Not Tiramisu Cake

This post was originally supposed to be about a Technical Challenge, a tiramisu cake. But it’s not going to be. I did make it! Really!
All of the photos have vanished. It’s possible I lost the SD card from the camera, however it’s also possible I just deleted them.
I’m kind of upset, because I worked really hard on this one. And it was super stressful, but it ended up super pretty. Here’s a picture of what a tiramisu cake is SUPPOSED to look like…

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Lets assume mine looked exactly like this one. (Photo courtesy PBS)

So what I’m actually going to talk about is Pavlova. Maybe the bakers will have to make one at some point, and I’ll re-do it then, but for now, I took a few snaps when I made one for my mother-in-law’s birthday a few months ago.

I had never made one before, and but I’ve always loved the word, Pavlova. I knew it was made of meringue, and it was named after the dancer Anna Pavlova.

So to make a Pavlova, start with a baked meringue. Top it with whipped cream. Then fruit. Ta da! It sounds so fancy but is actually so simple…

The recipe my mother-in-law gave me to make for her was a fine one, but it called for a lot of tropical fruits I didn’t have on hand. So, I glanced in my fridge. What I DID have was a double pint of blackberries. A quick google search brought me to https://bakingamoment.com/blackberry-lemon-pavlova/

And wouldn’t you know it, I had purchased a jar of lemon curd on a whim a few weeks back! So I borrowed her recipe word for word. It turned out so pretty!

I did a bit of research on meringue. Turns out, there’s more than one way to meringue a meringue. There’s Swiss meringue, – made with hot sugar syrup, Italian meringue – cooked while whipping, and French meringue – the one I had previously thought of as just “meringue”. French is the type I saw called for in most Pavlova recipes, including this one.

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Pictured: soft peaks. Needed: stiff peaks

You want to form the meringue into a sort of bowl, or nest shape. This will form a little container for the toppings.

 

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Pro tip – hold your parchment paper in place by spackling a little dab of the meringue underneath the corners.

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Also, baking your shell on an upside down baking sheet helps when its time to transfer to a serving plate.

After the meringue bakes, its apparently important to let it cool slowly, by propping the oven door partway open. Luckily, I’ve got one of those fancy ovens that holds itself open. I guess this prevents it from cracking, but mine still did a bit.
It also puffed up a lot while baking. In future, I’d make this with a much steeper wall. Maybe pipe some decorations.

 

 

While it’s cooling, I made the blackberry sauce. I went ahead and made it as directed, whereas normally I might cut back on the sugar on something like this – but it’s a birthday cake, basically – this is no time to be healthy!

Whipping up some cream is easy enough. I left it a little soft for spreading.

I spooned on the lemon curd

Then the blackberries.

And finally topped it off with some fresh berries.20170604_180441

 

 

 

 

It was, in a word, disgusting.

It was SO SWEET. Mouth puckeringly sweet. It made me a little ill.

But my mother-in-law loved it, as well as some of the other family members present. So, success?

I will probably make this again. Just not with this combination of flavors. the tart berries, tart lemon, and sweet, sweet meringue was just too much for me. I saw a recipe that looked more appealing – something with chocolate or maybe just fresh strawberries. You know me, I’ll try anything twice.

Til next time!

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