Enjoying the Australian Grand Prix – Pavlova and an almost BBQ

Last year I blogged about a collection of snack foods that I had made for the Belgian GP on which Matt, from Food for Friends Yeah, commented that his friend had been cooking a meal for each stage from the country in which the GP was held.  I thought this was a great idea and so this year I decided to steal it!

The Bahrain GP was cancelled following unrest in the country, and so now the Australian GP would be the first of the season.   The Australian GP takes place at rather inconvenient hours if you live in Britain with Qualifying beginning at 6am on the Saturday and the race at 7am on the Sunday.  Given that I didn’t fancy cooking my food just before the race I decided to cook the Australian dessert pavlova and eat it for breakfast instead (there is nothing wrong with dessert for breakfast now and again!)

My pavlova recipe called for the use of 3 egg whites and served 6 -8, so given that there would be just the two of us I decided to scale this back to 2 egg whites.  I whipped these up to the stiff peaks (using an electric whisk – no hard work early in the morning!) before incorporating 4oz of caster sugar in small bits.

Combining the egg and sugar

Once all the sugar had been added I continued to whip the mixture for a couple of minutes till it was lovely and glossy.  I then added 2/3rd a teaspoon of cornflour (which makes the cooked meringue all lovely and marshmallowey inside), 2/3rd a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and a couple of drops of vanilla essence before giving it all a final whipping.

Adding the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence

Next I had to build my nest.  I started off by making a thin circle of the egg mixture about 7 inches in diameter on some baking parchment.  I then pilled the remaining meringue on top of the edges of the circle before spiking up little peaks with my fingers.  My nest went into a low oven (130°C) for an hour and a quarter to bake.  It came out slightly brown and crisp, and came cleanly away from the parchment – perfect!

The pavlova before and after the oven

When the meringue base had cooled it was time to top it.  I whipped up some double cream with a little drop of cassis and piled this in the middle of the pavlova.  Finally I used up some blackberries that my partner and I had picked last autumn and frozen.  I warmed these through with a little more cassis, allowing the alcohol to burn off and the liquor to reduce down and become syrupy.

Adding the cream and cooking the berries

Unfortunately I forgot to let this cool down before I put it on the meringue (my enthusiasm got the better of me) and the fruit melted the cream a little and sank down.  It may not have looked quite as pretty as I would have liked, but for an early morning effort I don’t think it was too bad!  It tasted great too, and the sugar rush from the meringue helped to keep me alert through-out the race.

The finished pavlova

A nice slice for breakfast

There is now some debate surrounding the origins of pavlova, with both the Aussies and the New Zealanders claiming it as theirs.  In order to make sure that my Aussie food requirement was fulfilled I had planned to have a BBQ on Sunday lunchtime as well.  However life got in the way (I had around 12 hours of rehearsals for an am dram play I’m in next week and a birthday party as well as the F1 – busy weekend) and so I was forced to have my bbq using the grill pan indoors.

There was not too much cooking required for this, we had some lovely (and huge!) Moroccan lamb sausages from a local butchers, a couple of Aberdeen angus beef burgers from Sainsbury’s and some chicken thighs skewers I put together that were marinated in soy, orange and ginger.  A very filling lunch to set us up for the rest of the day.

The indoor bbq

As for the race, it was fairly exciting and a much better race than last year’s season opener in Bahrain.  I’m not sure all the new technologies this year (KERS and moveable rearwings) helped much, there’s a lot more fine tuning needed until these really become race winning weapons.  However there was plenty of overtaking and the tyres seem to be making things interesting.  My hope are high for the rest of the season.

The grid waiting to set off


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3 Responses to “Enjoying the Australian Grand Prix – Pavlova and an almost BBQ”

  1. Janice Says:

    I have to say I’ve never had pavlova for breakfast, but I guess eggs are pretty traditional in the morning :p

  2. Peggy Says:


    Thanks for your comment, didn’t know if you’d check back there, but wanted to respond. The texture was pretty good, very close to real creme brulee, think that pureeing it in a blender rather than food processor will give a slightly better finish, but I broke mine the other week, so …

    Anyway, thought I’d mention, in case you don’t already know this, but you can freeze egg yolks. Put them individually in an ice cube tray, then sprinkle a bit of sugar or salt over them, and freeze. You can then use them in sweet and savoury things – provided of course you labelled what you did!

    Love the pavlova, looks so pretty – it’s my favourite dessert!

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