The first time I had Pavlova, or even heard of it as a matter of fact, was 3 years ago as I was celebrating my first Australian Christmas. And I have to say, good on ya Aussies! It may be dead simple, but it’s bloody tasty!
Ingredients: (serves 6)
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp cornstach
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup thickened cream
3-4 kiwis, peeled and sliced
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
100g fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 small bunch of fresh mint (to serve)
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Whisk the egg-whites with cream of tartar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until fully dissolved and the mixture looks thick and glossy. Finish the last spoon of sugar with the cornstarch. Fold in the vanilla extract.
2. Draw one large 24cm or 6 small circles on a sheet of baking paper and place it on a baking tray. Spoon meringue onto the circle on the baking paper and shape it into a circle, using the pencil mark as a guide.
3. Reduce oven to 100°C and bake for 90 minutes or until dry and crisp. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly and let the pavlova cool completely to avoid it to sink during cooling. In the meantime, whip the cream until thick and rich.
4. Slide pavlova onto a serving plate, cover with cream, top with sliced fruit and a sprig of mint. Serve.
I like to make little individual pavlovas instead of a large one because it tends to be a bit crispier and also looks really elegant on the plates. You can prepare the meringue base a couple days ahead and store it in an airtight container and put it together in 5 minutes just before serving!
In the lead up to Australia day, I thought I would try make one of the most iconic Aussie food myself. You wouldn’t think a Frenchie like me would be able to produce a decent traditional pie, but I’ve quite a bit of experience eating pies back in the UK and more recently at Harry De Wheels down at Woolloomooloo! Mmm… ‘Tiger’…
Ingredients (4 pies)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
500g lean beef mince
1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
5 mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp cornflour
3/4 cup beef stock
1/3 cup tomato sauce
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp barbecue sauce
1 tsp Vegemite
4 sheets frozen, ready-rolled shortcrust or puff pastry
1 egg yolk
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom saucepan over high heat and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add mince and cook until browned, which should take about 4-5 minutes.
2. Add cornflour to the meat and stir in the stock, sauces and Vegemite. When it starts boiling again, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 8 minutes or until thick. Let it cool down.
3. Preheat oven to 220°C. Grease and flour 4 individual round pans to make it non stick.
Cut 4 large circles of pastry, just enough to cover the bases and go slightly over the sides of the pans and prick several times with a fork. if you don’t have enough space to cut the top circles out of the remaining pastry, knead the remaining dough back into a ball and roll it out flat again on a lightly floured surface. Use one of the pans to shape and cut of the top circles.
4. Fill each base with a fourth of the mince mixture. Brush rims with water and place the top circles over the meat. Press hard to seal the sides and trim the excess of pastry. Brush with the egg yolk.
5. Season with salt & pepper and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden.
You may want to serve it with mash, mushy peas, gravy and a side salad! Feel free to be creative and try swap mince meat for chunky steak, add a bit cheese or more mushrooms.
The ANZAC biscuits originated from World War I and were created and sent by wives to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. They still tend to be sold as a fundraising item for the RSA. What surprises me most about Anzac Biscuits? How tasty a biscuit with no egg can be!
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
3/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1.5 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 pinch of salt
2 tbs boiling water
1 tbs golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g butter, cubed, melted
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Spread the macadamia nuts over a non stick baking tray and place in the oven for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let it cool and crunch into rough pieces.
2. Mix the flour, ginger into a large bowl, macadamia nuts, rolled oats, sugar and coconut into a large bowl. Mix the boiling water, golden syrup and bicarbonate of soda in a separate jug, let it froth up and add the butter in. Let the mixture cool slightly stir it into the other mixture and combine with a wooden spoon.
3. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Shape the mixture into 10-12 small bowls and flatten each one before placing it on the tray. Leave at least 2 cm between each.
4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let it cool down on the tray for 20 minutes before transferring it to a serving plate.
Anzac biscuits are best served with a nice cup of tea or coffee. if you have any leftover, store the biscuits in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks, or probably even longer but you surely won’t have any left by then!