Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Pavlova with white chocolate mousse

The move has kept me so busy lately I haven't even had time to keep up with the goings on of the outside world. But as I was going through the contents of my old fridge and freezer I came across frozen egg whites left over from crème brûlée tart. And the last jar of that tropical mango, lime, pineapple and star anise jam. I couldn't let them go to waste, now could I? So, while there were about gazilliard other, more urgent things to focus my energy on I chose to bake instead. By the way - you might want to to actually mark how many egg whites the container contains - sort of makes life a lot easier...

And as I was waiting for the meringue to bake I finally had time to park myself in front of the computer to check the headlines. Yeah, Ukraine is still in chaos and Putin's views on human rights as every bit was warped as they used to. African children are still starving and in Nigeria an Islamist terrorist group feels being kidnapped is a lot better choice for little girls than, say, going to school. Spring is late and there's more rain on its way. Manchester United got themselves a new manager that nobody seems to like. Oh yeah, and GEORGE CLOONEY GOT ENGAGED!!!

So, let's hear it for George. (And all those poor, deluded women out there taking this 9th wonder of the world as a sign telling them to give that dead end, going-nowhere-relationship of theirs another 8 years as "miracles do happen and he'll eventually come around to it, too...!")

If you haven't been making your own jam, feel free to use any fruit jam you like. Mango is another favourite. Since my own jam packs a bit of a punch because of the lime and and star anise, you might want to use an entire lime if using another kind. You can also use a store-bought meringue base and pass it off as your own.

And naturally you can skip the meringue bit too and just make the mousse. In which case let it set in the fridge in the serving dishes for a couple of hours before serving. Or you can skip that part too and just shove the whole thing in your mouth straight away. I mean, George is hardly going to start returning those calls now, is he...?


4 egg whites
2 dl fine caster sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar

Separate egg whites from the yolks. Whisk (taking your time) until the foam is hard and then start adding the sugar in thin stream, continuing to beat, until you're left with marshmallow-like, thick and glossy mixture. Then add white wine vinegar. Spoon or pipe onto a baking tray lined with parchment into meringues or into one large pavlova base (in which case oil the parchment lightly). Bake at 90 for 1,5-2 hours until meringue is hard and dry on the outside. It does get a little bit of colour, so if you want, cover the meringue with parchment halfway through. Switch off the oven, leave the meringue(s) in and let them dry and cool to room temperature. Top with trimmings of your choice. Such as créme patisserie. Or whipped cream and fruits/ berries. Or the white chocolate mousse below!

White chocolate mousse:

130 g white chocolate
1,5 dl cream
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime

to serve: 1 dl tropical jam or mango purée, berries/ fruits

Melt the chocolate in Bain Marie. Whip cream in one bowl and season with vanilla. In another bowl beat the egg white until the foam is hard. Fold the ingredients together and mix carefully until smooth. Spoon over cooled meringue layering with jam and then, using a skewer draw swirly pattern on the top. Decorate and serve with berries/ fruit of your choice.




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