Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Racing To Try a Recipe

Have you ever seen a photo of a dish that you couldn't wait to try?
Something that captured your eye so quickly, and your imagination so completely that within hours you found yourself in the kitchen whipping up a storm??

I did. Yesterday.

You see it was my husband's birthday. I'd already decided to roast a chicken for dinner and was at the supermarket in search of potatoes. And pumpkin. And green vegetables. 

My kitchen is suffering from a vegetable drought at the moment. But having almost exhausted my frozen vege supply and collection of macaroni cheese, cheese on toast and homemade burgers - i needed to restock. If I was going to pull off a baked birthday dinner to be proud of, I couldn't put off food shopping any longer.

On entering the fray, I spied some piles of the free supermarket magazine. I grabbed one with an appreciative glance at the photo on the front. Yum. I love it when food is linked with seasonal inspiration. My Autumn Style story on Houzz included food ideas, but now I'd probably need to revise it with dessert options!

As I headed towards the broccoli, my multi-tasking mind was spinning: Oh crap. Wait a minute. What am I doing for dessert? Uh Oh, hadn't thought of anything. Did I want to make a birthday cake? Not really. Don't have a great success rate with cakes. Why did I already make a lemon pudding three days ago? Can't very well make another one and call it a special birthday treat! Hmm, this pavlova looks amazing and I have had success with meringue of late. Is this something I could pull off? Maybe. What page is it on?

Source *

So as I filled a bag with broccoli one-handed (not easy, I can tell you), I flicked through the pages to the Chocolate Meringue and Poached Pears with Caramel Sauce Recipe. Scanning the ingredients made the decision easy. The only extra things I needed to whip up this pavlova perfection were 4 buerre bosc pears and cream. Everything else I already had in the cupboard and fridge, and in my mind, it was already half done. Click here for the Recipe.

I had to race home as the pavlova needed to cook for 1.5 hours, and afterwards sit in a closed oven for at least 2 hours. Ideally, the rest of the recipe, the poached pears and caramel sauce, could also be pre-prepared, meaning that I'd have extra time (needed) to wrap the dvds I'd just bought and write on the card + prepare the veges and set the table. Oh you know, along with feeding the kids afternoon tea, helping with homework and cleaning up the whole house at the same time. Easy.

And amazingly it did prove to be well, not quite easy, but achievable. The meringue actually worked. The pavlova didn't flop (happened before, lots of times). The pears came up beautifully, almost toffee like. Possibly more toffee like than I'd intended due to forgetting about them on the stove and taking a long time getting Arch out of the bath and in to pjs… And yes, I over whipped the cream. I had to use a bright filter to stop it looking buttery yellow, which it was. The caramel sauce was fabulous. I halved the amount because these recipes always seem to produce way too much! Doh! Why did I let myself halve the amount?????

So here is the finished product via my instagram worthy shot:



What do you think?
It was delicious. Even fine if you tactfully ignore the sort of burnt spots on the pears. The Birthday Boy declared it was his new favourite!! WIN!

Here's a shot with bad light and sparklers!


So this recipe is definitely going in to my unruly but trusty folder of go-to desserts suitable for celebrations and a definite Autumn (or anytime) inspiration!!

What are your favourite celebration dessert dishes? Have you ever made something impulsively based on a photograph? I'd love to know..

* Please Note: It's not my normal practice to endorse certain supermarkets and I'm not intending to do that here either. I don't discriminate when it comes to the FREE handout magazines that our major supermarkets produce, mainly because they are FREE. As a magazine addict from way back, heck, if a glossy mag is free, I'll generally take it!  The supermarket mags have really stepped up in terms of photo quality and their easy cookable recipes are generally yum. They can also be a welcome relief from the more high-brow ingredients and dishes contained in many food mags you have to pay for. Although I love those ones too!

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