So we were planning a really nice dinner party for several couples yesterday! The dinner was a traditional Raclette, which involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, to heat slices of raclette cheese in. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, sliced bread, onions/mushrooms and charcuterie. Wedge-shaped coupelles are placed under the grill to melt the cheese, often topped with grilled onions and mushrooms. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate.
The accent in raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, the meal often running to several hours. This is one of my favorite ways to entertain with large groups and it is reminiscent to a holiday gathering with lots of laughter and a great way to stimulate conversation. Not that these people needed much stimulation; we could have stayed up all night talking about life, family, adventures and of course Golf! We had so much fun, and I am looking forward to the next gathering with these wonderful friends!
Because the Raclette is such a filling and heavy meal I wanted to make a light desert that was not too sweet and sugary. You will find that a lot of Pavlova recipes call for much more sugar but unless you want to go into a diabetic coma, I would suggest keeping the amount on the lower side.
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside. The dessert is believed to have been created in honor of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source.
The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both Australia and New Zealand, and with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals. It is a dessert most identified with the summer time, but is eaten all year round in many Australian and New Zealand homes.
To keep your meringue from being flat and grainy, try beating egg whites until stiff but not dry. Overbeaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients. Also, when beating in sugar, beat in about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition. Then beat until meringue is thick, white and glossy.
You will need;
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pint heavy cream
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced
Brandy (I used apple brandy)
1 star fruit
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper.
Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Make sure the, lemon juice, vanilla and starch are mixed well before adding.
Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.
While the whipped topping is cooling, put about a ½ cup of blueberries and several strawberries in a pan on med high heat with 1/2 cup of sugar and ½ cup of brandy bring to a boil and stir. Once the brandy cooks off you can start mashing the fruits to create a nice compote.
Set aside to cool. (You do not want the warm compote on the desert it will melt the whipped topping)
Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, and top with fruit slices.
As always your comments are welcome, I can be reached at lauraLovingLife@hotmail.com
It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.
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