The Big Pavlova Disaster

how to make pavlova

Sorry, we’ve had a mixed bag of posts this week what with egg separation and arm pits, I promise we’ll be back to beauty soon. I just need to be able to get through the door of the beauty room and I can get started with some photography and makeup tinkering. Mr AMR may well have to use a battering ram to get me in, as a pile of something heavy (possibly candles) seems to have avalanched from the shelves, jamming the door firmly shut!

Anyway, from eggs to arm pits to pavlova. This pavlova malarkey has been something of an ongoing saga – I was intending to make Nigella’s Prodigious Pavlova for Christmas Day but things just kept happening that should, by all accounts, have given me a little inkling that perhaps the pavlova wasn’t meant to be. Firstly I couldn’t find a baking sheet to fit the oven, so off Mr AMR went to get one from Tesco. Then I didn’t have any caster sugar, at which point Mr AMR gently suggested that maybe a Pavlova Postponement (PP) was prudent, especially as he had been back and forth to the shops in excess of five times already, collecting important things that I had forgotten for the Christmas period. (Bread, milk, potatoes, butter, the list goes on.)

After the three-day Pavolva Postponement, I decided to try again but my fruit had gone off and so had the cream. It was as though the pav was never meant to be!

A week later, and armed with fresh ingredients, I began to make my meringue base. All went well, thanks to the ready-separated egg whites (see here) and the handy meringue-making tips on Google (make sure you have a clean glass bowl, add the caster sugar a little bit at a time). By 10pm, I had produced the most perfect, peaky, glossy white meringue. All ready to be piled up with folds of luscious cream and tart globs of passion fruit. (If you want the recipe, it’s easy to find on Google – it’s from Nigella’s Christmas book, circa 2004.)

Now I know that what you are about to see looks like some kind of brain operation being performed on a sheep, or perhaps a post-mortem being carried out on The Snowman‘s head, but I want you to know that when I finished the pavlova it actually looked rather impressive. It was only when I realised that things had gone drastically wrong that I decided to do a photo, and by then I couldn’t be arsed to make it look nice. I had also battered it with a spoon in a temper and the side had collapsed:

pavlova disaster

Ha! What went wrong? You may well ask. It all looked perfect, and I was about to pour on my homemade raspberry sauce, when Mr AMR (who was busy licking the spoons and whisk beaters and so on) said, “is the cream supposed to taste this weird?” The cream was completely off! I mean disgustingly off! (PS Sainsbury’s, you owe me big time – the use-by date wasn’t even close and I am mentally scarred by the whole saga.) So, the whole pavlova went into the bin.

I realise that I may have bored some of you to tears with this post, I just needed to get the whole thing off my chest. Usually I’d make my Mum listen but she was busy moving an apple tree in the garden and didn’t have time for the whole, unabridged story. Back to beauty tomorrow – I’m never attempting a pavlova ever again!

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