and Cardamon Cake

Cake recipe adapted from Molly Yeh.

  • 95g roasted, unsalted pistachios (unshelled)*
  • 350g sugar
  • 330g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 240ml buttermilk**
  • 120ml oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 180ml water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Grease and line four 6-inch round cake tins or two 8-inch cake tins.
  2. Place the pistachios in a food processor/blender and grind until fine, small crumbs form (should be a pistachio meal).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: pistachio crumbs, sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla bean paste and water.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Distribute batter evenly between cake pans and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in tins for 20 minutes then turn onto a cooling rack. Set aside to cool completely.

Notes:
*If you cannot find unsalted pistachios, you can use salted pistachios but you will have to omit the salt.
**Buttermilk can be made by combining 240ml of milk and 1 tbsp of white vinegar/lemon juice. 

Lemon Buttercream
  • 200g butter, room temperature
  • 330g icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 1-3 tbsp milk, if needed
  1. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until pale in colour – about 6 minutes. Add the icing sugar a half cup at a time, mixing on high between each addition. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  2. Once all the sugar is combined, add the vanilla and lemon juice. Add the milk if needed to loosen up the frosting. Beat on high for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Set aside until ready for assembly.
Assembly
  • Fresh flowers, to decorate
  1. Trim and level the cakes with a serrated knife or cake leveller so that the the top is completely flat/even.
  2. Put the first layer of cake onto your cake stand/platter and spread a generous amount of lemon buttercream.
  3. Place the next layer of cake on top, and continue until all layers are complete.
  4. Spread a thin amount of vanilla frosting around the cake to secure any crumbs (this is called a crumb coat). Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the fridge, and this time – spread a slightly thicker layer of vanilla buttercream as the final coat. Gently run a cake scraper around the sides to get the desired “naked” effect.
  6. Decorate with fresh flowers, then serve and enjoy!