One of the first things I did when I moved in my first London flat as a college student was bake a cake. My flatmate (hi Ulla!) and I hadn’t even unpacked yet – other than digging out a baking tin and bowl. The cake was an old-fashioned seed cake, made entirely by hand as we did not have fancy equipment (or much money).
Soon after I bought my very first (and much loved) Kenwood hand mixer which served me well throughout my student years. That poor little thing had no idea what was in store for him (for it was a him. I still anthropomorphise all my household appliances).
I did not upgrade to a stand mixer until years later and when finally did it was a bit of a revelation. While you can achieve many recipes with a hand mixer, or just good ol’ plain elbow grease, a whole new baking vista opens once you have a faithful stand mixer by your side.
I remember the first recipe I made with my mixer – a pavlova – that magnificent baked meringue dessert which combines a crispy exterior and soft, light, mallowy centre. Despite it’s exquisite appearance it is actually easy to make and even if you mess up it still tastes (and looks) awesome.
Despite being vocal about my love of meringue I haven’t included a pavlova recipe on the blog before – clearly a massive oversight which I plan to rectify today. Scroll down for the recipe.
Pavlova ‘Cake’ with honeycomb and chocolate
5 eggs whites (150g | 5.3oz)
250g | 8.8oz (caster) sugar
50g | 4 tbsp light brown sugar, free of lumps
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
To fill and decorate
250ml | 1 cup double cream, lightly whipped
2 Crunchie bars (or homemade honeycomb), chopped into small chunks
or any chocolate bar of your choice
75g | 2.6oz dark chocolate, melted
- Preheat the oven to 200C | 400F. Line a roasting tray with baking paper and spread the sugar on it making sure there are no lumps. Put in the oven for 5 minutes, take out and then reduce oven temperature to 100C | 200F.
- Meanwhile, put the egg whites in your stand mixer bowl and start whisking, slowly at first until small bubbles form then increasing the speed to maximum. Keep whisking until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
- Start adding the hot sugar a tablespoon at a time while whisking at high speed and continue until it is all used up.
- Add the vinegar and keep whisking for another 5 minutes until the meringue is glossy and stiff.
- Line the bottom and sides of a deep 18cm | 7in cake tin (preferably a springform one). Spoon the meringue into the tin, make a little well in the centre and spread it upwards on the sides. You may have leftover meringue which you can use to pipe meringue kisses with.
- Bake in the oven for 2 hours or a bit longer if the meringue is still too soft. Turn the oven off, open the door and leave the meringue to cool for at least an hour.
- Carefully remove from the tin – it is quite fragile – and peel off the baking paper.
- Fold 2/3 of the crunchie bars into the whipped cream and fill the pavlova. Add some more on top and drizzle with melted chocolate. Be gentle and careful when slicing if you want the slices to hold their shape. Best eaten on day of baking.
How to enter the giveaway
*** Check out my fab Birchbox giveaway too! ***
> One winner will receive a Kenwood KM330 Classic Chef Mixer rrp £299 supplied by Argos.
> The giveaway ends on the 31st of May at 12am.
> Entries using an automated process or software to create bulk entries will be disqualified.
> The winner will be randomly selected, announced in the Rafflecopter box and on Facebook and contacted via their provided e-mail address shortly afterwards. Please claim your prize within 4 days of being notified.