Week one and already I feel like I may have bitten off more than I can chew 🙂 Decided to give meringue a try – didn’t seem too labour intensive and with roast dinner at my parents to look forward to it was a perfect pudding option! I looked through several of my cookbooks but opted for Ed Kimber’s Pavlova which in his cookbook The Boy Who Bakes he decorates with a mascarpone cream, fresh mango and passion fruit – it looks heavenly!!
I opted for a mascarpone cream (I love mascarpone) with fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Process wise I followed the recipe to the tee; most importantly to start with a clean and dry bowl, whipped the egg whites, added the caster sugar and the vinegar/corn flour combo! All well so far! When the meringue went in the oven it looked pretty good! Low heat for 90 minutes. When I checked on it the meringue looked light and crispy with a marshmellowy inside! I turned the oven off to let the meringue dry out…….and here is where my meringue story takes a bad turn! So eager was I to carry on baking I figured the oven had cooled down enough and I’d let the meringue dry out on the kitchen surfaces! BIG mistake!! Whilst my madeleines were baking I took a quick peak in my meringue and the inside was wet, soggy meringue 🙁 It tasted lovely but not really the chewy texture you want from a meringue.
So pudding at my parents quickly turned into an Eton Mess using all the top layer of meringue which was crisp and the fresh cream and fruit. Not a bad first go I guess but not sufficient to tick Pavlova off my list. On a school report I would give it a C+ Good Effort but must pay more attention to the Recipe!!
The next one on my list I opted to tackle was the madeleine, a traditional French cake from the Commercy and Liverdun area, located in the Lorraine region of northeastern France. They are a distinctive small cake with a shell like appearance which is created using special trays with shell shapes indented into the baking tray. The cake batter used is more similar to a genoise cake as opposed to that of a victoria sponge (source: wikipedia). They can be baked in a number of different flavours but I opted for a refreshing lemon flavour in additional to the reduced amount of butter you use adding to the lightness of the cake!
They took about ten minutes to prepare and ten to bake before lightly dusting them with icing sugar. I have been told that they resemble donuts in the photograph (and I have to agree) but they tasted delicious!!!
One down fifty-one more to go!!