My love for Nigella Lawson has been well documented on this blog. Here I waxed lyrical about her book "How to be a Domestic Goddess" while baking her Rocky Road Crunch Bars from a whole other book, here I made her Sesame Peanut Noodles for lunch, here I made her Glitzy Chocolate Puddings for a Nigella themed blogging event. I've made her chocolate banana bread, Boston Cream Pie, Strawberry and Almond Crumble, Spinach and Coconut Milk Soup , I even named my first stand mixer after her!
So yeah, I'm pretty indifferent about Nigella's cooking. Yeah right!
When I heard she was taking over an issue of Stylist Magazine last year - December I think it was - I was very very excited! If you read Stylist, you're sure to remember the issue - the one with her covered in caramel?
This has been on my 'to bake list' - or one of them at least - but I finally got the time to bake it during the last bank holiday. I was impressed by how easy pavlova is to make and the instructions are so good that at the end I had the perfect meringue, crispy on the outside and chewy and marshmallow-y on the inside!
I already can't wait to try lots of variations on this recipe. Perhaps the same again but with whipped mascarpone cheese instead of cream, or omit the coffee from the meringue and top the cream with fresh berries? The possibilities are endless! But first, I have to make this again. Exactly the same. To teach my housemates as they were totally and utterly in love with it. Ah well, you know what they say, give your housemates cake and they will eat for a day or two, teach them how to bake and you can benefit from the fruits of their labour. Or something like that anyway ;)
Have a great week!
250g caster sugar
4 tsps instant espresso powder, not instant coffee
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
2 tsps cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
300ml double cream
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 - Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4. Line a flat oven sheet with baking parchment and, using a 23cm cake tin, draw a circle on it.
2 - Mix the sugar with the instant espresso powder in a small bowl and set aside.
3 In a clean, grease-free metal bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they are holding soft peaks. Keep whisking while you add the sugar-coffee mixture a tablespoon at a time.
4 - When you have a firm, ecru-coloured meringue, fold in the cornflour and vinegar using a grease-free metal spoon.
5 - Dollop the meringue mixture inside the drawn circle. Smooth and shape it with a spatula so that it looks rather like the crown of a boater (nope, I don't know what a boater is either): it must be flat on top.
6 - Put it in the oven and immediately turn down to 150C/gas mark 3 and cook for an hour. Switch off the oven and leave inside until cool.
7 - Once the base is cool, lift it carefully in its paper and place it top-side down on a flat plate and peel off the paper.
8 - Whip the double cream until thick but soft and spread delicately over the top of the meringue. With a teaspoon, push the cocoa through a fine sieve or tea strainer to decorate the top, cappuccino-style.