Tag Archives: dessert

pavlova bites with rose scented cream and pomegranate

Perfect little treats for afternoon tea

Pavlova is one of those desserts that never fails to please, young and old alike. A sweet that has been high on my dessert menu since I was a child and I can’t even begin to think of how many egg whites I have whisked up over the years! My mother always made pavlova  for her dinner parties and as kids we would eagerly wait for the return of the pavlova from the dining room, hoping that some would be left…most of the time, none! However,  pavlova was made on many other occasions, much to our delight. When my children come back from university for the holidays, pavlova is always one of their requests.

This pavlova post is part of the Great Australian Pavlova Blog Hop.  As I have been making this dessert for many years and have tried recipes with the addition of cornflour (keeping the center soft), vinegar, pinches of salt or cream of tartar (stabilization), I have come to the conclusion that… I can make a successful pavlova (crisp on the outside and marshmallowy in the middle) with just the egg whites and sugar… it works for me!

Pavlova Bites with Rose Scented Cream and Pomegranate

Ingredients:

  • 2  large egg whites
  • 110g castor sugar

for the topping:

  • 150ml of whipping cream
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of rose-water (or more to taste)
  • 2 pomegranate, kernels removed
  • edible glitter
  • 12 silver degrees
Useful Kitchen Jewellery:
  • electric whisk
  • baking tray
  • kitchen weighing scales
  • mixing bowl
  • sieve
  • spatula

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 275F/Gas mark 1/130C Fan.

With a pencil or marker draw 12  2” inch circles onto baking parchment and lay (marked side down) onto a lightly greased baking tray.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric whisk on high-speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the castor sugar a little at a time (heaped tablespoon) and continue to whisk until all the sugar has been incorporated and dissolved with the egg white. After about 10 minutes whisking, the mixture should be smooth, shiny and holds very firm points on the whisk when you lift it out of the mixture.

Either spoon or pipe ( piping bag with a plain nozzle) the mixture onto the traced circles, using a palette knife to level the top and smooth the sides.

Place the baking tray into the oven and bake for about 1-1/4 hours or until the pavlovas feel dry to touch and peel easily from the baking parchment. Turn off the oven and let the baked pavlova sit for a further 15 minutes in the oven with the door propped open with the handle of a wooden spoon. Remove the pavlovas from the oven and leave to cool completely on wire cooling racks. Some may crack, do not  worry as it only adds to their charm.

make ahead

Once cooled they can be placed into an airtight container and stored in the fridge for a couple of days before topping with cream and fruit.

assembling the pavlova

A few hours before serving, pour the cream into a bowl and sieve in the icing sugar. Using an electric whisk, whisk the cream until it holds soft peaks. Add the rose-water, folding into the cream using a spatula. Top each mini pavlova with some cream and scatter over the pomegranate seeds. Place a silver degrees on top and dust over some edible glitter. Cover and place in the fridge until needed.

tips for a successful pavlova

  • Use room temperature egg whites
  • Make sure the bowl and whisk are free from any form of grease or the egg whites will not whisk successfully
  • Do not let any part of the yolk enter into the whites or the egg whites will not whisk successfully.
  • Use castor sugar, not granulated.
  • Check your oven is at the correct temperature using an oven thermometer.

Rose Petal and White Chocolate Ice Cream

Ice cream, sorbet, frozen yoghurt and ices are all types of frozen desserts enjoyed all over the globe. Versatile and popular these frozen treats have many flavour combinations to choose from, each of us having our own personal favourites. Long before mass production, ice cream was traditionally made with a few simple ingredients… milk, cream, sugar, eggs (not always) and natural flavourings. However, over the years and due to its growing popularity and demand, ice cream is now mass-produced.  As a result, the ingredients list of this has grown too…but not always in a good way!

what’s the real scoop?

Is it worth making your own ice cream when so much is available to buy? I believe it is…try reading (the print is so small) the ingredients list on some ice cream cartons.  For example, you may see words like polydextrose, aspartame, lactitiol, maltitol and many E numbers. Do most of us know what they are? Now scroll down and read the ingredients list of this simple home-made ice cream recipe…

I watched these interesting videos regarding ice cream and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and thought I would share… it really is food for thought!  Jamie Oliver on the David Letterman’s show did mention something about beavers anal glands.

Rose Petal and White Chocolate Home-Made Ice Cream

No ice cream machine needed for this very easy smooth and creamy recipe. As it is all cream based… go easy on the servings size.  Serves four but you can easily double the recipe to make more. I like to make small amounts of ice cream at a time, keeping everything as fresh tasting as possible. This ice cream is best served on the day of making.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped dried rose petals
  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 50g  powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rose-water
  • 25g good quality white chocolate

How to make:

Place a metal or plastic container into the freezer to chill.

Add the dried rose petals into a mixing bowl. Pour in the cream and add the powdered sugar. Mix everything together and place the mixing bowl into the fridge for about 10 minutes, the cream will be lightly perfumed by the dried rose petals. Meanwhile finely chop the white chocolate and set aside.

finely chop the rose petals using scissors

Take the mixing bowl from the fridge and whisk the cream until soft peaks form using an electric whisk.  Add the rose-water and white chocolate and fold into the cream using a spatula. Scoop the contents of the mixing bowl into the chilled container from the freezer and smooth over the top of the cream with the spatula. Cover and place in the freezer for about 2 hours or until firm before serving.

whisk the cream into soft peaks 

Tip: Making the ice cream hours ahead of serving you will find the ice cream will have frozen solid and impossible to scoop from the container. Usually what I do is take the container of ice cream from the freezer and place it into the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving. This softens the ice cream, making it easier to scoop into balls with an ice cream scoop.

Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream: Omit the dried rose petals. Replace the rose-water and white chocolate with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 25g of finely chopped dark or milk chocolate.

Middle Eastern Ground Rice Pudding

Muhallabia is the arabic name of this delicate middle eastern dessert, made from ground rice and flavoured with rose-water. In Bahrain this is a very popular dessert and one of our family favourites. As Eid Al Adha is almost upon us, I thought I would also post a little information about an old tradition Hiya-Biya, which is very popular among the children of Bahrain around this time.

Muhallabia

Ingredients:

  • 500ml full-fat milk
  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons ground rice
  • 1/2 tablespoon corn flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons of rose-water (or more to taste)
  • to garnish, a handful of toasted silvered almonds

How to make: In a small bowl mix the ground rice and corn flour into a paste using a little of the milk. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Add the rice paste and stir continuously using a whisk or wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens, taking care that the mixture does not burn at the bottom of the saucepan and spoil its flavour.

Add the sugar and ground almonds and cook for a further minute, stirring continuously. Remove for the heat and stir in the rose-water (use more if liked), cool slightly before pouring into a serving bowl or individual serving dishes. When cool cover and store in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight to chill. Garnish with toasted almonds before serving.

 Hiya-Biya an Old Tradition 

Seeing all the traditional Hiya-Biya baskets hanging outside the shops in Bahrain brings back memories of when my children were young and enjoyed this old tradition, celebrating the beginning of Eid Al Adha. Long before the festivity, the children would fill an empty basket with sand and plant some grass seeds. Each day the children would water the seeds and watch with great excitement as the grass grew in their little baskets.

On the eve of Eid Al Adha the children would dress up in traditional dress and gather by the sea-side. While swinging and singing a song about the Hiya-Biya (now that I have taken care of you, watered you, don’t forget to bring me joy over Eid and for the safe return of the Haj pilgrims), the children would then throw the Hiya-Biya into the sea, watching them drift away.

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