Today we celebrated Mr Fox’s birthday. He turned (10 * 5) / 2 + 25 – 6 [don’t forget your BODMAS]. We had his family and one of my sister’s around for a birthday tea and I made a pavlova tower and a chocolate cheesecake.
I wanted to make a six tiered pavlova tower but that proved to be a bit ambitious and I settled for four [as disaster was the other alternative].
Meringue is a bit tricky to make and it has to be baked in the oven for a very long time. I made the six meringues in two batches using the following recipe for each batch:
8 egg whites;
1/2 teaspoon of salt;
1 cup white sugar; and
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius. Beat the 8 egg whites on a medium speed with the salt for 4 minutes. Add the white sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn up the speed and gradually add the icing sugar until stiff, glossy peaks form. I had drawn the circle shapes that I wanted onto a piece of wax paper and laid this in a baking tray. I scooped the meringue mixture onto the wax paper and smoothed the top with the flat blade of a knife. Bake in the over for 3 hours. Once baked switch off the oven and leave the meringues to cool completely with the oven door closed so that the meringue does not crack.
- Don’t add the sugar to fast or the meringue will bleed; and
- Don’t over beat or the meringue will not hold its shape.
Stacking the meringue tower
I attached the largest meringue to the serving dish with a dab of royal icing so that it wouldn’t slide. I covered the top of the meringue with thick cream and added sliced kiwi fruit.
I then proceeded to add the other three tiers and the end pavlova tower looked like this:
The meringues were very nice. Lovely and crisp on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. All in the experiment went well although the top meringue did bleed a little bit.
The alternative to the pavlova tower was a delicious chocolate cheesecake. It was very rich and decadent but Mr Fox loves chocolate and I only made a small cheesecake so people could only have a small slice.
I turned the chocolate cheesecake into a hot chocolate duck pond from Sir Chocolate and the fondant dogs. The kids loved it!
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series