Pavlova

This Christmas it was my turn to be in charge of the desserts. I love doing this for my family, and each year I want to get more creative.

I decided to go for a traditional apple crumble for Christmas Eve, and then a Pavlova for Christmas Day. Truth be told this was my first time ever making Pavlova, but I’m very happy with how it turned out, and even more about how easy it was to make.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

How to: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C, and line a large baking sheet with grease-proof paper. Using a pencil, place a large dinner plate onto the paper and trace the circumference.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer until they form stiff peaks, then whisk in the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, until the meringue looks glossy. Whisk in the vinegar, cornflour and vanilla.
  3. Spread the meringue inside the circle, creating a crater by making the sides a little higher than the middle. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the heat and let the Pavlova cool completely inside the oven until room temperature.

To top it all off:

I whipped up one large pot of double cream and spooned the mixture onto the centre of the pavlova. I decided to go a little different with the topping and add a mixture of raspberries and blackberries, and add a drizzle of a fruit coulis- I was in Sainsbury’s the night before so I picked up the Mango & Passionfruit Coulis- which surprisingly went really well!

The thing I love about Pavlova is that you can get creative and add a variety of different toppings, and at the end of the day it will still look amazing!

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s a difficult choice deciding which Disney World park comes out on top, but I have to say it’s definitely a tie between the fairy tale of Magic Kingdom and glitz of Hollywood Studios… However, today I’ll be chatting all about my day trip to Hollywood Studios!

As soon as you enter the park you feel as though you are transported back into Hollywood’s golden age. Hollywood Boulevard is lined with various Disney shops, with a few classic Hollywood landmarks along the way. This first part of the park really sets the scene.

The first ride we went on was the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and we had to go on this more than once! It was a different story for the Tower of Terror… One ride was enough for me thanks!

We just had to go and see Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. The broadway style musical was packed and is a must see when visiting the park. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite classic Disney films, I couldn’t help but sing a long!

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We decided to ditch the fast food stall for lunch and have a sit down meal in one of Disney’s many restaurants. We chose Disney’s Prime Time Cafe, and we were glad we did! Again, Disney did a fabulous job transporting you back in time. It was just as though you were in an American 50’s style home, complete with TV style dinner meat loaf!

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Star Wars has made a huge appearance throughout the park. Which I loved as a recently converted fan! You can meet all your favourite character like Chewbacca, and take a trip on their new ride Star Tours.

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Near the end of the day we ventured into Pixar Place. I loved this part of the park. It was just like you were in a movie, with hanging barrel of monkeys above you a giant etch-a-sketch! My all time favourite ride in the whole park was here… Toy Story Mania! It’s a 4D ride where you need to shoot moving targets. Perfect for big kids like me!

The only thing I was disappointed with was finding out that the Mr Golds Pawn Shop front from Once Upon a Time was gone! They had to take it down to make way for the future refurbishment of the park. Although it was such a small part of the park, as a big fan of the show I was so excited to see it. Lets hope that when the park is revamped they make Once Upon a Time a bigger part of it!

 

 

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What I got for Christmas- Cook Books

This Christmas I was lucky enough to get so many amazing recipe books from family & friends. I am still to go through all of them, and I can’t wait to try out every recipe in 2016!

In this post I will just be briefly going over each book, what I think about them, and some of the highlights of the book for me.

Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

I already have a few of the Hummingbird Bakery books, but I’ve wanted this one for a while. So I was so happy to unwrap it! They start off by giving a brief introduction into the bakery- I can’t wait to visit it one day. I like how they have some of the basic cupcake recipes, and then a bit of the more unusual ones, such as the lavender and green tea cupcakes. But it’s not just cupcake recipes, they also give a huge variety of yummy pie, cookies, brownies and loaf recipes. A sweet tooth’s heaven!!

Nigella Christmas and “How to be a Domestic Goddess”

I received two Nigella Lawson books this year- the first ones I’ve ever owned. I always love watching Nigella’s tv shows, they always inspire you to put that little bit more effort into cooking.

In “Nigella Christmas” there are a few recipes that stood out to me on the first flick through. One of them was ‘Chilli Jam’, I’ve had this a few times when I have gone out for dinner, and I’ve always wanted to try to make it at home, and now is my chance! The book also gives lots of handy Christmas day dinner/lunch tips as well as leftover ideas. I can’t wait to properly use this book next year!

“How to be a Domestic Goddess- Baking and the art of comfort cooking” – Who doesn’t want to be a domestic goddess? Maybe with a little help from Nigella you finally can be..! The book gives some essential knowledge and advise on all things cooking. Some of the recipes that I liked the look of was the ‘Double Apple Pie’ as well as the very irresistible ‘Torta Alla Gianduia’ a.k.a Chocolate Hazelnut or Nutella cake!

Mary Berry 100 Cakes and Bakes

I think almost everyone would love to have Mary Berry as their Grandmother! In this handy little book it outlines 100 basic and easy to follow recipes. There are some more traditional recipes such as Scotch Pancakes, as well as a variety of scones. I think these bakes will definitely be fail safe!

The Good Cook- Simon Hopkinson

I’ll be honest with you all, I didn’t know too much about Simon Hopkinson before I was gifted this lovely cook book, but I’ll definitely admit, this guy knows his stuff! I can’t wait to try out a few of these recipes. There are lots of savoury ones, and each chapter is divided into the recipes main ingredient, for example, chicken, cheese and there is also a chapter called ham, bacon & little pigs!

 

I definitely think I am well set for all my culinary ventures in 2016! Can’t wait to let you all know  how I get on trying some of these recipes out! x

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