Full house of families this weekend and Amelia's 16th birthday to celebrate has meant that I have spent the day in the kitchen whipping up all manor of cheese puffs, cheesecakes and cheese boards! AND for our Dutch guests a Pavlova! Our European guests and friends can never get enough of this iconic Kiwi dessert and it is a great easy do when you throw it together before bedtime and leave it in the oven overnight.
I have, without being disloyal to my Mum's, found another recipe which is proving to be a real winner. Funnily enough it is out of a cookbook that my Mum gave to my husband a couple of birthday's ago and I have only just started to explore...
I went to Otago University which is in the old town of Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand...founded by the Scots it holds a special place in my heart due to the fun days I had studying there and the friends that I met that I still carry with me in my life today...
It was more usual than not to hear bagpipes played as you entered the Arrivals hall at the Dunedin airport and, as weird as it may seem, the founding fathers gave Dunedin the exact same street layout as Edinburgh so on my first visit to this beautiful city I could easily find my around!!
Now any Otago University 'hop' or 'social' or 'dance' or ball' [of which there were plenty] was always sponsered by 'Speights Beer'...the local brewery...and they have many Ale Houses throughout NZ where they serve great food! The Southern Man is a bit of a mystical character but he is a real hunting, shooting fishing farming type of tough pioneering type of guy and he loyally drinks 'Speights'! Here is a classic Speights Ad that has been around for many years...get the picture!!
The cookbook I mentioned earlier 'Speights Southern Man Cookbook' is produced by Speights and is a eclectic book celebrating the longevity of the Speights label, its beers and its Ale Houses....and the food they serve. It is actually very good with plenty of lamb, venison and fish recipes! This is the book where I have found my latest Pavlova recipe and it is proving its worth as it is easy and reliable...try it especially if you like meringue filled creamy fruity desserts...impressive to serve to a crowd, keeps well and slices without crumbling...
Speights Southern Man Pavlova
Preheat the oven to 130 - 150 depending on how hot your oven is...
4 egg whites
1 cup of caster sugar
4 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon of simple malt or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of Vanilla essence
1. Beat all the ingredients together for 10 minutes with an electric beater or in a Kenwood or similar.
2. Spoon onto a piece of baking paper making it into a 30 cm circle making it swirly on top!
3. Bake in the oven for 1 hour then turn the oven off and leave it in the oven overnight or until the oven is cold.
4. Pile with whipped cream and fresh fruit of your choice...and grated chocolate if you fancy...
5. Serve in generous slices...not great kept overnight once it has cream on it so best enjoyed in one session!! Great excuse...and there is always someone up for a second piece! Especially once they know that it will have to be thrown out otherwise!
FOOTNOTE: My Dutch guests just loved the Pavlova which I did simply with cream and passionfruit....so much so that they have ordered, not one but two, to have with their dinner tomorrow night!!