This year for Australia Day we did something very traditional, we ate Pavlova and threw thongs. It was such a lovely day that we decided to have a few friends over for a bbq and of course, beers. The day was fantastic, the sun shone and the beers were cool, just the way I like them.
We feasted on our bbq and then held the first annual thong throwing competition. Now, my backyard is not massive by any stretch of the imagination, so the good old throng throwing competition where the furthest thong wins was probably not a good idea. Just for the shear fact that the neighbors probably would have gotten annoyed if we kept coming over to retrieve our wayward thongs. So instead I came up with a cleaver plan, it would involve concentration and accuracy. I set a bucket up a fair distance from the thrower, and whomever got the most amount of thongs into the bucket would win. You would think the person who invented the game would be fairly hard to beat.....sadly I was an easy walkover, and was only beaten to last place by Daz. But I suspect he threw the game because he knew last place was in for a cherry ripe!
The winner was announced, after a sudden death face off. Some how no one else had managed to get any thongs into the bucket, except for Miss Coco Chanel and Mad Scientist who both managed to get three in each. After a nail biting last round, Miss Coco Chanel came out the victor.
We then all went inside to the comfort that only air conditioning can give on a hot summers day and devoured an entire Pavlova. You can tell a pavlova is good when the only thing you can hear is the crunch of the crispy shell and muffled moans coming from the eaters. I was pretty pleased with myself, the actual Pavlova looked magazine worthy and the inside was just perfect, marshmellowy and heavenly. Daz thought that the crispy shell needed to be thicker, but I guess you cant pleased everyone. The only thing that would have made the Pavlova better was if it was covered in ice cream, I don't know if it would still be technically a Pavlova if it was covered in ice cream.
Pavlova (I used a Donna Hay recipe with a few very minor modifications)
150ml eggwhite (approximately 4 eggs)
Pinch of cream of tartar and
Pinch of Salt
1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch), sifted
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream
½ cup passionfruit pulp (approximately 4 passionfruit)
250g strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
1. Place the eggwhite in the bowl of an electric mixer with cream of tartar and salt, whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, whisking well, until the mixture is stiff and glossy. This may take a while, at least 5 minutes
2. Add the cornflour and vinegar and whisk until just combined. Shape the mixture into an 18cm round on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Reduce oven to 120°C (250°F) and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes.
3. Turn the oven off, open the oven door and leave ajar and allow the pavlova to cool completely in the oven.
4. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Spread over the pavlova, top with passionfruit and strawberries and serve immediately.
* You’ll know when the meringue is stiff and glossy because the mixture will have tripled in volume and stands up when the beaters are lifted.
* The low heat puffs up the meringue while the long cooking time dries it out to give you a lovely crisp shell.
* Store your pavlova, undressed, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.