I love May. It is a time of peace, when spring is in full bloom and summer is just around the corner — a perfect time for chefs to create and be inspired.
Fresh Fruit Pavlova
6 egg whites
250g caster sugar
2 teaspoons corn flour
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream for garnishing
Fresh fruits (bananas, passion fruit, strawberries etc.)
- Preheat oven to 120°C and line an oven tray with foil.
- Brush this with oil and dust with corn flour, shaking off excess. Mark a 20cm diameter circle on foil.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar, a little at a time, beating well after each addition, until the meringue is thick and glossy and the sugar is dissolved. Add corn flour, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until combined.
- Spoon the meringue onto the foil covered tray filling the marked circle. Smooth the meringue sides and top into what should look like a complete cake shape.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 90 minutes or until dry to the touch. Turn off oven. Leave the door open slightly with the pavlova inside to cool completely.
- When completely cold, transfer to serving plate. Top with whipped cream, fresh fruits and serve.
Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice cream
- Place the cream and milk in a saucepan. Split the vanilla beans and add to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, then turn off the heat and set aside for ten minutes to infuse the vanilla.
- Place the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and whisk by hand until pale.
- Strain in the milk mixture through a strainer to remove the vanilla pods, directly into the egg mixture. Scrape the vanilla pods of remaining beans before discarding the pods.
- Mix everything together with a hand whisk and then return to a clean saucepan.
- Cook over a low heat, stirring, for about five minutes until it is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
- Allow the mixture to cool in a large bowl, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Place the vanilla ice cream base into a plastic bowl and place in the freezer until frozen at the edges. Remove from freezer. Beat with a hand held electric mixer. Re-freeze. Repeat this process two more times. And then allow the mix to freeze for two hours before scooping to serve.
- Preheat the deep fryer to 190 degrees Celsius.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment,combine the softened butter, sugar, salt and vanilla, creaming theingredients together, but not over whipping them. In a separate bowlsift together the flour, baking powder and milk powder.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and at the same timeadd the eggs and water. Combine everything to form a smoothdough. Mix for approximately three minutes, scraping down to ensureeverything is combined. Remove the mixture and sit it on a flooredbench for ten minutes.
- Roll the dough out on the floured bench to 10mm in thickness and cutout with 60mm cutter. Cut the centres out with a 25mm cutter. Allowthe doughnuts to sit for a further ten minutes and then deep fry them.Deep fry on one side until golden brown and then flip over until bothsides are nicely covered.
- Remove and toss immediately in sifted icing sugar or cinnamonflavoured caster sugar and serve.
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and sugar together until light and pale in colour. Add the eggs one at a time and combine well. Add the salt and vanilla.
- Sift the cocoa powder and baking powder with the flour and add to the butter mixture. Combine to form a dough. Add the chocolate chips and mix until the chips are well combined.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and break off walnut sized pieces of dough and squash them onto a parchment paper lined baking tray.
- Leave space between each dough piece for spreading during cooking.
- Bake the dough for 12-14 minutes in the preheated oven or until lightly golden brown. Cool cookies on the tray before serving.