Pavlova with fresh berries

I had egg whites from making tiramisu (which uses egg yolks only). Since I also had whipping cream, strawberries and blueberries in the fridge, I decided to whip pavlova which I served it for afternoon tea while my MIL and SIL were in town.

Pavlova is a dessert of Australian and New Zealand origin, consisting of a meringue base or shell filled with whipped cream and fruits.

Ingredients:

For the merengue (egg white with sugar):

  • 4 egg white (at room temperature, to stretch higher volume and stronger for more fluffy like merengue)
  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch (to pull in moisture. As merengue bake in the oven, it holds moisture from the sugar in the centre of merengue for crispy exterior and soft marshmallow like in the interior)
  • ¾ tsp cream of tartar. Can be replaced with lemon juice or white vinegar but double up the measurement. (Acidity in this gives egg white strength and stretch to add volume to egg white)

For the whipping cream (assembly):

  • 1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar (to sweeten the cream, bearing in mind the pavlova is sweet).
  • fresh strawberries
  • fresh blueberries
  1. Separate egg yolks from egg whites
  2. Place egg whites into a clean and oil free mixing bowl
  3. Mix egg whites until soft peaks formed
  4. Pour in sugar part by part
  5. Add corn starch part by part and whisk until firm peaks (if you turn the bowl upside down, the meringue will not fall out or when you lift the beater, a peak will form)
  6. Spoon onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. 2 of about 8″ diameter disc and nest. Or more of smaller diameter if you intend to serve individual mini pavlova.
  7. Bake at 120C for 1.5 hours
  8. Turn off oven (do not open the oven door) and leave the meringue and let cool down in oven overnight for the pavlova to be crispy on the outside.
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Meringue of 8″ diameter

For fillings,
  1. Wash all berries
  2. Whisk whipping cream until firm
  3. Place the meringue on a plate
  4. Add one spoon of whipped cream on top
  5. Add berries on cream layer
  6. Add second meringue tier
  7. Add cream and spread remaining berries around
  8. Serve freshly

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A good pavlova should be crispy on the outside and marshmallow on the inside. Since the meringue and whipping cream are sweet, it is best to match with berries or any fruits with sour taste (mango, passion fruit, grapes, kiwi, etc) or fruits with bright colour ie jackfruits to light up, add some colours to the pavlova.

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This pavlova is a light, cool and refreshing dessert. I am glad that my SIL, MIL and family enjoyed eating it.

Blueberries Muffins

Two weeks ago, when I came home, I saw a packet of Kirkland dried blueberries on our dining table. Hubby told me it’s from Auntie Jenny. She bought for me as she knows I love to bake.

I was excited and posted on my facebook “What should I bake with this?”

The suggestions that I received were blueberries pie, tartlets, cheesecake, scones, ice-cream, yoghurt, muffin, cupcakes, cookies, waffles, etc. I knew blueberries are good for cupcakes and muffin but these are dried ones. So, I wasn’t sure.

I asked my aunt and she suggested for me to soak the blueberries with pure orange juice and I did.

I searched on the internet for blueberries muffins recipe and this “To Die for Blueberry Muffins” pop out on top of the search. It was a simple recipe and with 4.5 stars by almost 7,000 reviews. In addition, I’ve been using several recipes from All Recipes and they turned out well.

I decided to double the recipe as the original recipe only makes 8 large muffins.

For muffins:

  • 3.0 cups (380g) all purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups (300g) white sugar
  • 1.0 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (290g) fresh blueberries (if using dried blueberries, to soak with warm water or fresh orange juice)

Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
  • 1/3 cup (40g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (55g) butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  • Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  • Place vegetable oil into a 2 cup measuring cup; add eggs and enough milk to fill the 2 cup.
  • Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries.
  • Fill muffin cups right to the top.

 

To Make Crumb Topping:

  • Mix together sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon with fork
  • Sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

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When those muffins were baking in the oven, the smell of muffins, especially the cinnamon were really nice.

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When those muffins were out from the oven, Jared instantly wanted to eat it.

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Later in the evening, Hubby ate one muffin. After finished eating, he said “Your muffin is excellent”. He said it has all the things that muffin should have … crisp topping, moist muffin, a dash of tangy from the orange juice, a little of sweetness, etc. He just know how to motivate me to bake more often.

My instinct tells me the muffins will taste even nicer if I were to use fresh blueberries. Will take some to the office tomorrow for my colleagues. Glad that I bake them today before our crazy yearly planning activity kicked in over the next few days. All of us need all the tender, loving, care during this period. Hugs will be great.

Thank you Auntie Jenny for the blueberries. I can feel the TLC 🙂