Wednesday, 16 January 2013

DIY pavlova

One of my favourite desserts of all time is pavlova. For my international readers (beyond the borders of Australia and New Zealand), pavlova is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust, and soft, light, fluffy goodness on the inside. Kind of like me, a little rough around the edges and a bit too much loose jelly in the centre!

Pavlova is delicious! Given that pavlova is usually served with whipped cream and fresh fruit, I always think of it as a healthy dessert option. And yes, I do realise the irony of my last statement given that it is made entirely of egg whites and sugar!

I had the family over on the weekend for a belated Christmas lunch celebration. Given that it has been so HOT, HOT, HOT in Perth the last few weeks (averaging about 35 degree Celsius every day), I wanted to make a light dessert. So naturally pavlova is what had come to mind.

Wanting to maintain my love for cupcakes but wanting to explore my love for pavlova, I decided to merge the two. Combining the two was relatively easy, I just baked the pavlova mixture into cupcake patties.

Given that the kids, Zachosaurus and Mini Mousey, were coming over, I wanted to arrange an activity to occupy them. And let’s face it, there is no better activity than a food related activity! So I decided to construct a DIY pavlova station. I cut the fruit into little pretty shapes using cookie cutters and plated them up Master Chef style! Next, I put the freshly whipped cream into an icing bag with my all-time favourite nozzle, the Wilton 2D. And before you knew it, I had a pavlova dessert station.

 From the left: passionfruit, mango, kiwi and strawberry.

 Needless to say, the kids had a ball decorating their own little pavlovas. This is a great activity for the little kids and big kids too. Another option is to leave the fruit uncut and allow the kids to cut their own shapes out of the pieces of fruit. Although this can be potentially very messy, it can also be potentially very fun!

TIP: It is best to use metal cookie cutters, oppose to plastic, as they are just that little bit sharper.

Given that Australia Day is just around the corner, I got all patriotic and decided to decorate my cupcake “Australian” style! After all, it was very fitting, given that we did invent the pavlova!! New Zealand who?

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