Pavlova, painting, and chicken en croute

This weekend, I achieved Goal #29: Make a perfect pavlova (perfection is hard to define, but I thought it was really, really good). Having attempted twice before to make a fluffy, marshmallowy meringue that does not go all gloopy and flat when cooked, this time I managed to get it just right. See below for my recipe.

My other completed task this weekend was painting the radiators in our hallway and kitchen (#49). They look much better now. Once I’ve finished painting the woodwork in our hallway, it will finally be finished!

I made a new recipe as part of Goal #32: chicken en croute. It wasn’t that tasty though. I think it would be nicer to stuff the chicken with boursin or herby cream cheese or goats cheese mixed with sun-dried tomatoes. We used left-over stuffing as a topping for baked chicken breasts the next day, and added some marjoram which improved the flavour. Using corn-fed chicken and/or seasoning the chicken really well would probably make a real difference too.

Pavlova – serves 6-8

  • 3 large eggs, very fresh and at room temperature
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 dessertspoon vinegar (white or malt)
  • 300ml whipped cream
  • A bit of custard or yoghurt (optional)
  • Fresh fruit
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Separate the eggs (use the yolks for creme brulee, custard, or lemon curd).
  3. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the eggs on the fastest speed for 5 minutes.
  4. With the whisk still running, add the sugar a teaspoon at a time for a marshmallowy texture, or all at once for a hard meringue.
  5. Reduce the whisk speed to the slowest setting. Add the vinegar and sift in the cornflour, and gently whisk in.
  6. On a tray lined with greaseproof paper, blob or pipe the meringue mixture into a large circle, oblong, or individual shapes. Make a dip in the middle to hold the cream filling.
  7. Put the meringue in the oven and reduce the temperature to 130C. Bake for one hour. Turn off the oven but leave the meringue inside until completely cool.
  8. Just before serving, top the meringue with whipped cream mixed with a bit of custard or yoghurt if you like, and fresh fruit.

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