My second German Christmas was an improvement on the first. I went out for a Christmas breakfast with my boyfriend and we found a place that had poached eggs on the menu. We finished off with a walk through the park walking through lots of young families and kids in oversized winter jackets.
The next hour was nervously dedicated to my first ever Pavlova attempt. For those who don’t know a Pavlova is a New Zealand dessert which was first baked by a hotel chef in Wellington in 1926 in honour of the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who was staying in the hotel. It has been one of the many sources of contention between Australians and New Zealanders for years. This is something that my Australian friend and I avidly discussed the other night when she mentioned that Australia had for years adamantly disputed New Zealand’s claim to Russell Crowes nationality, but happily fobbed him off to us after he publicly embarrassed himself yet again.
So I did my research, I knew that the cooking utensils needed to be clean and completely dry before I began. If any trace of water was to make its way into the egg white mixture it would fail. If I took the Pav out of the oven too early it would fail. If I didn’t add the sugar at the right time it would fail. The likely hood of me failing was beginning to seem quite high. I found an easy looking recipe: just four egg whites, one cup of castor sugar, two tablespoons of lemon juice and two tablespoons of cornflour. How easy does that sound right?
Well it may have been my substitution of regular flour over cornflour, the lemon juice I used, or the shape I eventually heaped the Pavlova mixture into that caused it to completely flop. I don’t know. But it turned into a pancake meringue. I was very disappointed, but I reasoned that I would turn it into an Eton mes type dessert. I whipped two lots of cream and added vanilla essence. I broke up little bits of after dinner mint, added pieces of the failed Pav, chocolate powder, cashew nuts, raspberries and blackberries and it went down a treat.
So although I attempted the Pavlova I don’t know that I can in good conscience tick it off my list just yet!