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International Desserts for the Winter Olympics: Australia Pavlova

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As the eyes of the world turn to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and we witness some of the finest athletes in the world compete in their chosen sport, there is no need to be watching on an empty stomach! As the world gathers in Sochi, Russia, we bring the world together in the kitchen and celebrate international diversity with some classic world famous desserts.

Pavlova! Just the name of this classic dessert gets gourmand's salivating and their "foodie" minds thinking about the great restaurants of the world. Named after a Russian ballerina and created in Australia, this dessert stands as one of the greats in the culinary world. From it's taste to its presentation, it is classical.

So, just what is Pavlova? Very simply it is baked meringues filled with sweetened whipped cream and served with seasonal fruit. Yes, it really is that simple and just as easy to make at home!

You won't need any special equipment or tools to prepare Pavlova at home, but you will need a little time. The meringues have to be slow baked (basically you are drying them). Then they have to be cooled completely before you can fill them. This whole process will take about 3 hours. You can also make the meringues ahead of time and store them in an air-tight container.

Ingredients needed to make Pavlova (serves 4):

  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. superfine sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced into 6 pieces each (or seasonal fresh fruit)

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 225. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the eggs white until they begin to foam. Add the cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and lemon juice and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spoon or pipe 4 mounds of egg white onto prepared baking sheet and in the middle of each make a crater which will house the whipped cream.
  4. Place in oven and bake (dry) 1 hour. Reduce the heat to 200 degrees and bake (dry) and additional 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the meringues from the oven and let cool completely.
  6. Carefully remove the meringues from the baking sheet and place on serving plates.
  7. In a medium bowl whisk the whipping cream, vanilla and superfine sugar until stiff peaks form.
  8. Fill in the craters of the meringues with the whipped cream. Place 3 slices of peaches atop each and decorate the plate with the rest.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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