Monday, 9 May 2011

Back on The Blog!

(+ A never fail recipe for meringues)

It has been a shamefully long time since my last post and over the next few days I hope to rectify my lack of activity on this site. I am very grateful to be able to say that I have been extremely busy both in my new role as a chef for Flavours Dining in Tufnell Park and in my private catering endeavours and have not found a minute to write, but I hope to make up for that from now on.

The most significant event I have done recently was a birthday party for 110 guests near Hereford,

The menu was as follows:

Canapé selection:

Green Pesto Palmiers
Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Croustades
Tomato Bruschetta
Whole poached salmon with homemade mayonnaise
Honey glazed ham

Creamy New potato salad
Couscous, Roasted vegetables & feta salad with mixed herbs and Cumin
Seasonal remoulade
Green bean salad
Mixed Leaves with Balsamic Dressing

Dessert  selection
Lemon Possets 
Pot Aux Chocolat
Miniature Pavlovas with Fresh Fruits

The event was a great success and I had loads of fun cooking along with my trusty Sous chef Harriet! 

Mini Pavlovas are my absolute favorite and I always use my mothers recipe for the meringue that has never failed me yet!
With only two ingredients they are so easy to make. There are just a few simple rules to make sure they always work.

1.Before you start make sure the bowl you are using to beat the egg whites is really clean without any grease in it (rubbing a slice of lemon around the inside of the bowl will make sure).
2: Don't break the yolk when you separate the eggs, any yolk at all will stop the whites from stiffening properly.
3: Weigh your whites!

For 1 1/4 ounces of egg white use 2 ounces of caster sugar. (I usually make them in batches of 5 ounces of whites to 8 ounces of sugar as it makes weighing them so much easier).

Beat the whites with an electric whisk until really stiff and forming into peaks.  Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue to beat with the electric whisk for 30seconds until the mixture has a silky glaze. Using a spatula gently fold in the rest of the sugar a third at a time until it is all combined. Put in a piping bag and make into shapes on a baking sheet with baking parchment.  Bake on the lowest setting on your oven until the meringues are hard to the touch, turn them over and continue to dry out until they are completely set. This can take quite some time and really depends on how low your oven goes but essentially you are not cooking the meringues simply drying them out. Taste a meringue to see if they are done; if you are a 'chewy-in-the-middle' kind of person take them out early, if not keep on cooking...
These meringues should keep for weeks in an airtight container. 

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