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22 February 2009


I am not someone who eats a lot of dessert. I don't crave chocolate, almost always skip dessert in restaurants and much prefer a cheese plate to ice cream. I am a 'savory' person through and through.

But there are some desserts that I do enjoy, on occasion, usually when we have guests. This pavlova is one of them.

The meringue recipe is from Sydney Food by Bill Grainger. It is an easy recipe, though it says to start the oven on 220 degrees and then drop it to 150 degrees (I think, the pages of the book stuck together and I can't quite read that part). I don't tend to do this as I find that the meringue browns. Instead I start the oven on a lower temperatue (usually about 140 degrees in a fan forced oven) and keep it in for longer.

Instead of normal cream, I like to use creme fraiche as I think its sour tang is a great contrast to the sweet meringue. Use whatever fruit you like. Pomegranates are my favourite at the moment. Passionfruit is what I normally use.

For the picture I only made a third of the recipe. Again, apologies for the poor quality, that is something I will have to practice! But thank you to Mark and Scott who took about 40 photos trying to take a really good one!

Ingredients (serves 8)

6 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 tablespoons arrowroot
2 teaspoons white vinegar
300g creme fraiche
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
125g blueberries


Preheat oven to 140 degrees. Place egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla into a clean, dry bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Add sugar in tablespoons, beating continuously until all sugar is added and meringue is glossy and thick. Stir in the cornflour, arrowroot and vinegar.

Line a baking tray with non-stick paper and spead meringue in a circle approximately 20cms in diameter.

Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until the outside is firm (keep and eye on the meringue during the last 30 minues as oven temperatues differ). Let the meringue cool in the oven with the door slightly open.

Just prior to serving top the meringue with creme fraiche, pomegranate and blueberries.


One of my favourite things to make is mayonnaise. I find the whisking relaxing, not to mention that the final product is incredible. I usually make a small batch once a week and enjoy it with grilled chicken and avocado salad.

The taste of homemade mayonnaise is far superior to store bought mayonnaise. The only time I us store bought mayonnaise is when making Mum's chicken pie - and this is simply because the sweeter taste of store bought mayonnaise works better in that recipe.

Homemade mayonnaise is tangy and creamy. Everyone should have a go. I've heard people say that it is difficult to make, but this is not true. I make my mayonnaise by hand, as I said I find it relaxing, but also the only time mayonnaise has ever split while I was making it was when I used a food processor. You need to make a large batch if you use a food processor, as it is only Mark and me at home, I make small batches.

I have no idea where I read this recipe, there are many around. I have a feeling it is a combination of many I have read over time - but it works well for me.

Feel free to double the recipe below if you would like to make more. This makes just over half a cup. You may need to experiment with the quantities to ensure the taste is just how you like it.


1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sunflower oil
Dijon mustard (extra - to taste)
Squeeze lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste


Place the egg yolk, dijon mustard and white wine vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk until combined. Add the sunflower oil one drop at a time, whisking continuously. Continue whisking until the ingredients are emulsified. The mixture should be rich and creamy. You will need to taste the mayonnaise at this point to work out what else it needs. It will be quite bland, so whisk in extra dijon mustard, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.


To make aioli, stir in half a clove to a full clove of fresh garlic. If you are not a huge garlic fan (unlike me) try roasting a head of garlic in the oven. Cut the top off a head of garlic, drizzle with oilve oil and wrap in foil and roast for 30-40 minutes. The garlic flesh will have lost its pungency and be delicious and sweet. Mash the flesh and stir into the mayonnaise to taste.

I also like to add lemon zest, lime zest, lemon myrtle and herbs like mint and basil to the mayonnaise/aioli depending on what I am serving it with. For example, mint aioli works beautifully with roast lamb.

I never use oilve oil when making mayonnaise as the flavour of olive oil is too rich and overpowering. However, if making aioli I do add a very small splash of oilve oil just at the end. It works well with the fresh garlic.

Have fun and experiment.