By : Debbie Rogers
Pavlova – The Story behind the cover
Meringue with whipped cream is a staple in my ‘impress the guests’ repertoire! It’s quick and easy to knock up and if it all goes wrong then you can always smash the meringue and call it an Eton mess! Yes, I might have done that a few times!
On our visit to Paris to learn more about cream, we had a cream masterclass at Un Dimanche à Paris with Nicolas Bacheyre, Chief Pâtissier. Using preformed meringues (I choose coconut), we filled the inside with chopped fruit which we had bought at the market in the morning, then covered the fruit with piped whipped cream. Finally we sprinkled dehydrated fruit and added the zest of a lime for a quick and easy, but visually stunning dessert.
I wanted to recreate this dessert in a more homely style, so made a large meringue, rippled it with red food coloring to add some contrast and then piled it high with whipped cream and strawberries. Et Voila!
- 5 Egg Whites
- 200 g Caster Sugar
- Pink food coloring (optional)
- 400 ml whipping cream
- 1 pack strawberries
- Preheat oven to 140C.
- Put egg whites into a bowl and whip with a food processor until soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue to whip until still peaks.
- Spread the meringue in a circle on a silicon baking mat (roughly 8 inches wide)
- If you want the ripple coloring, dip a cocktail stick into the food coloring and swirl it through the meringue
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes
- Turn off the oven and leave the meringue to cool in the oven with the door slightly open (this lets the meringue dry out)
- Whip the cream in a food processor until it forms still peaks
- Spoon onto the meringue
- Decorate with your fruit, I used strawberries but you could use any other fruits you have in season.
A Masterclass at Un Dimanche à Paris
Having found out all about cream and it’s heritage in Normandy and Brittany, we headed back to Paris where we found out about how it’s used in practice by some of the Master Patisseries in Paris. We reached un Dimanche à Paris after spending the morning on foot exploring Paris, walking through the streets viewing pastries, eating pastries and shopping for fresh fruits in the market. The fruits, it turned out, were one of the key ingredients in our Masterclass where we hand whipped cream, added sugar, chopped and diced fresh fruit, before heaping it inside the meringue shell which we then encased in piped cream.
The proof was in the pudding so to speak – as we got to taste the fruits of our labours once it was complete #Bliss !
Some of the Gorgeous Patisserie on display at Dimanche a Paris
[Recipe and Images by Debbie Rogers].