Saturday, July 31, 2010

July Roundup & Happy Anniversary!

Have the Cake is 1 year old!
Thank you to everyone who was here for the first challenge and thank you to all our members for making this past year so much fun! I hope we have many more years of baking together!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the July challenge and to Sue for the pick! We had a bit of a heat wave in July so this pick was perfect! Anything that involves whipped cream and fresh fruit is good is my book. :)

Sweet Melissa's Pavlova

Posted by - Chaya

Thanks to Jess for being late so I don't have to be the only one. I bet she did not have a fire in her oven and have three fire trucks parked in front of her house. Really. Is that an acceptable excuse. I don't want to do - one better. That was frightening enough.

If it were not for Rina being so understanding, you would not see this recipe. I had one of those silly times where everything goes wrong and the easiest solution seems to be, to give up. I am glad that I did not.

The recipe below is from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book but I made changes. I want to leave the recipe here, untarnished by my changes. Normally, I would not share a recipe from this book but because it is not part of the group, I am going to make this exception. Also, I did find it online so for anyone who is really looking, they can locate it.

I made a quarter of the recipe which was hard to do. I made the meringue in my big mixer and I thought it was going to sit there. It looked ludicrous to see the big machine and one egg's worth of whites. With the whipped cream, I got smarter and used a hand mixer. Even that didn't work. For some reason, I could not get the beaters to stay in the mixer. Never happened before. Also, even in a small bowl, there was very little cream (1/4 cup) and it refused to change for the longest time. At the end, those stiff peaks were soft and pliant but that was the best I could do.

Sweet Melissa Pavlova Peach Melba



- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tsp white vinegar, (I used champagne vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

- 2 to 3 large peaches
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- 1 recipe raspberry sauce, see notes


- 1 cup heavy cream, very cold
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon sugar


Before you start::

Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 7″ circle on the paper with a pen. Flip over the paper. You will be able to see the line. (I did not draw a line and for my mini pavlova, the circle was between three and four inches.

To make the meringue:

1. In a clean, grease-free bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high heat until they hold firm peaks, about 1 minute. Start adding the sugar, little by little, until the meringue holds very stiff glossy peaks, about 2 minutes. You should not feel any sugar grains at this point. If you do, keep beating.

2. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the cornstarch over the meringue, and sprinkle the vanilla and vinegar on top. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the ingredients into the meringue until just fully incorporated (the goal is to do so without deflating the meringue.)

3. Gently mound the meringue in the center of the circle on the prepared parchment paper, and smooth the edges. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Turn off the oven, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven for an additional hour or more. The meringue may crack as it cools – this is normal. When cool, carefully peel the paper from the bottom of the meringue and place the meringue on a serving platter. The meringue can be made only on the day of serving.

To prepare the fruit:

Peel, pit, and slices the peaches into a large bowl. Place the raspberries on top of the peaches. Pour over 1/2 cup of the raspberry sauce. Using a rubber spatula, gently combine.

To make the whipped cream:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whipping attachment, beat the heavy cream and vanilla on medium speed. In a slow, steady stream, add the sugar beating until the mixture forms medium-stiff peaks.

To Complete the Pavlova:

1. Mound the whipped cream in the center of the meringue and spread it just up to the edges.

2. Pile the fruit and any sauce left in the bottom of the bowl on top of the cream.

3. Drizzle a little of the remaining sauce over the fruit, and serve the rest of the sauce on the side. Using a large spoon, serve immediately.


To make raspberry sauce: combine two 12 ounce packages of frozen raspberries, 3/4 plus 2 TBS. sugar, and 1 TBS fresh lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Let cool and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Chill for up to 5 days.

SOURCE: Sweet Melissa Baking Book

A day late Pavlova

Posted by - Jess
Nothing like the last minute! I made the pavlova yesterday...I waited mostly because I was nervous about dealing with egg whites. I decided to make this recipe for the pavlova itself but liked the idea of adding more flavor to the filling so did the pastry cream recipe posted here along with the fruit sauce.
I was unable to remove the pavlova from the parchment pan without destroying it so it was served on the baking sheet. If I made this again I am not sure how I would get around the sticking. But regardless it tasted really good and was very interesting to make.
The layers on the pavlova are pastry cream filling, blueberry sauce, whipped cream and fresh blueberries.

Last Minute Pavlova!

I was quite intimidated by this challenge and the humidity we have had all month has been an great excuse to put it off (and gain tips from my fellow bakers on what not to do and what to look out for)! So on the last day of the month I decided I had to put aside my fears and get baking.
The recipe I chose was from Simply Recipes. It uses the smaller individual pavlovas which I thought would work better.
I started by separating the eggs which was no easy task. As I learned from Rena, even a small amount of yolk would ruin everything so after getting three done perfectly, I slipped and dropped an entire egg in the whites. I tried to fish out the yolk whole but a little dribbled in so, sigh, I started over again. This time I smartened up and did one egg at a time in a different dish and then poured the whites in the mixing bowl when they were perfectly yolk free. I ruined only one more egg this way (and my dog has lots of yolks for dinner the next few nights). So egg whites and salt in the mixer and begin whisking (oh how I <3 my Kitchen Aid mixer)! I then gradually added the sugar and cornstarch. I used Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (NOT the Splenda for baking-that stuff is nasty) instead of regular sugar. After that had mixed a couple minutes I poured in the vanilla and distilled white vinegar, turned the mixer to high and left it going for about five minutes and did all the dishes.
Once it was nice and formed with stiff peaks, I spooned 8 large dollops of the meringue on a lined cookie sheet and put it in the oven. After about a half hour, they started to look a little beige so I did as the recipe said and lowered the temperature and turned the pan around.
I decided to do a fruit topping of blackberries and raspberries, heating them with some sugar until they broke up. I forgot to buy heavy cream for whip so I made up a little glaze for it as well using lemon curd, lemon juice, honey, vanilla and a little water. I just whipped it up until it was a nice thick but creamy substance.
Perfection! A delicious, light dessert!

Posted by -colleen

Friday, July 30, 2010

Almond Pavlova with Fresh Fruit and Berry Grand Manier Sauce

Posted by - Louise


It's 10:00 p.m. and I'm beat.  It was a long day at the fair, some days just feel longer than others.  It didn't help that I ate "fair food", which made me feel like I was in a coma for the late part of the afternoon.  Friday is $ 1.00 food tastings, so we make out way out into the fair to have small bites of craziness.  I had a bite of...deep fried Oreo cookie, Pink's hot dog, Tasty Chips, and a cinnamon roll.  You can see now why I ran out of energy by 3:00 in the afternoon.  On stage today we had "Harry's Deli", they were no ordinary sandwich shop.  Harry made me a prime cut steak sandwich with house made mayo, chimichurri, and grilled onions- it was the best sandwich I've eaten in ... well can't remember when.  Definitely going to make my way out there to try the rest of their deli delights.  Other than the drunk guy who trashed my stage last night and tore off my oven door, in an apron no less- today was a good day. 

I recently received a comment on the blog from someone who I noticed had more than one blog herself- interesting I thought, so I clicked away.  So excited to find "Have the Cake", a blogging community of cooks who choose one recipe a month and everyone posts their creative version of ... this month ~Pavlova.  I had to laugh because not only was I interested in joining, but  my demonstrations for the fair today were already planned to be Almond Pavlova.  I agreed with myself it was clearly a sign that I should join.  Since today is the last day of the month I had to - wanted to post before the day was over.  So it's now 10:27 p.m. here I sit writing about this crispy,crackly, gooey,  and oh so sweet dessert we call - Pavlova.  Most recipes call for superfine sugar, but I always have used regular sugar with no problems at all.  The almond extract adds another dimension of flavor and the berry sauce is... good on anything.  I had leftover churro (last post) ganache that I filled each Pavlova nest with as an added surprise under the berries and used fresh gooseberries  to add a nice sour tartness to the mix.  So there ... I did it, my first post for "Have the Cake"...

4 Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 Teaspoons cornstarch
1 Teaspoon white vinegar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Teaspoon almond extract
1/4 Cup sliced toasted almonds
2 Cups of fresh berries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Add egg whites and a pinch of salt to the bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment
Mix on low until small bubbles begin to form
Turn mixer to high and whisk until soft peaks form
Slowly add in sugar- raining the sugar onto the meringue with the mixer running
Continue whisking until shiny and stiff peaks develop
Add in cornstarch, vinegar, vanilla, and almond extract
With a spatula gently fill a large pastry bag with a star tip
Line a baking sheet with parchment and pipe out 4-5 inch rounds about 2 inches high
Sprinkle with almonds
Place pavlova into oven  and reduce heat to 250 degrees- bake for 1 hour- turn off oven and allow to cool   for an additional hour
Store in an airtight container

2 Cups mixed frozen berries (raspberry, strawberry,blueberry)
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon berry fruit spread or preserves
2 Tablespoons honey or agave syrup
Zest of 1 Orange
1 Tablespoon Grand Manier

In a small sauce pot bring berries, salt, fruit spread/preserves, honey, and orange zest to a low simmer
Remove from heat and blend until smooth with a hand held emulsion blender or standing blender
Run blended sauce through a fine mesh strainer
Stir in Grand Manier
Assemble by filling pavlova with fresh fruit and topping with berry sauce

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!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Berries Pavlova

Posted by -Shri

 Followed Sue's recipe;  used individual portions and Dawn's post was  really helpful.
This was a first and turned out to be  the new family favourite! Have used black berries, raspberries and blueberries in the recipe. Also used a little bit of orange zest in the whipped cream topping.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chocolate Pavlova

Posted by - Michele at Alwayz Bakin'

The recipe I chose for this month's Pavlova Challenge was Chocolate Pavlova by Martha Stewart. I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. It was EXCELLENT!!!!

It was fairly easy to put together, however, I did not follow Martha's recipe for the chocolate cream. I made an adaption of my own by adding the chocolate to my own whipped cream. It didn't turn out as planned, but was delicious anyway. I think next time I will take the time to make her's.

So far everyone's Pavlova's look beautiful! If you would like to try mine, you can find the recipe
here at Martha Stewart's site.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Elegant Berry Pavlovas

Posted by -Angela from Soap Mom's Kitchen

I have never made a Pavlova and I found this traditional recipe from the The Culinary Institute of America featured on Epicurious.  It is filled with a luscious filling of mixed French Pastry Cream and Whip Cream.  I used berries because I just love them, but the original recipe suggested mixed berries, kiwi and mangoes. 

It is quite lovely in presentation.  I would definitely serve this at an elegant dinner party.  What I love most is that you can actually make all the components in advance, and just put together last minute. 

For meringues:

3 egg whites
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For filling:

1 1/2 cups pastry cream
1/2 cup heavy cream (Whipped)

Pastry Cream Recipe (Recipe Follows)
2 1/4 cups whole milk

6 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

In medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup milk, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch.

Transfer remaining 1 3/4 cups milk to heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add pod. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup sugar over, letting sugar sink undisturbed to bottom. Set pan over moderate heat and bring to simmer without stirring.

Whisk hot milk mixture, then gradually whisk into egg yolk mixture. Return to saucepan over moderate heat and cook, whisking constantly, until pastry cream simmers and thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, discard vanilla pod, and whisk cream until smooth. Transfer to bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Pastry cream can be made ahead and refrigerated, wrapped well with plastic wrap on surface, up to 3 days.)

To serve:
3 to 4 cups assorted seasonal fruit 2 cups raspberry sauce

Make meringues:

Preheat oven to 150°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using 3-inch-diameter bowl or ring mold as guide, trace 5 circles on each sheet. Turn paper over so markings are on bottom. In large metal bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Gradually whisk in sugar, then cornstarch. Attach candy thermometer to bowl and set over saucepan of simmering water. Continue whisking until thermometer registers 130°F. Remove bowl from heat and, using electric mixer, beat mixture at moderately high speed until mixture cools and holds stiff peaks, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to pastry bag fitted with large star tip.

Starting at center and working in spiral outward, pipe meringue onto 1 traced circle. Pipe second layer in ring around edge to form outer wall. Fill remaining circles in same manner.

Bake meringues until dry on outside but still soft inside, about 3 hours. Transfer pan to rack and cool 5 minutes. Peel meringues from parchment and cool completely on rack. (Meringues can be made ahead and stored in airtight container in dry, cool place up to 2 weeks or frozen in airtight container up to 3 months.)

Make filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream until stiff peaks form.

In large bowl, whisk pastry cream until smooth. Whisk in 1/3 of whipped cream to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream.

Raspberry Sauce

3 1/3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

In medium saucepan over moderate heat, stir together raspberries, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. Heat, stirring often, until raspberries begin to release juice. Raise heat to moderately high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Strain through fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids to extract all liquid. (Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, up to 1 week.)

Assemble and serve:

Transfer each meringue to serving plate and fill with 3 tablespoons pastry cream mixture. Mound fruit on top of cream. Spoon raspberry sauce alongside on plate, and serve immediately.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lemon Curd 'Eggy' Pavlova

Posted by - Dawn

It's my first HtC challenge, and I'm excited! Although it's pretty hot outside, I've had the AC running full tilt for a day now, so I'm hopeful that it won't be too humid in my apartment.

My original plan was to do something fun (maybe even...creative??) with the shape of the Pavlova. My list of brilliant ideas went something like this:
Maybe a ballet tutu?
Or a ballet slipper? (both inspired by the orignial inspiration for the dessert)
What about a simple square? (inspired by my lack of inspiration)

and I was going to fill it with a strawberry/rhubarb mixture. The first two ideas were nixed because a skirt or a shoe filled with a red gooey mixture screams 'murder scene' to me, and that didn't seem appropriate. And a square is, well, just plain boring. Besides, I only just finished washing and freezing the strawberries and rhubarb. It seems like such a pity to use them up right away.

So I was at a bit of a standstill...until I made Rose Levy Beranbaum's Blueberry Lemon Tart yesterday. The Lemon Curd is simplicity itself, and I have these wonderful eggs (from a real farm) that have fabulously yellow need for dollops of food colouring!

The decision made, the die cast: the Pavlova (Pavlovas, actually) will be egg-shaped, with a lemon curd 'yolk' centre.

For all of you die-hard Pavlova purists out there, I know a Pavlova should have fresh fruit on it. If it bothers you that much, copy the picture to your computer and photophop a strawberry or two onto it. I just wanted to have a little fun with it, you know?

One last challenge: now that school's out, I needed to find eaters for my dessert. Luckily, a former colleague agreed to 'take one for the team' (her words, not mine) and help out in that department. Thanks, Anny!

Therefore, and heretofore, without further ado:

Mise en place for the Pavlova (recipe found in the Have the Cake July Challenge post)

Stiff. Very stiff.
Piping egg-shaped shapes

Mise en place for the curd (recipe can be found in both Heavenly Cakes and The Pie and Pastry Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum)

Do you have any idea how hard it was not to slurp this stuff straight from the bowl?

The finished Pavlova egg

Recipe: Eggy Pavlova

Maybe I should call it "Swan's Egg' because Anna Pavlova was famous for her rendition of the dying swan in the ballet 'Swan Lake' (check it out on YouTube)...nah, nevermind.

For the meringue (adapted from the challenge recipe)

4 large egg whites
1 cup berry sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tbsp cornstarch


1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Trace egg shapes onto parchment paper (approximately 3"x2").

2) Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Add sugar in small amounts, beating each addition until dissolved. Continue beating until egg whites hold very stiff peaks.

3) Sprinkle vinegar and cornstarch onto beaten egg whites and fold in.

4) Using spatula, fill decorating bag with mixture. Pipe shapes onto parchment paper. Build up the edges of the shape by piping overlaying 'rims' onto your shape. Finally, smooth the edges and tops a little with the back of a wet spoon. Space yours a little farther apart than I did...they will expand slightly in the oven.

5) Bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and let cool completely in the oven.

For the Lemon Curd (adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible)

*Because meringue is quite sweet, I've reduced the sugar in this recipe, so be extra careful when heating the egg yolk mixture! I've also eliminated the lemon zest. I love me some good lemon zest, but who wants stringy things in their yolk?


4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp lemon juice
pinch salt


1) In heavy saucepan, whisk yoks, sugar, and butter until well blended. Whisk in lemon juice and salt.

2) Cook over medium-low heat until thickened. Do NOT allow it to come to a boil or you'll have scrambled lemony eggs on your hands.

3) Optional: strain the mixture to remove any lumpy bits.

4) Cool before using.

To assemble
Spoon dollops of lemon curd onto meringue bases. Garnish, if desired, with fresh fruit and/or sprigs of mint. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July Challenge: Pavlova

Posted by -Sue

For the July challenge I wanted to come up with something that shouted 'Summer!!". Something cool, light, with lots of fruit. Given my love of meringue - both making and eating - what better dessert than a pavlova.
The national dessert of both New Zealand and Australia, Pavlova is basically a large pillow of meringue covered with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Purists insist kiwi fruit must be in the mix for authenticity, but not everyone agrees. It was named in honor of the great Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova; never having seen her dance, one can only assume she was as light and delicate as her namesake!
The recipe I'm including is from Joy of Baking. If you Google Pavlova, there are lots of other options. Ina Garten has a recipe for pavlova with a raspberry compote that looks yummy. Before you begin, a few tips:
Don't make the pavlova on a muggy day. The moisture in the air will prevent the egg whites from whipping to their peak.
If you're not serving the pavlova immediately, store the meringue in an airtight container (up to 3 days) and top with the cream and fruit just before serving, so that the meringue doesn't become soggy.
All the recipes I saw called for superfine sugar. To make your own, put the sugar in a food processor and pulse until the crystals are half their original size. Easy!
Make sure your bowl and beaters are clean, clean, clean and free of any grease or oil.
Pavlova recipe
4 large egg whites
1 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 TBS. cornstarch
Preheat oven to 250 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch circle on the paper.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until meringue holds very stiff peaks. Make sure the sugar is dissolved by rubbing a bit of meringue between your fingers - if it feels gritty, keep beating! Sprinle the meringue with the vinegar and cornstarch and fold in with a rubber spatula.
Gently spread the meringue inside the circle on the parchment paper and smooth the edges.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and a very pale cream color. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar and let the meringue cool completely in the oven.
1cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Fresh fruit - kiwi, strawberries, peaches, berries, pineapple, etc.
Just before serving, place the meringue on a serving plate. Whip the cream, add sugar and vanilla, and beat until soft peaks form. Mounded the cream in the center of the meringue. Arrange the fruit on top of the cream