Last night we had a couple of friends over for dinner. We planned the menu to revolve around eggs (with 3 good layers, is it any wonder?). When we went to bed the night before our guests were due, we were 2 eggs short of what we needed to complete our dinner but held no fear. Our optimism was not misplaced, by 10:30 the morning of the visit, we had one more egg than we needed (which made it into our fried rice lunch – so I could have titled this post “Eleven Egg Day”).
- Individual cheese soufflés (recipe here – but divided into 4 small soufflé dishes – using 4 whole eggs)
- rissoles (an egg was included in the mix as a binding agent)
- Cauliflower with Hollandaise sauce (recipe below which uses 5 egg yolks)
- Pavlova for dessert (recipe below using 5 egg whites)
The cauliflower unfortunately didn’t come from the garden, my plants are still babies. And the rissoles benefited from a few herbs (and the egg) but really,that all came from the grocery store.
We washed our meal down with a home-brewed beer. No, we did not grow the hops and barley. But the water came from the rainwater tanks in our garden. Does that classify it as a gardening product?
It was our first time making Pavlova and real Hollandaise sauce so I’ve put those recipes here.
First we made the Pavlova. The recipe is:
- 5 egg whites (or 4 if you’re using larger, store-bought eggs) whipped into soft peaks
- Add 1 cup of sugar SLOWLY (like a tablespoon at a time) and beat together until sugar dissolved and egg whites are glossy.
- Add 2 teaspoons of cornflour add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (or white vinegar) into egg whites and mix through.
- Spoon and pile mixture onto lined cookie sheet (I dusted my baking paper with cornflour and the Pavlova didn’t stick).
- Bake at 120 degrees C (250 F) for 1 ½ hours. (It might get tan but don’t let it brown.)
- Partially open oven door and let Pavlova cool in oven. It will probably crack in this phase.
- Remove Pavlova and place on plate. (Almost certainly will crack in this phase.)
- Mix 300 ml of thickened cream with 2 Tablespoons of icing mixture (powdered sugar) – beat into stiff peaks.
- Cover Pavlova (this nicely hides all that cracking) with cream and top with sliced kiwi fruit and passion fruit (strawberries or any fruit or berries also works).
The pavlova photo is above which really doesn’t do the thing justice. It was nice and crispy on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside. Everyone had seconds and I will definitely be making this again.
The Hollandaise sauce recipe is:
- Melt and keep warm ½ cup butter.
- Just heat 1 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice.
- Place over double boiler (over, not in water) 5 egg yolks (or 4 if your eggs are large) and beat until they begin to thicken.
- Add 1 Tablespoon of boiling water to eggs (have boiling water ready before you start beating eggs) and beat until thickened.
- Repeat 3 more time for 4 Tablespoons of water in total.
- Beat in lemon juice. Only add about half and then taste – if it’s sour enough (this is a personal taste thing) don’t add the rest. You be the judge.
- Remove double boiler from heat and beat the sauce well with a wire whisk.
- Continue to beat while slowly adding melted butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grains of cayenne pepper.
- Beat until thick and serve at once.
The meal was great. Everything turned out perfectly (well, the Hollandaise sauce was a bit sour – hence my advice above about tasting it with half the lemon). Our guests were impressed and now feel the pressure of trying their own experiment when we’re next eating at their house.
My personal favourite of the night? The Pavlova of course.