Triple Layer Pavlova

Christmas isn’t Christmas without at least one pavlova. I usually make a huge one and then struggle to fit it in the fridge… Having watched the Bake Off Showstopper challenge this series, I fancied a go at a triple layered version for this year. It worked! I used¬†raspberries and mixed summer berries in ours but you can use whatever you want as long as it’s not horrible crunchy passion fruit seeds or pomegranate ūüėČ

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For 8-10 portions you need

  • 6 egg whites (use the yolks in something else)
  • pinch salt
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 600ml double cream
  • 2 x 250g packs of frozen fruit, defrosted (or whatever you want to fill and top it with)
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Line three baking sheets with baking parchment.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar a little at a time, whisking all the time on a slower speed until they are stiff and glossy. Add the cornflour and vinegar.
  4. Spread 1/3 of the mix on each baking sheet fitting to the size of whatever serving dish you will be using.
  5. For the final layer, spread out a circle and then pipe the remaining meringue mixture to form peaks.
  6. Reduce the oven heat to 130 degrees and bake the meringues for 1-1.5 hours until they are risen, golden brown and crispy.
  7. Switch off the oven and leave the door open a crack by wedging a spoon into the door. Leave to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, whisk the cream to soft peaks and layer up the pavlova with the fruit and cream finishing with a layer of fruit.
  9. Stand back and admire your creation.

Baklava

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I’ve been¬†meaning to blog this for a while and just haven’t had time, sorry! I made a big batch for our engagement party and it got rave reviews. It’s dead simple to make but tastes far more complicated than it is! The recipe says it makes 30 pieces but that comes down to how big you make them. I prefer bite sized pieces to bigger chunks. The recipe is taken from Tess Malos The Complete Middle East Cookbook.

For 30 or so pieces you need:

For the pastries

  • 20 sheets of¬†filo pastry
  • 3/4 cup melted butter (that’s 190g to you and me…)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

For the syrup

  • 1.5 cups caster sugar
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup runny honey – use a good quality one
  • thinly peeled strip of lemon rind
  • small¬†piece of cinnamon bark
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 crushed cardamon pods
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  1. Butter the sides and base of a 33cmx23cmx5cm tin.
  2. Layer up 9 sheets of  filo pastry into the base of the tin, buttering each well before placing in the tin.
  3. Mix the nuts and sugar with the spices then sprinkle half over the pastry.
  4. Layer a further two sheets of pastry on to the nuts, buttering each as before.
  5. Spread the remaining nut mix on top of these sheets.
  6. Top with the remaining filo, buttering each.
  7. Trim the top and sides and tuck in neatly.
  8. Sprinkle some water over the top to stop it from crisping too much in the oven.
  9. Score into pieces, taking care not to cut all the way through to the base.
  10. Bake in the centre of a 180 degree oven for 30 mins. After 30 mins, move one shelf up and cook for a further 30 mins. You want the pastry to be golden brown and crisp all over.
  11. Whilst the baklava is baking make the syrup. Place everything in a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Once all the sugar has dissolved, boil rapidly for 15 mins until reduced and syrupy in consistency.
  12. Take the baklava out of the oven and drench in the hot syrup.
  13. Leave for at least four hours before eating. Then scoff!

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