A Geordie is having tea with the Queen. She says "Will you have a
cream cake or a meringue?"
He replies "Nah, ya not wrang pet, ah'll have a cake!"
I have to admit, I didn't get this joke on first telling but Marc (a bona fide Geordie) thought it was absolutely hilarious, so I thought I'd share.
I've been doing some research into the difference between a meringue and a pavlova. Opinion seems to be split, so I'm not entirely clear... Some say that the difference is that a meringue is solid and dry throughout, whereas a pavlova is crisp on the outside and squidgy in the middle. In which case, these are most definitely pavlovas.
I used Nigella's recipe, which worked well, although I found you have to whisk the eggs more than she recommends. My version below. I topped my pavlovas with whipped cream, sweet, juicy cherries and a sprig of mint from the garden. You can use any fruit you fancy.
Ingredients (makes approx 12 mini pavlovas):
4 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
Few drops of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 or 2 baking trays (depending on size) lined with baking parchment
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
Whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff. Gently add in the sugar, spoonful by spoonful, whilst still beating. Sprinkle the cornflour, a few drops of vanilla and the vinegar on top and fold in to combine.
Draw small circles on the baking parchment - I used a highball glass. Use a dessert spoon to dollop the meringue mix onto the baking parchment, using the circles as a guide. Make indentations in the middle of each meringue with the back of the spoon.
Place in the oven, turn it down to 150ºC/gas mark 2, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave them in for another 30 minutes, then take out of the oven to cool.**
Top with whipped cream and fruit and serve.
**Once cool, the pavlovas keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container.