Pavlova Cake

Pavlova: is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. (Wikipedia)

I had been on a meringue kick having started with baking a lemon meringue pie, then Forgotten Kisses (meringue cookies) and now this. I never heard about Pavlova Cake until an Australian buddy brought it to my attention. Researching this dessert, I found there have been arguments over where this cake originated from, whether it was in Australia or New Zealand. The last I’ve read, New Zealand is the winner but I’m sure many people will dispute this. I was a bit apprehensive about this cake and how it would taste but now I’m hooked. It has a light, airy, white mashmellow type filling with a crisp, egg shell colored crust on the outside. It is usually topped with homemade whipped cream and fresh fruit. I topped mine with strawberries and kiwi as this time of year in Saskatchewan doesn’t provide a wide variety of fresh fruit that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Pavlova

Pavlova cake with strawberries and kiwi.

In baking this cake, one difference I noticed was the addition of white vinegar that my other meringue baking didn’t include. It also baked at a lower temperature and the resulting color was an off white egg shell coloring versus the pure white coloring in my other baking. I found the cake harder to remove from the parchment paper without the help of adding cornstarch to the parchment paper prior to adding the batter. You should be prepared that the cake may cave in and it can crack easily but it is definitely worth it in the long run.

Berry Smoothie

smoothie [ˈsmo͞oT͟Hē]: A thick, smooth drink of fresh fruit puréed with milk, yogurt, or ice cream. (Wikipedia)

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I never used to make smoothies at home. I usually went out to Booster Juice for a Matcha Monsoon but never made it at home. However I decided it was something I should make as they are good for you and I should have it more often than once in a blue moon.  Smoothies requires just a few ingredients you can find in your local grocery store and a blender.  That’s it, it’s just that simple.

Depending on the smoothie you make, they can provide you with a number of benefits.  For someone like me who normally doesn’t eat breakfast, it provides me with all the nutrients I need to get through the day all in one serving.  I like to incorporate almond milk as it contains a lot of water keeping me hydrated, and the calcium and vitamin D needed to keep my bones strong.  Almond milk promotes good cholesterol levels while decreasing bad cholesterol, good for those who have high cholesterol. I don’t think I need to go into the benefits of eating vegetables and fruits but smoothies do help meet your daily intake of them. One other benefit worth mentioning is that it helps lose weight, though it does depend on what you put in your smoothie. For example, if you have a smoothie as a meal replacement, it’ll definitely help you lose weight if you replace a 900 calorie meal with a 500 calorie smoothie. Smoothies are filling but delicious at the same time.

Berry Smoothie

1 cup frozen berries, no sugar or preservatives added (I like mixed berries consisting of strawberries, blueberries and rasberries)
1 cup plain yoghurt
1/2 almond milk
honey to taste
handful of ice

Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Enjoy!