Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Australia – the Food Icons – Pavlova

unwhipped cream and pomegranate

Here’s another classic dessert that has dubious origins. By that I mean both Aussies and Kiwis claim this as their national dish. Apparently the dessert was named after the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It was supposed to have been created to honour the artist on one of her tours of Australia and New Zealand.

Pavlova is a meringue based dessert topped with whipped cream and fresh seasonal tart tasting fruits (mainly strawberries, kiwis and passion fruit).

Whenever the wifey makes leche flan, pavlova is sure to follow. It is the perfect solution to the leftover egg white problem after making the classic Filipino dessert.

The recipe below is actually the wife’s.

Cherry’s Pavlova

5 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoons cornflour
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
3. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and beat until soft peaks form.
4. Add the caster sugar a little bit a time.
5. Add the salt.
6. Beat for a few more minutes until stiff peaks form.
7. Add the vanilla and beat a little bit more.
8. Fold the cornflour into the mixture.
9. Form approximately 12 several individual pavlovas or 1 large (approximately 20cm in diameter) pavlova onto the baking tray.
10. Lower the heat to 125°C and bake for 1 ½ hours.
11. Turn off the heat and leave the pavlova to cool down in the oven with the door ajar.
12. Dress your pavlova with whipped (fresh) cream and fruits in season.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

12 years…

If I am a comedian I’m literally running out of material…

After 12 years (make that 17 if we include the years before the wedding) together you’d think finding a gift for your spouse would be a walk in the park. On the contrary, I walked and ran and still I couldn’t find the perfect gift for my lovely wife. There’s so much I want to say that one gift was not going cut it.

So, I’m not going to talk about what I got her. This year she’s certainly outdone me in the gift giving area.

For one, what she gave me is something I really want. Another reason is I really want she got me. Did I already say I love what she gave me? In fact, I wanted it so badly I joined a couple of competitions (unbeknownst to her) hoping I wouldn’t have to shell out that much moolah for a book(I’m still waiting for the email notifications to tell me I’ve won).

Yes, it’s a book. It’s actually a food book. I say it’s a food book because it’s more than just a collection of recipes. My newest food book is titled The Songs of Sapa, Stories and Recipes from Vietnam by Luke Nguyen of the renowned Red Lantern restaurant of Sydney. The title says it all. If you’ve been following this blog you know how enamoured I am by that country’s cuisine.

A food journey similar to that of Luke Nguyen (with the Philippines as the setting) is something I hope to make in the future.

Dreams do come true! After all, I’m married to my one true love…

Happy anniversary sweetheart!