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Entries in recipes (583)

Thursday
Dec092010

Gingerbread in the House: Gingerbread Crepes Recipe from Macrina Bakery

Gingerbread cookies are perfect for later on in the day, but what about for breakfast?

Howsabout these delicious Gingerbread Crepes, the recipe of the month from Macrina Bakery?

Here's the intro and recipe from their newsletter:

Jeanine Riss, one of our former chefs created these crêpes for a special Christmas Eve brunch at our café. They were a big hit, selling out earlier than expected. Jeanine found it best to prepare and fill the crêpes one day in advance. That way all she had to do in the morning was prepare the compote and syrup and reheat the crêpes before serving.

For the crêpes:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/3 cups whole milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Canola oil

For the citron ricotta filling:
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup candied citron*
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

For the cranberry compote:
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the vanilla syrup:
1 cup pure maple syrup
1vanilla bean

Powdered sugar

Preparing the crêpes:

  • Combine flour, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a medium bowl. Toss together and set aside.
  • In a separate medium bowl combine milk, eggs, and molasses mixing together with a whisk. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture into the bowl of flour, whisking as you pour. When ingredients are fully combined, whisk in 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • Heat a small (7-inch) nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and brush with a little canola oil. Ladle in just enough crêpe batter to eventually cover the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons. Lift and tilt the pan to spread out the batter more quickly. Cook until edges start to turn brown, about 1 minute, then flip the crêpe over with a spatula and cook the other side. Transfer finished crêpe to a large plate and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the batter, placing paper between each crêpe as you finish. You should have 8 crêpes.

Preparing the citron ricotta filling and assembling the crêpes:

  • Combine ricotta cheese, sugar, candied citron, and orange zest in a medium bowl mixing well with a wooden spoon.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Lay the crêpe out on a work surface and scoop equal portions of citron filling into the center of each crêpe. Roll each of the crépes into a log and place them seam sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with the remaining melted butter.  (It may be necessary to reheat the butter.)
  • At this point the crêpes can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator overnight. If you are ready to eat, move on to the next step.

Preparing the cranberry compote:

  • Combine cranberries, water, sugar, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until cranberries begin to burst, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat and drop in butter, stirring until butter is melted and evenly distributed. Set aside.

Preparing the vanilla syrup:

  • Pour maple syrup into a medium saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds out of each half and add them to the pan.
  • Drop opened bean pods into the syrup for extra flavor and simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bean pods and set aside.

Finishing the crêpes:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place baking sheet of crêpes on center rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes. Crêpes will be heated through and golden brown on the edges.
  • While crêpes are baking, reheat the cranberry compote and the vanilla syrup.
  • Place 2 crêpes in the center of each plate and top with a generous scoop of compote. Drizzle warm syrup around the edges of the crêpes, and garnish the plate with a little powder sugar. Serve while still warm.
Thursday
Dec092010

Peppermint Party: Peppermint Nanaimo Bars on Candy Cane Sleds for Butter Is Best

Fill in the blank. You know you're a big deal when....

For me, this moment was "when I was asked by the Wisonsin Butter Board to come up with a holiday recipe for their blog". Like, OMG! I love butter!

Naturally, the choice was a holiday riff on my favorite Canadian treat, the Nanaimo Bar. 

If you've ever tried a Nanaimo bar, you know that they're a singular sensation of a treat: unforgivingly rich, unbelievably indulgent, and completely irresistible. That is to say, the perfect holiday treat!

And here's a version which embodies the festive flavors of the holiday season: the Peppermint Nanaimo Bar. It takes the classic bar and gives it a minty makeover, yielding a rich, creamy, buttery and refreshing treat that is the kind of confection that peppermint patties hope to be when they grow up.

Even sweeter? Serving them on adorable sleds made from popsicle sticks and candy canes--the perfect vehicle to deliver these rich treats!

These bars are truly the stuff that dreams (and New Year's resolutions) are made of--and a treat that you'll find hard to resist!

For the full post and recipe (including a tutorial on cute candy cane sleds!), visit the official Wisconsin Butter Board Blog at ButterIsBest.com! Oh, and you should follow them on Twitter too.

Tuesday
Dec072010

Tate's-Off: A Tasteoff Featuring Homemade Vs. Purchased Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies

For your consideration: Tate's Bake Shop, in Southhampton, NY. As their website invites, 

If you're in the Hamptons and walk around the charming little Atlantic coast town of Southampton, you'll see a celadon green Victorian structure with white shutters, framed in flowers, that seems to attract people like bees to a hive. It's Tate's Bake Shop, the fairytale culmination of a dream that got started when 11-year-old Kathleen King began baking cookies to sell at her family's farm stand not far out of town.

Sounds pretty idyllic, huh? But wait, there's more: in addition to having a full-fledged retail store, retail mail order business and wholesale division, they also have a cookbook, released a couple of years ago: Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton's Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads

And even more recently, they sent me a parcel of samples, containing aforementioned cookbook, as well as a variety of mail-order cookies (in three flavors: macadamia, oatmeal raisin, and their bestselling item, chocolate chip cookies). Now, of course I am thankful for these goodies--I mean, who doesn't love free stuff? But at the same time, every time I receive something like this, the mischievous side of me can't help but cry out to be heard.

And so I decided to put these cookies to the test by doing a taste-off: Tate's Versus Tate's. I made a batch of their bestselling item--the chocolate chip cookies--and then my friend Danny and I did a taste-test of the mail-order version versus the homemade version. Which would win?

Now, I realize that I probably had the home-team advantage here: my cookies would be slightly fresher, warmer, and we both would have known that someone superbly cute had made them. So to level the playing field, I did make sure to fully cool the cookies before serving, and then to lightly warm both specimens on the still-warm oven before serving. The results?

Appearance:

Tate's Mail Order: More perfectly formed than the homemade version, and the chocolate chips must have been different, because they were slightly flatter in this version.

Tate's Homemade: Slightly irregular, but not displeasing in appearance. Also the centers were slightly lighter, probably because if anything I err toward slight underbaking.

Texture:

Tate's Mail Order: Very crunchy--crackery, even.

Tate's Homemade: Crunchy on the outside and mostly through, but lightly chewy in the center even when cooled.

Taste:

Tate's Mail Order: Dry, but not stale--still very buttery, and redolent of brown sugar and deep chocolate flavor.

Tate's Homemade: More moist, even when cooled and crunchy. Pleasingly salty, and although they used less chocolate than the original recipe, they still tasted like they had more chocolate chips. Perhaps uneven distribution? Or perhaps the fact that although they had cooled, they still retained that chocolatey glow of taste from the oven permeations?

All said and done: While it was clear that these were variations of the same cookie, the homemade version definitely won. Obviously, even though I tried to level the playing field, one thing holds true: just-baked cookies always win. There's a certain something that comes from home baking that can't be beat. Nonetheless, I feel as if it might have been a slightly different outcome had we just scored the Tate's mail-order ones on the same day they had been baked.

Final word: Unless you're in the tri-state area and can go to the source, buy the book and make 'em yourself.

Tate's Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I used Rodelle--they recently sent me some as a sample and I am very impressed!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line two baking sheets with parchment or Silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the water and vanilla. Mix the ingredients just until combined.
  4. Add the eggs and mix them lightly. Stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Don't overmix the dough.
  5. Drop the cookies 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets using two tablespoons or an ice cream scoop.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges and centers are brown. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Tuesday
Nov302010

Bang a Gong: Harvey Wallbanger Cake from Booze Cakes by Krystina Castella

The holiday season has begun its assault on our senses. But I know how to dull the sensory overload: indulge in a big slice of boozy cake. Don't judge me.

(Note: curious about that patent? I was too. Learn more here.)

This one comes from Krystina Castella's Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked With Spirits, Wine, and Beer, a fine release from Quirk Books this year. This book is full of fun boozy cake recipes, plenty of which are great for a holiday crowd; I won't lie, I chose the Harvey Wallbanger because of its funny name and interesting recipe lead-up:

All the rage in the 1970s, the Harvey Wallbanger cocktail is a groovy twist on the classic Screwdriver: it adds a splash of the smooth vanilla Italian liqueur Galliano to the vodka and orange juice. In the 70s spirit, this is one drunk Bundt cake that is dead easy to make. It's a light, moist, absolutely booze-drenched crowd pleaser.

And happily, I wasn't let down. Citrusy, festive, and very boozy, this one is party-perfect.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake

From Booze Cakes by Krystina Castella

For the cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.3 ounce) box vanilla instant pudding
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup Galliano liqueur
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

Boozy Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vodka
  • 1 tablespoon Galliano liqueur

Finishing: original recipe  suggests orange slices and confectioners' sugar; I garnished with toasted almonds.

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat cake mix, pudding powder, vetetable oil, eggs, vodka, Galliano, and OJ for 4 minutes, or until smooth. Pour batter into pan. Bake 45-50 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Make the glaze. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over cake. Give it a few minutes to sink into the cake for extra boozy goodness and moisture. Finish with whatever garnish you'd like.

Warning: Do not share Harvey Wallbanger cake batter with pugs.

Friday
Nov262010

Kicking off Cookie Season: Mint Candy Butter Cookies Recipe from Crazy About Cookies by Krystina Castella

Thanksgiving's over. But don't cry into your empty pie plate (or empty Pumpkin Pie Shake), because that means it's officially Cookie Season.

And let's kick things off with one that is simple but classic and completely delicious: Mint Candy Butter Cookies from Krystina Castella's Crazy About Cookies (also check out the other posts from all week dedicated to Krystina's work: Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops, Zen Stone Cookies, and a giveaway featuring her super awesome book A World of Cake!). To get in a Christmas-y mood, I used candy canes. When served at the store, they disappeared in record time. Black friday was red and white and buttery all over, baby!

Mint Candy Butter Cookies

Adapted from Crazy About Cookies by Krystina Castella

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Royal icing
  • 1 1/2 cups mint hard candies or candy canes, crushed

Procedure

  1. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk. Add the whole egg, salt, and vanilla, and stir to combine.
  2. Gradually stir in the flour. Form the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Get 2 cookie sheets ready to go, no need to grease 'em.
  4. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch squares. Place the squares on the baking sheets and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. (Note: While still warm I cut the cookies into fourths, because I was sharing them at my store and wanted bite-sized cookies)
  5. Cover with icing. While icing is still wet, top with the crushed candies.
Wednesday
Nov242010

Peace and Sweetness: Zen Stones Cookie Recipe from Crazy About Cookies by Krystina Castella

Fact: you could use a little bit of zen before the tidal wave of holidays that's about to descend upon us. Or at least you could use a little something to get you through this sometimes supremely stressful time of year.

My advice: get stoned. That is to say...make Zen Stone cookies!

These cookies immediately appealed to me when I leafed through the newly-released Crazy About Cookies: 300 Scrumptious Recipes for Every Occasion & Craving by official CakeSpy foodie crush Krystina Castella (check out the giveaway of her book A World of Cake Here, and a recipe and some love for her book Pops! Icy Treats for Everyone here). Why choose these cookies? Because, you know, they kinda looked cool. And appearance definitely matters.

Happily, these groovy-patterned cookies are also super-easy to make, super-delicious, and will keep you occupied just long enough to avoid your awkward Uncle Harry's bad jokes or Great-Aunt Patricia's tales of medical woes... and they'll also keep your family satisfied with sugary goodness so they won't get on your case about all those things families love to get on your case about during the holidays. Not that I'd know.

Zen Stone Cookies

Note: While Castella has suggested this recipe as a use for leftover shortbread butter cookie doughs from the book, I actually used leftover scraps of dough from two different batches of chocolate and butter cookies, using the recipe more for construction; it worked out fine, so I think you could probably use a variety of different buttery cookie doughs to make these; just be sure to adjust the baking time and temperature accordingly.

Ingredients

  • Scraps of chocolate and shortbread butter cookie dough 
  • 1 cup assorted candies, malt balls, chocolates, and chocolate raisins (I used a mix of chocolate candies and walnuts)
  • Royal icing

Procedure

  1. Preaheat oven to 350. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (depending on how many scraps you have, it might be just one sheet)
  2. Gather the scraps to form 1-inch balls, hiding the candy in the center. Place the balls on the cookie sheets 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until firm. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  3. Color the icing and put in a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe lines where the doughs meet, or in whatever trippy patterns / directions your freak flag wants you to fly in.
Tuesday
Nov232010

Thanksgiving Pie Chronicles: Cranberry Pecan Pie in a Maple Peanut Butter Cookie Crust for Peanut Butter and Co.

CakeSpy Note: Did you know that I'm an all-star? Well, an all-star blogger, anyway, for the lovely and amazing Peanut Butter and Co.! Here's a peek at my latest recipe entry, for Cranberry Pecan Pie in a Maple Peanut Butter Crust!

Don’t get me wrong–Thanksgiving has a lot going for it food-wise. But sadly, the traditional offerings are extremely lacking in rich, delicious peanut butter.

But what if–just what if–you combined classic Thanksgiving flavors with a peanut butter cookie crust?

I wanted to find out, and so I prepared a thick Mighty Maple peanut butter cookie crust, which I then filled with a mixture of tart, unsweetened cranberries and crunch pecans, all topped with a thick, brown sugary, pecan pie-inspired filling. The result? Total magic: the tartness of the cranberries is perfectly balanced by the richness of the peanut butter and pecans, and the maple and sugar contribute plenty of sweetness. It’s a flavor combination to be thankful for, indeed.

For the full entry and recipe, visit the All-Star Recipe Blog on Peanut Butter and Co.!

Tuesday
Nov232010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops Recipe, and a Profile on Pops! Icy Treats for Everyone by Krystina Castella

Truth: When it comes to desserts, icy treats are not usually my first pick. I'd much rather have warm cookies, rich cakes, or decadent brownies.

But if there's a book that will make you appreciate--if not even love--the humble popsicle, it is Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone by Krystina Castella, to whom I'm dedicating a post a day this week (and hosting a giveaway for her more recent release, A World of Cakes! Enter here!). The book was released a couple of years ago by Quirk Books, and it's very much worth checking out.

The first thing that intrigued me about this book? Castella's backstory with pops. It includes a love story!

It also includes plenty of useful information on "pop culture", such as how to order the chilly treats in a plethora of different languages:

...and this is before the actual recipe portion of the book even starts.

Castella's recipes are incredibly creative, ranging from decadent takes on the classic pudding pop to soda foundain-inspired classics to cocktail party friendly booze-based pops...even a section of healthy pops, for which she is forgiven.

But the one that caught my eye most of all was the Blueberry Cheesecake pop, complete with graham cracker crumb crust. Le yum! But why not adapt it a bit for the season--finding myself with some extra canned pumpkin, I made a quick swap for the top layer for a sort of pumpkin cheesecake pop, perfect for Thanksgiving week! Of course, for more, you can check out a preview of some of the recipes here. And of course, buy the book here. You won't regret it.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pops

Adapted from Blueberry Cheesecake Pops from Pops!: Icy Treats for Everyone

Makes six 8-ounce pops, or eight 6-ounce pops

Things you'll need: popsicle sticks, popsicle molds or paper cups

Pumpkin topping

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Cheesecake

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • more nutmeg and cinnamon, if desired

Crust

  • 10 graham crackers (or gingersnaps or other cookies of your choice)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 tablespoons sugar (per original recipe; I left this out)

Procedure

  1. Make the topping. In a bowl, mix the pumpkin, cream, spices, and sugar until fully incorporated.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Make the cheesecake. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream until well blended.In a separate bowl, whip the cream and vanilla until the cream starts to thicken, 1-2 minutes. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat for about 30 seconds. Add spices and stir once more. Set aside.
  4. Make the crust: in a blender or food processor, grind your graham crackers or cookies into crumbs. Transfer to a bowl; add the butter (melted) and mix until sticky and incorporated. Refrigerate until needed.
  5. Time to assemble. Pour the topping into each mold until it is one quarter full. Freeze for about an hour (original recipe suggests 2 hours, but I was impatient and it worked out ok).
  6. Pour the cheesecake mixture into each mold, leaving a half-inch at the top of each mold for the crust. Insert the stick. Freeze for 3 hours (once again, I did it for about 2 hours).
  7. Press the crust into the pop molds. If crust isn't sticking together, add a little water. Freeze for at least 4 hours (I did it overnight).
  8. Remove from freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing pops from molds.
Friday
Nov192010

Happy Hour: The Breckenridge Bar Cookie

Say hello to my new favorite thing in the world: the Breckenridge Bar Cookie.

My fortuitous meeting with La Breckenridge took place at Half Price Books, where I stumbled on a slim volume entitled Creme De Colorado Cookbook. This book piqued my interest for two reasons: first, I have a rather keen and slightly obsessive interest in regional cuisine, and second, I've never been to Colorado, so I was very interested in the foods that might constitute the creme de Colorado.

Flipping to the dessert section, I found the Breckenridge Bar right away. I already knew that Breckenridge must be a delicious place based on Rainy Day Gal's guest post on the fair city, but this bar looked like an exceptional specimen of sweethood: comprised of rich layers of chocolate cake, coconut and condensed milk, and chocolate topping. Unfortunately, the cookbook didn't offer any story behind the bar's history or development, so I can only imagine that it is called the Breckenridge Bar because people are eating them all day, every day, there.

Of course, upon reviewing the original recipe it seemed a little low-fat for my taste, so I made it slightly awesomer by adding brown sugar crumb topping and toasty almonds on top, making for a final result which fell, taste-wise, somewhere between brownie, Almond Joy, and crumb cake. A delicious adaptation, if I do say so myself.

Breckenridge Bars

Adapted from the Creme De Colorado Cookbook

Makes 24-30 bite-sized bars

Ingredients for base

 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Ingredients for middle layer

  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened)

For the topping 

  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the crumb topping, if you want it (you do!), adapted from Arthur Schwartz

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • A handful of sliced almonds or nuts, if desired

 Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa and flour, mixing until incorporated. Add nuts, if adding.
  3. Spread into a floured and buttered pan (original recipe called for 9x13-inches; I didn't have one handy so used an 8x8-inch pan).
  4. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. While baking, mix the condensed milk and coconut; add this to the top of the baked bottom crust and bake for 18-20 more minutes at 350.
  5. Immediately after removing from oven, add chocolate topping, and then the crumb topping on top of that. Turn off the heat, then put back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes to heat in the residual heat. Once lightly but not completely cooled, cut into squares. (Note: The original recipe simply called for the bars to be removed from the oven and frosted while still warm and that was it--but I think because mine were thicker in the smaller pan, the extra baking time helped them set up better).
  6. Let cool completely (I put mine in the fridge to set for several hours) before serving.

To prepare frosting:

In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients until well mixed.

To prepare crumb topping:

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low flame. Remove from the heat and cool for about 5 minutes, but do not allow the butter to become cold.
  2. Add the flour, brown sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Stir with a table fork until the mixture forms small crumbs. 
Monday
Nov152010

Australian Sweetness: A Pavlova Recipe from Cake Gumshoe Emma

CakeSpy Note: One of my favorite things in the world is discovering the favorite desserts of readers from around the world. Here's a profile on one sweet treat, the wonderful Pavlova (a dessert named after someone famous!), from Australia-based Emma! You can read more about her adventures on her blog, Emma's Eatery. Here's her favorite Pavlova recipe:

Pavlova is one of my ultimate favourite deserts to make. It is so easy, but quite “wow” type dish, the meringue is a real crowd pleaser. Pavlova is a meringue cake – light, fluffy with a chewy interior.  I usually make this at Christmas as a desert when all my high-school girlfriends come over for dinner, and they absolutely adore it! (The red and green fruit with the white cream really add to the Christmas effect!) I don’t think I would be allowed to switch up the dessert anymore because it has become such a staple at our high-school Christmas dinner reunion!

The only thing with meringues is that they are somewhat temperamental - so don't try to make them on a rainy day because you won’t end up with the stiff peaks you need.

For all you looking to bake something fun, quick and easy – this is the dish for you!

Pavlova

Ingredients

- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch or cream of tartar
- 1 pack of raspberries
- 4 kiwis
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 half pint whipping cream (250ml)

Procedure

- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F 
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper 
- Separate egg yolks and egg whites (it is easier to do this when the eggs are cold) 
- In the bowl of your electric mixer (Kitchen Aid Mixers work very well) beat the egg whites on medium - high speed until they hold soft peaks
- Slowly add in the sugar, a tablespoon at a time and continue to beat until the meringue hold stiff peaks and is somewhat glossy looking
- Make sure the meringue is smooth not gritty (if it feel gritty the sugar is not dissolved, so keep beating until the meringue feels smooth)
- With a spatula fold in vinegar and cornstarch until combined
- On your parchment paper draw a large circle, and fill in with meringue (make sure the edges of the meringue are higher than the center)
- Bake for 1 hr or until golden brown

To assemble: 

- Whip the whipping cream and add in vanilla and 2tbsp sugar for flavor
- Place whipping cream a top the meringue (do this right before you are ready to serve, otherwise the meringue will be soggy) 
- Sprinkle raspberries and kiwi over the top (you can really use any fruit you like)
- Serve immediately 

Want some more Australian sweetness? You might like this bakery tour of Sydney with Cake Gumshoe Dianne!

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