Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day!

by Shanna Hatfield

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope this day brings you a heart full of love and plenty of sweet surprises.

Speaking of sweet surprises, I thought I'd share the recipe for a dessert that isn't hard to make, but always looks quite fancy (and tastes good, too!). 

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert that you can make in any number of shapes, including a heart.

Australian and New Zealand both claim to have created the dessert. Recent research has even pointed to the origin coming from the U.S., based off a German Torte. Regardless of where it originated, the sweet,  soft-centered dessert is named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who was quite popular in the 1920s. 

Pavlova origins can be found in European meringues that were invited back in the early 1700s.
A Swiss pastry-cook, Gasparini, is credited with inviting the a small meringue dessert. 

Larger meringue cakes are thought to have been an 19th century development which eventually led to pavlova. 

Raspberry Pavlova
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
1/2 cup plus one tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Whipped Cream
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Beat egg whites and salt in a metal bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form.
Gently sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites, one tablespoon at a time. The mixture should now be glossy  stiff peaks.
Gently fold in the cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and use a spoon to shape the meringue into a heart (or circle). Make sure the edges are higher than the middle.
Turn the oven down to 250 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The meringue should be very pale. Turn off the oven and let the meringue cool completely.
Just before serving, remove the meringue from the oven and top with whipped cream and berries.
Serve and enjoy!
A hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure, Shanna Hatfield is a USA Today bestselling author of sweet romantic fiction written with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to blogging and eating too much chocolate, she is completely smitten with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna creates character-driven romances with realistic heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.

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