Sunday, 27 May 2012 - , , 0 comments

JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS!:Idea no.3 The Crowning Glory Pavlova


Here is the last of my Jubilee Celebration ideas....it's a good old classic pavlova piled high with fresh fruits and cinnamon creme fraiche.....but in the shape of the Coronation crown. (Well, almost)!


I think if you're going to get into the spirit of the British street party, even if you're celebrating at home, you have to delve deep into the world of slightly kitsch memorabilia. There is something so charming, yet a bit tacky going on with all this stuff...so that's where I'm heading with my 'Crowning Glory Pavlova'. The centre-piece for your table...obviously home-made, a bit wonky, over-the-top patriotic and absolutely delicious!


I love this photo. It's the archetypal picture of our young Queen in her Coronation crown looking proud and full of expectation...just like your guests will be when you walk into the room with your pavlova crown!

***

My WHOLE finished pavlova worked out to
33 propoints/approx.1400kcal;

Divided by 8 people, 4pp/175kcal
per portion.
Divided by 7 people, 5pp/200kcal
per portion.
Divided by 6 people, 5pp/233kcal
per portion.
Divided by 5 people, 6pp/280kcal
per portion.
Divided by 4 people, 8pp/350kcal
per portion.

***

You will need:

4 Egg whites
(Or 8 tablespoons of liquid egg white) 
See post:CUPBOARD LOVE:Liquid Egg White
240g caster sugar
20 plain chocolate chips
*
1 pot Weight Watchers Creme Fraiche
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1 tablespoon granular sweetener
(sweeten to taste)
*
Selection of fruits;
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries,
bananas, green grapes
*
Baking parchment
pen/pencil
Florists wire
1 mini pot extra light Philadelphia
Edible Gold Lustre spray (optional)

***

How to make the Crowning Glory Pavlova


This is the reference I used to recreate my crown. You could use your own interpretation, but I'll show you the processes I went through.


First of all, I made a sketch of my 'vision' on paper so that I could work out all the parts I would need.



Next, I chose my finished serving plate. This determined the finished size of the crown.


Then I found a plate that sat comfortably on my serving plate. This became my template for the main circular bases.
This is one of my side plates. It's not too large as I wanted it to be quite a realistic crown size.


I drew around the smaller plate twice onto baking parchment, making 2 separate circles. Then I flipped the parchment over so that the meringue wouldn't be touching the pencil.



Next, I drew some simplified Maltese Cross and Fleur de Lis shapes on baking parchment. I kept the shapes chunky as they were going to be made of meringue. I flipped the paper over so that the meringue mixture wouldn't touch the pencil.


I made up the meringue mixture by whisking the egg whites to stiff peaks, then adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking in-between each addition.



Then, I spread some of the mixture to fit right to the edge of my first circular template. This is the very base of the crown, so is quite thin - approx 1-2 cms deep.
I dotted chocolate drops evenly around the very edge. This emulates the fur base of the crown.



Then I spread more meringue mixture onto the next circular template. This time I made the meringue quite a bit thicker and left a good margin inside the template. I piled the meringue higher in the centre as I wanted this to be the main 'body' of the crown. I left enough mixture to make the decorative shapes.


This shows the proportions between the two circles; one thin and flat, the other smaller, and thicker.


To make the decorative shapes, I filled a freezer bag with the remaining meringue mixture. I found it easier to do this by placing the bag into a glass.


I 'squished' the mixture right down into the bag, then snipped off the corner, making a disposable icing bag.
(I hate washing out icing bags!)


I piped the shapes quite roughly - don't worry if they look messy like this...


...then with a knife, I just 'eased' the meringue mixture to fit the shapes.


I popped all the prepared meringues into the oven 150 degrees centigrade for about 1 hour. Then I turned the oven off and left the meringues to dry out for as long as possible.
(A few hours, or ideally overnight).

***

Making up the finished Crowning Glory Pavlova

It is best to assemble the finished crown as close as possible to the event as the meringue will go soggy if left too long.
So, this is how I prepared all the elements I would need before the final 'build'.


I made the top, decorative part of my crown out of florists' wire. I threaded fruit onto it, but wouldn't recommend eating the fruit afterwards, as I'm not sure how safe the coating is on the wire. If you don't want to waste any fruit, you could use decorative beads, (maybe plastic or polystyrene) for this part, as long as you don't make it too heavy.


I used 2 strands of wire for each 'arm' to give added strength. I bent it in the middle to find the centre, then opened it out again.


So you can see I put the wire at right angles to each other, and twisted it together in the middle to form a cross shape. I left about 2cm sticking up at the top and cut the wires so that I could push a decorative meringue shape on at the final assembly.
I put my 'template' plate on my serving plate so that I could gauge the finished size.


Then I bent the wire to form the top of the crown shape.


Next, I threaded blueberries and grapes alternately like jewels onto each of the 4 strands of wire. I left a good 3 cms wire at the end to push into the assembled meringue base.


I left this to one side.


Because I really wanted to go kitsch and crazy, I sprayed all the meringue elements with edible gold lustre spray.


Of course, this is optional but does add to the effect.
Make sure you cover your work top and surrounding areas as, with any spray, this can get a little messy!


 I mixed the cinnamon and sweetener into the Weight Watchers creme fraiche.

The Final 'Build'


First, I put the thin meringue base with the chocolate drops onto my serving plate. I dolloped a couple of tablespoons of the creme fraiche mixture, then scattered some banana, strawberries and blueberries in a flat layer. I left a large gap around the edge as I didn't want this fruit to be visible.
(These will be covered, so no need to be artistic here).


I added the second, chunky meringue layer. Then, I put the rest of the creme fraiche and started building the sliced fruits into a pattern. I used red, white and blue fruits but also added green grapes as I thought they looked jewel-like and vibrant. I layered the fruit quite high into the centre as I wanted it to look like a high, curved crown.


Then, I took the wired fruits and pushed the exposed wire at the base of each strand, into the pavlova base. 
This is why it's important to leave a length of wire the depth of the finished base.


Then, using extra light Philadelphia as my 'glue', I spread tiny blobs onto the back of the decorative meringues and stuck them around the sides of the base.


I alternated the Maltese crosses with the Fleur de Lis, saving one cross for the very top of the crown.


Finally, I pushed a Maltese cross onto the top wires and embellished the crosses with slices of strawberry. These were stuck on with philadelphia. To bring it all to life, I tied Union Jack ribbons to the wires.

***

This was great fun to make and I love its amateur quirkiness.
If yours turns out a bit bonkers and you're not sure people will realise it's meant to be a crown, there is only one way to take this to your party...


Happy Jubilations! x

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