It feels like summer might have just arrived. I've officially deemed it an appropriate start to shorts season and have invested in an array of sun creams. Ah, the pains of being ginger.
The last few days have been gloriously warm and that means it's time to gear up for some summery bakes that don't take much effort so you can maximise time outdoors. The first of these is my super simple pillowy Strawberry and Passionfruit Pavlova. Dead simple, utterly delicious and quintessentially summery. Check out the recipe at the bottom of the page.
Since my last post there have been loads of exciting things on the cards. In April I completed the Tour De Bakers (if you haven't seen the video, check it out here), surprised the lovely John at Kew House (check out the video here) and last week got the incredible opportunity to go to THE BAFTAs!!!! It was such a fun evening, mostly spent trying to play it cool in front of real celebrities...
All of this combined with a move to a new job within Rolls-Royce has meant I've been rather busy so sorry for neglecting the blog posts!
Enjoy the sun and, as always, I love hearing how you get on so get in touch on twitter and instagram @cakesmyth x
Ingredients - makes 1 large pavlova
4 large egg whites
225g caster sugar
2 tsp vinegar
300ml whipping cream
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
A large baking tray
Preheat the oven to 160 C / fan 140 C. Line a large baking tray with some non-stick parchment paper and draw a 9” circle on one side with a pencil. Use a cake tin to draw around. Put the pencil side facing down on the tray.
Make sure the large bowl you use for the meringue is very clean and not greasy at all. Use a bit of lemon juice to wipe round the bowl to make sure.
Whisk the egg whites together on a medium speed in a large bowl until frothy and forming soft peaks. Continue whisking on a low speed whilst gradually adding the caster sugar, one spoonful at a time. Once all the sugar is added, increase the speed and keep whisking until the mix forms firm peaks.
In a small bowl, mix together the cornflour and vinegar to form a paste. Add this to the meringue and gently whisk in to incorporate, this helps give a chewy centre and keeps the meringue stable. Use a little dollop of meringue underneath the parchment paper to stick it firmly to the tray.
Tip the meringue onto the baking sheet and use a palette knife or spatula to spread it out to fill the 9” circle you’ve drawn. Make a slight well in the centre where we’ll put the filling later. Bake on the middle shelf in the oven, immediately reducing the temperature to 145 / fan 130 C, for 1 hour. Once cooked, turn the oven off and leave the meringue to cool completely in the oven (this will stop cracking, if you’re in a rush you could skip this bit for a more informal pavlova!)
Just before serving, whip the cream to soft peaks and spread over the centre of the cooled meringue. Chop the strawberries into quarters and scatter over the cream. Half the passionfruit and scoop out the pulp from inside. Scatter this over the strawberries and finish with a little lime zest over the pavlova before serving. It is best served within the hour but can keep in the fridge.