I've been having a festive time playing with food: painting shapes with startlingly bright-yellow egg yolks, grating orange rind, drizzling olive oil and sprinkling paprika, and making Christmassy pictures using ingredients like finely chopped pepperdews, sweet chilli, black olives, fresh strawberries and blackberry jam. I'll post a couple of recipes today - one for yummy Chicken Kofta and the other for Chewy Date & Pecan Pavlova. Here are a few images I made during my first foodie day in ages - starting with my colour palette -
Chewy Date & Pecan Pavlova
2 egg whites
1/4 lb castor sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon cornflour
2/3 cup chopped dates
2/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts - any nut that takes your fancy)
This pavlova is skinnier than the traditional NZ one: it's crisp 'n crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy in the middle. I usually double this recipe so that I can make one big round dessert, and still have enough mixture left over to fill a cake tin with little meringues that can be pulled out at a later stage.
* Beat the egg whites till stiff.
* Add half the castor sugar and beat till shiny.
* Add remaining castor sugar, vinegar, vanilla and cornflour and keep beating till - well, you'll know when it's enough.
* Fold in the dates and nuts then spoon the mixture onto a greased & floured baking tray, allowing room for growth!
* Bake at 150 degrees C for about an hour.
Top with lashings of whipped cream and sliced strawberries, etc... Allow to sit for an hour or two before serving.