Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Can You Guess What It Is Yet?

Taking a risk with firm peaksG'day to you, mates.

For anyone who hasn't yet figured out what I made on Monday that resulted in a cup full of leftover egg yolks, here are two more clues.

Clue 1 is the title, courtesy of one Rolf Harris CBE AM, originally of Bassendean, Perth, WA and more recently of my country.

Clue 2 is on the right. Fooled you! You thought it was an upside-down photo of someone holding me by the legs over a pan of whipped cream, didn't you? Wrong. The photo is genuine and my personal hair stylist is having kittens.

OK - confession time. The real clue was in my earlier post when I admitted that my attempt at dessert proved difficult, with the final result not looking nearly good enough for the blog. "I'll make it again soon", I said... and on Monday I did. The photograph is me demonstrating the meaning of "egg whites and caster sugar beaten to firm peaks", which roughly translates as "put your head where your mouth is".

So here is a quick summary of my Wattleseed and Lemon Myrtle Rolled Pavlova - based on Vic Cherikoff's recipe taken from Benjamin Christie's blog. It wasn't easy for someone only attempting it for the second time ever - and the result wasn't perfect - but this time it was received with acclaim by my family and neighbours. That makes it all so much more worthwhile.

Spreading the wattleseed cream on the meringue base

I took photos of every stage of making this dish and if you look at the photo recipe I've filed you can see exactly how to do it and what the main pitfalls are.

Essentially the dessert is made in a similar fashion to a Swiss roll. There is a layer of meringue (rather than sponge as in the Swiss roll) which is thinly spread onto greaseproof paper, baked, cooled, spread with a layer of cream and rolled up. This creates an immediate problem as meringue tends to be crisp and brittle when cooked, whereas sponge is soft and malleable. So this recipe uses a Pavlova meringue which is baked until just firm enough to eat but soft enough to roll, and believe you me it's a very fine line. The triangular (rather than roulade) shape you see in the picture shows that my meringue was slightly too firm and didn't roll as smoothly as I'd have liked.

My wattleseed and lemon myrtle Pavlova

What makes this dish quintessentially Australian was the cream and the topping. The beige cream is made by folding wattleseed extract into whipped double cream. Wattleseed is a native Australian spice from one of several varieties of acacia that, in extract form, acts as a stabiliser for cream while giving it an amazing coffee/hazelnut flavour. The topping that you can see rolled into the Pavlova is biscuit crumb mixed with lemon myrtle sprinkle. This gives the dish a beautiful lemon aroma and taste quite unlike the effect of merely spraying with lemon juice or adding chopped zest. The final product is soft and sweet, but with sour and mildly astringent tones that make it simply perfect. Ask my family and neighbours!

Neighbours! That's given me a great idea. In the popular Australian soap opera everyone tries to help each other when they're down and depressed. So I may just make another Wattleseed Pavlova and ship it to a bunch of guys who really need cheering up right now. Address: The One-Day Squad, c/o Cricket Australia, 60 Jolimont Street, Jolimont, Victoria 002, Australia.

My Recipes Archive - I must apologise for my recipes archive (link on header bar) having fallen seriously behind lately. I've been working long hours and spending much of my spare time upgrading my blog, completing my college gastronomy project and planning my first professional placement after I graduate in the Summer (more about this later). But I've filed a full photo recipe for this Pavlova dish. I've also filed a photo recipe for the latkes and apple sauce I made on Monday. I hope everyone enjoyed their pancakes yesterday, Shrove Tuesday - whatever kind you ate.


Freya said...

I bought some wattleseed ages ago from a deli but haven't used because I had no idea what to do with it! Now I have a great idea! It looks delicious!

mae said...


I would really like to have a go cos it looks really impressive and delicious. But where did you get wattleseed from? Do you know if i can buy it online?

Btw, i love your links buttons! I was thinking of making these recently but i thought... too much work to do on photoshop and wondered if they can be generated online. It's also quite impressive how my 'riceandnoodles' have shown up. Thanks for the link! :)

Trig said...

Thanks Mae. I'm glad you weren't upset by the button because I actually generate these by hand and in the case of yours I had to manipulate your design to make it readable.

It's much easier than it sounds. I just screen dump headers into MS Paint and shrink to a standard size. Sometimes with small writing I have to fiddle it a bit.

There is a tool called snap that some bloggers use that provides a snapshot of other websites that can be made into a static icon or even one that appears as a popup when you hover over a link. This might be what you are looking for.

Wattleseed is hard to get hold of but there's a link to Vic Cherikoff's site in my posting and Haalo published a link to Oz Tukka. Both of these can supply by post from on-line orders.

Your photography is brilliant, btw, and like Haalo's it has inspired me to try harder with the camera.

ros said...

I now have an image of a whole college of cheffing students being forced to hold pans of beaten egg white and sugar over their heads. It would be a good way of making sure they did it properly I guess!

Having photo recipes is a great idea. I keep meaning to do the same with my recipes but I find all that happens is I get a greasy or steamy lens!

That pavlova looks great by the way.

Trig said...

Ros - If you keep getting steamy lenses in the kitchen I suggest that you just focus on cooking and keep your other activities until afterwards. Perhaps a cup of camomile tea might be useful to dampen your ardour.

As for the rows of students - we have to put up with much worse than inverted meringues!

mae said...

Thanks for the reply, Trig. I will check out those links when i get home tonight.

Oh, no, i'm not upset at all, quite the opposite. I'm now even more impressed that you did this in MS Paint!

I personally think that the buttons are a great idea. :)

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