Thursday, May 10, 2012

Have a Pav!

There is a British chef called Heston Blumenthal. He’s known for mixing science and cooking together.  Some call him a molecular gastronomist.  

Cooking all is all about science. It’s full of chemical reactions and relies on how materials react to heat.
The great Kiwi Pavlova is a fine example of science and cooking. Especially if you
don’t get it right!  The crunchy outside, soft inside dessert can go rock hard or as flat as a rubber pancake.

So if you’ve ever made one you’ll know that you need to beat the life out of the egg white. As you do this you are stretching the protein in the egg white out. The vinegar also helps stretch out the proteins. As you beat the eggs you trap air into the mixture.  This makes our egg whites nice and fluffy.

As we heat the mixture a few things happen.  First up, we slowly dry out the mix. Next, the little pockets of air expand as they are heated. The sugars also caramelise. This gives us a slightly stiff structure as well.

5 Tips for Perfect Pavlova
  1. No grease or oil in your bowl or whisk
  2. Be gentle so you don’t push out all the air
  3. Have your eggs at room temperature
  4. Let it cool fully in the oven (6 hours),
  5. If all else fails, go to the supermarket and buy one …

Here’s a good recipe for a choice pav…
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons of cold water
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 teaspoons cornflour
Beat egg whites until they are stiff.
Add cold water to the eggs, beat again.
Add castor sugar gradually while still beating.
Add vinegar, vanilla and cornflour, again, while still beating.
Put some greased paper on a greased tray and bake at 150 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes.
Cool in the oven


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