Monday, July 26, 2010

A Tale of Two Pavlovas

Posted by - Rena

I was very excited to make a pavlova. I love meringue cookies, lemon meringue pie and baked alaska. I haven't had the pie or baked alaska in many years but I have made meringue cookies in the past two. I was expecting the pavlova to be totally crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside like the cookies.

I made the first pavlova with the challenge recipe. It seemed easy enough but I made a fatal error. While separating the eggs, I got a little splash of yolk in the whites. I figured it was a small enough amount that I didn't have to worry. Turns out that's what can ruin the whole thing. After baking for an hour and 15 minutes, the outside was very brown and the inside was spongy but not in a good way. It all looked wrong. I decided to scrap it and start over. My dog was very pleased with this outcome because she will get eggs yolks with her dinner for the next few days.

I was very careful with the second one. It baked for an hour & 15 minutes and looked perfect when it came out. The top cracked a little which put me at ease. It all looked right. I sealed it in foil and left it out overnight. My friend came over for lunch so I whipped up some cream and pasted it on like spackle. That was the best part. I topped it with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

So, when we cut into it I was surprised to find it very spongy. Again, I was expecting it to be somewhat chewy so my egg/salmonella paranoia kicked in and I starting fearing for our lives. I think it was perfect but I have such issues with eggs that I'm sure my neurosis made it less appetizing for my guest. We ate all the crunchy bits around the sides and then proceeded to wipe the top clean from any trace of whipped cream and fruit.

I think the problem was that I didn't know what to expect. I had a vision in my head of what it was supposed to be and then when it didn't turn out that way, I immediately started second guessing it. All in all, it was delicious!


Anonymous said...

Well it looks great! Not sure if mine was spongy or not. Kind of all just went together.

Dawn said...

Sounds soooo delicious! If you're that concerned about salmonella, try using pasteurized egg white. You can get it in milk-carton-like containers in the dairy section. No separating to worry about then either! :)

btw, your picture of the pavlova with berries looks absolutely mouth-watering!

Rena said...

Great suggestion Dawn, thank you!

Sweet and Savory said...

You earned your stripes on this one. It certainly looks delicious.

? said...

Looks delicious!

mokismom said...

Mine was spongy in the middle, too. I made it for my book-group party and it was a huge hit. And nobody got sick, so I guess spongy is OK!