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Culinary Experiment & Questions – Attempting a Pavlova - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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September 14th, 2016

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12:44 am - Culinary Experiment & Questions – Attempting a Pavlova
I've previously seen in several works of fiction by New Zealand authors mention of that nation's national dessert, the pavlova. Being curious, and also having found a brand of dairy-free (coconut-based) whipped topping that's actually pretty good, I made the attempt. I used this recipe, originally from America's Test Kitchen's so far excellent gluten free cookbook. For fruit, I used delicious local raspberries.

I was tempted by this recipe by Alton Brown. If/when I try this again, I'll likely attempt that one (but again with local berries, rather than the far less interesting to me passionfruit).

After the allotted time, I took the meringues out of the over, but they were gooey in the center, so I baked them 30 minutes more, and the result was crisp throughout and no longer gooey in any fashion. What I'm entirely uncertain about is whether or not this is desirable. Recipe descriptions use words like tender, which to me does not equal crisp and mildly crunchy, but they weren't over-baked or tough, so I'm rather uncertain.

Beyond that, they were delicious, but the experience was much like eating a cake with fruit, where someone removed all the flour and some of the fat, meaning that the ratio of sugar to everything that wasn't sugar was pretty darn intense. In part, this is clearly because the whipped topping I used was roughly twice as sweet as any whipped cream I'd make if I wasn't allergic to dairy, but it also seemed somewhat intrinsic to the dessert. Am I correct in this assumption? Attempting food I've never actually tried is always odd, since I lack anything to model my results on.

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Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 14th, 2016 08:51 am (UTC)
I believe Pavlova are supposed to be a bit soft in the middle. And, yeah, they are MADE OF SUGAR.
[User Picture]
Date:September 14th, 2016 10:39 am (UTC)
Pavlova are soft/moist on the inside, and the thickness of the hard outer shell varies wildly. Also, the "shell" often cracks. This is to be expected.

I eat mine with unsweetened cream (sometimes lightly vanillaed) and strawberries. :-)
[User Picture]
Date:September 14th, 2016 06:39 pm (UTC)
Indeed. The Alton Brown recipe has cornstarch, which makes the inside slightly chewy. So the outside is supposed to be slightly crunchy, and when the sugar melts away, you'd have the inside to chew on.
[User Picture]
Date:September 14th, 2016 09:30 pm (UTC)
Don't all pav recipes have a small amount of cornstarch? That's standard afaik.

My experience is that the inside is melty, rather than chewy. It's like a mouthful of sweet nothings. :-)
[User Picture]
Date:September 17th, 2016 10:26 pm (UTC)
Sounds glorious, regardless of how "right" 'tis!

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