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.

 

 


Sponge Cake with Cream and Berries {Gluten-Free}

I guess I am back to blogging for a little while, and even though holidays are slightly longer than last time, I won’t be posting too much unfortunately. Mainly because I have some school work to do. So now onto the blog post, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it for you. Sponge cake3.jpgAs per usual, the past term has been pretty busy. Assignments, exams, late nights not overly different.  I’m not the type of person who sleeps in, and it’s actually quite weird going to bed at nine-thirty instead of eleven-thirty, and cooking and watching Masterchef instead of studying.Sponge Cake19.jpgThis recipe is actually from my Auntie, and I used to make it with my Mum when I was a kid. The only problem with the recipe is that although it tastes good, the sponge does deflate significantly when the cakes come out from the oven. Basically, fill the tins with quite a lot of batter (almost to the top), then they will appear to rise a lot in the oven and sink when taken out.Sponge Cake20.jpgThis mainly occurs due to the significant amount of air from the egg whites and the melted butter so the balance between the air and fat is not overly good. And the egg whites cannot handle all that liquid. Trust me, I have tried a lot of recipes that do cook a lot better but unfortunately, the taste is not as good. Sponge cake7This cake is light and fluffy whilst buttery at the same time. The cream, berries and flowers easily cover up any mistakes.  I am also very sorry that I didn’t get any photos of the inside and cake slices.Sponge Cake12So I hope you enjoyed this post, and I actually saw this quote on Instagram that I really resonated with: “Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place” (unknown). Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful week!

 

Sponge Cake with Cream and Fresh Berries

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 135g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 60g cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 250g unsalted butter, melted
  • 500g cream
  • Fresh berries (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • Edible violas (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Grease and line three 6-inch cake tins (or two 8-inch cake tins) with baking paper.
  2. Beat egg whites to soft peaks, starting on low speed then gradually increase the speed.
  3. Gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, then beat until stiff peaks form and sugar has dissolved.
  4. Add the egg yolks and 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste, and beat on high speed for 2 minutes ensuring to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Meanwhile, sift together the cornflour and baking powder then sift again into the batter. Beat on low speed until just combined.
  6. In a small saucepan. bring the melted butter to the boil, and whilst it is still warm, gradually pour it into the mixture on low speed. Beat until everything is just combined, and fold by hand to ensure everything is well mixed.
  7. Distribute evenly between pans, and bake reduce oven temperature to 200ºC then bake for 5 minutes. Finally, bake for a further 20 minutes at 180ºC – or until golden brown, and a wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool for 30 minutes in the tins, then turn cakes onto a wire rack and remove baking paper. Then allow to cool completely.
  9. To assemble, whip cream and remaining 1 tsp vanilla bean paste to stiff peaks.
  10. This is optional, but feel free to trim and level cakes, with a serrated knife and cake leveller for more even layers.
  11. Add a little bit of cream to the bottom of your cake stand or platter.Then place your first layer of cake on the cake stand.
  12. Spread cream on the first layer, fill with fresh berries and then add the next layer of cake. Repeat for the remaining layers.
  13. Decorate with remaining cream, berries and flowers.