hotpinkapron-pavlova-title
Dessert

All The Berries Pavlova

Top 5 reasons why Pavlova may be the perfect summer dessert:

1) It’s delicious

2) That crunchy meringue topped with a thick layer of whipped cream makes an ideal bed for ANY sweet berry growing nearby

3) It’s a crowd-pleasing dessert fit for kids of all ages, even the gluten intolerants can dig in

4) This isn’t a difficult recipe to master but a finished pavlova can create the illusion of professional sophistication. So soak in that praise because you’re fancy and amazing and a super talented baker and this pavlova totally proves it!

5) It’s meant to look ‘rustic’, which I believe translates to ‘the more imperfections there are the closer to perfect it is’

I truly put point #5 to the test this past weekend when I prepared a large meringue at home so I could drive it three hours north for a special family dessert at the cottage that night. My beautiful bundled meringue baby survived the drive — in a cake carrier, squeezed between sleeping bags and beach toys — but once we arrived and I opened the back hatch, the cake carrier shot out of our jam-packed van, fell to the ground and bounced, like three times, landing face down, broken into a gazillion pieces. 

My screams of horror echoed through the forest, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!” 

broken-pavolva

*sad face emoji* Note: there is no mention of “place finished meringue in container and volley it into pavement” in the recipe. Ya, don’t do that.

Have you ever seen that episode of The Simpsons where Homer is preparing a pig roast? The BBQ rolls down a giant hill, sends the pig flying, it lands in a river, shoots out of a damn, so on and so on, and the entire time Homer is running after it yelling, “It’s still good. It’s still good.” Have you seen that one? That was me with my broken pavlova.

It’s just a little shattered, it’s still good, it’s still good.

Nothing a heaping mound of freshly made whipped cream can’t fix, right?!

There laid the next dilemma: I was at the cottage with a carton of heavy cream and no mixer, no blender, not even a whisk, only the fossil of an egg beater that was last used when Elvis was still King.

hand-blender

Nothing quite like a 100 year old egg beater to give your whipped cream that extra dose of homemade love.. sweat.. and tears. Seriously, those pioneer cooks must have been insanely strong. My modern day yoga classes have not prepared my little chicken arms for this.

alice-hand-blender

So I put the kids to work. There must be a life lesson here somewhere, something other than your mother’s forearms are weak and whipped cream is delicious.

All The Berries Pavlova
Serves 12
A crunchy meringue crust topped with light, fluffy whipped cream and ALL the berries of the season.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr
235 calories
25 g
54 g
15 g
2 g
9 g
101 g
46 g
22 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
101g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 235
Calories from Fat 130
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
23%
Saturated Fat 9g
46%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 54mg
18%
Sodium 46mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 25g
8%
Dietary Fiber 1g
2%
Sugars 22g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
12%
Vitamin C
28%
Calcium
3%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
MERINGUE
  1. 4 large egg whites
  2. A pinch of salt
  3. 1 ¼ cups castor sugar (superfine granulated sugar that can be made by pulsing sugar in a food processor, blender or grinder)
  4. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  5. A few drops vanilla extract
TOPPING
  1. 2 cups of berries, washed and trimmed
  2. 2 cups heavy cream
  3. Mint leaves, for garnish
To prepare meringue
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw an 8" diameter circle on it.
  3. Separate your eggs -- careful not to have any yolk transfer to whites.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using a whisk attachment, combine egg whites and salt. Begin beating at a low speed and slowly increase it to high. Gradually sprinkle in sugar and cornstarch and continue beating until satiny peaks begin to form. Stop the mixer once you feel your meringue has become stiff and shiny. Start to finish, mixing takes about 4 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle in vanilla and gently fold in using a rubber spatula.
  6. Mound meringue onto parchment and, using your drawn guide, gently shape it into a circle. Flatten the top and smooth your sides.
  7. Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 300°F. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn off heat, and allow meringue to cool completely in the oven, for at least another 30 minutes.
Finishing Your Pavlova
  1. Prepare whipped cream: add chilled heavy cream to a mixing bowl. Using a whisk attachment, whip for 3 to 4 minutes on medium-low speed, until cream thickens.
  2. Spoon onto completely cooled meringue and top with clean and dry berries.
  3. Cut like a pie, into triangle slices and serve with sprigs of mint. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Before preparing your meringue, be sure to have everything ready and available. Have your sugar and cornstarch measured and the vanilla and rubber spatula at arms length because once you start a meringue you cannot stop and you need to focus on its texture and glossiness.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
beta
calories
235
fat
15g
protein
2g
carbs
25g
more
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Hot Pink Apron http://www.hotpinkapron.com/
hot-pink-apron-pavlova-h01

Imperfect perfection. Pavlova may just be the perfect summer dessert — especially with all of the berries.

martinititle
Drinks

It’s Canada Day! Drink a Maple Syrup Martini.

To celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday I’m craving something sweet, a celebratory drink that brings me as much comfort and joy as my Canadian citizenship does. Peering into our liquor cabinet, a bottle of Nova Scotia’s IRONWORKS, distilled from Annapolis Valley apples, catches my eye and I know exactly what needs to be done.

maplemartiniv

Do you love apple pancakes smothered in real Canadian maple syrup as much as I do? Well then, have I the patriotic Canada Day martini for you.

Maple Syrup Martini
Serves 1
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
2 min
Prep Time
2 min
Total Time
2 min
166 calories
26 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
294 g
13 g
24 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
294g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 166
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
0%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 13mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 24g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
3%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 ounce vodka (IRONWORKS vodka can be substituted with other vodka but I can't promise it will provoke you to belt out the national anthem with the same amount of pride.)
  2. 1 ounce maple syrup (only the authentic, real mcCoy stuff here please)
  3. raw cane sugar to coat the mouth of the glass
  4. ice
  5. cocktail shaker
  6. martini glass
Instructions
  1. Add ice to your cocktail shaker. Measure and add vodka and SHAKE. IT. OFF.
  2. Sprinkle some of that cane sugar on a small plate. Dip your finger in the maple syrup and lightly coat the outside mouth of the cocktail glass, turn it upside down and gently spin it in the sugar to create an even coating.
  3. One more shake of your cocktail for good luck and pour into your martini glass. Sip and Enjoy!
beta
calories
166
fat
0g
protein
0g
carbs
26g
more
Hot Pink Apron http://www.hotpinkapron.com/
I am so proud to be Canadian. This is one awesome nation with much to offer a growing family. I love our good manners, relaxed sense of humour and that openminded objectiveness that seems to only comes from living in one of the most multicultural countries in the world. The there’s our stunning countryside, rocky mountain tops, east coast seafood, black bears, the people, great beer, handsome Mounties, the good side of The Falls, poutine, Mike Myers, same sex marriage legal since 2005, the people, SCTV, lower crime rate, Neil Young, clean cities, did I mention how great the people are??

Yes, we are a friendly bunch here and fewer are more welcoming than Lynn and Pierre of the IRONWORKS Distillery in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. If you have yet to experience the seaside village of Lunenburg, go, GO NOW. Your boss will understand. This is a staple in the true Canadian experience. Once you arrive, walk up the main stretch of Lincoln Street to the old blacksmith shop sitting on top of the hill. This is were some of Canada’s finest artisanal liquors are distilled — including this clean tasting vodka that offers a hint of apple flavour with a subtle butterscotch sweetness at the end. Truthfully, I could swoon over their vodka, Bluenose rum tributes and that rhubarb liquor *so yum* all day but I have a Maple Syrup Martini to tend to. So, for more information, ordering details and more insightful directions than “top of the hill”, check out ironworksdistillery.com.

♫ Oh! Maple Syrup Martini!

Our drink and dessert in one.

True patriot love in all thy drinking needs… ♫

No.. no.. no.. Let’s do this right, in the most appropriately Canadian way to sing our national anthem: as Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, on the ice of a hockey game and interchanging between english and french. Hats off, hands on hearts, people.

Happy Birthday, Canada! Stay awesome.
Celebrate wisely, friends. Have fun, be safe and look out for one another — that’s the Canadian way. xo

All of that cocktail shaking has probably worked up an appetite. May I suggest making The Ultimate Canadian Poutine with homemade sweet potato fries, peameal bacon and Quebec cheese curds drowned in hot maple syrup? You’re welcome.

It just wouldn't be a Canada Day celebration without some variation of poutine.

It just wouldn’t be a Canada Day celebration without some variation of poutine.

 

asamadamsbeer2web
Sponsored Events

An Evening with Samuel Adams and The League of Extraordinary Chefs

I had the most AMAZING picnic date with Samuel Adams this week. Together we enjoyed freshly shucked Malpeque oysters and three-bite sliders loaded with Manchego cheese, pickled asparagus and an incredibly delicate Pata Negra Spanish ham. As the evening went on, we nibbled on aged Reggiano cheese topped with balsamic soaked local strawberries while watching the sun set against Toronto’s breathtaking waterfront. Let me tell you, Samuel Adams, that tall drink of refreshing Boston Lager, certainly knows how to treat a foodie.

Our “date” was me attending their sponsored Mystery Island Picnic hosted on Toronto’s main island. The evening began at 6:15pm, when myself and about 50 others boarded a private ferry from the bottom end of Cherry Street to be taken on a scenic tour of the city’s shoreline. Just fifteen minutes later we docked at our mystery destination: the prestigious Royal Canadian Yacht Club

After a stunning 15 minute tour from city to island, we arrived to our destination: the prestigious Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

Isn’t she beautiful? Built in 1919, Edward, Prince of Wales, laid the cornerstone for this gracious two-story Southern-style RCYC Clubhouse. Just looking at it makes me crave a Mint Julep.

This was the first of five culinary experiences hosted by Cheese Boutique in partnership with Samuel Adams and The League of Extraordinary Chefs! (Yes, I hear trumpet fanfare in my head too.)

For this initial event, hosting duties fell to Extraordinary Chef Jonathan Goodyear, head of the kitchen at The Royal Canadian Yacht Club. I’m told that it was thanks to Chef Goodyear’s efforts that I, as a non-member of the club, was even permitted to attend this celebration since the yacht club exercises a strict members-only policy. A policy clearly taken seriously by the Lucille Bluth look-a-like staring at me from the clubhouse front porch as I stepped off the dock and onto the grounds. 

aasamadamsgarden

Chef Jonathan Goodyear, Head Chef at the RCYC, enjoying the benefits of his home turf; a quiet pause in his restaurant’s garden.

A uniform clad man directs us past a lively bocce ball marathon, around the front of the clubhouse and to “The Rose Garden” on the South East side of the building. There we are greeted by these scrumptious sandwiches and their equally welcoming makers. 

aasamadamsslidersweb

That is Pata Negra ham you see there and it is delicious. To prepare, the Spanish black pig is nourished on a diet of wild grasses, roots and acorns which produce the rich flavour and oily texture that make the meat a delicacy. This ham comes at an extremely high price point in Canada so of course I ate about 10 of these sliders.

For the next three hours I enjoy a wealth of exquisite flavours, flowing bevvies and membership to this really happy, well-fed crowd.

The Rose Garden

They never promised us a rose garden… but here it is! “The Rose Garden” (If you don’t get the reference, YouTube Lynn Anderson immediately!)

Now, I’m not certain if it was my firm handshake, my partially green hair or my obvious excitement to be there (I may have literally been buzzing over the raw oyster bar) but for whatever reason I stood out enough to have Chef Goodyear offer me a personal tour of his restaurant’s garden. An opportunity to which, of course, I leapt at — still buzzing from those oysters.

What an incredible experience that was. Sure, the abundance of fresh herbs, rhubarb, wild arugula, varieties of kale and carrots were impressive but how often do you get to engage in a one-on-one conversation with someone so passionate about their work? Chef Goodyear becomes visibly giddy when I ask him about ways to utilize the purple chive flower in home cooking.

Following my garden tour, I trotted (yes, trotted, high heels were the WRONG choice of footwear) back to Chef Goodyear’s serving station to sample his original menu including halibut with herbs and citrus butter, a zucchini ribbon slaw (with some fresh basil from that very garden) and THE MOST luscious cornbread of my life, prepared with chipotle and cheddar. The experience was an excellent reminder that loving your job, like, REALLY loving your job can truly make for a delicious life.

asamadamsgarden05web

Chef Goodyear’s serving station. Still loving that view.

asamadamschefgoodyear01web

Chef Goodyear greets each of the regular patrons after their meal to see how everything was. You, Sir, are an absolute inspiration.

I really should be getting back to my date…

Samuel Adams is a craft brewery based out of Boston, Massachusetts, most recognized for their refreshing Boston Lager. For that reason, I was a little surprised to see that the feature at this event was their bigger, bolder Rebel IPA. Not one to shy away from the delicious bitterness of an Indian Pale Ale, I tried one (OK three) and was really impressed. Certainly not the sucker punch to the palette that the craft beer market has come to expect from those adventurously strong IPAs, instead, this is a much more relaxed, lighter take with a nice hop flavour complimented by citrus aroma and a long finish. A perfect pint for an island picnic.

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

As the only visibly tattooed, green-haired person at this party, it’s nice to hang with someone (or something) that embraces a rebel side.

Actually there was one other obvious rebel in the mix: a large wheel of Niagara Gold Cheese which had been marinated and aged in the Samuel Adams Rebel IPA for nine months and given the title “Rebel Yell” by creator Afrim Pristine of Cheese Boutique. This semi-firm cheese was so fresh and delicious with just a hint of hop flavour found in the rind. I asked Cheese Master Afrim Pristine if he was a fan of pairing beer with cheese and he excitedly yelled over his shoulder, as he prepared four more plates for other guests,  

“Everything beer and cheese is good. Better than wine, beer is the best with cheese.”

Who am I to argue with a Master?! I’ll take 3 more of everything please.

Other menu options from Cheese Boutique included those sophisticated sliders above, that 5 year Reggianno with a beautiful crystallized crunch and an Ontario Buffalo Mozzarella with apple vinegar and Marcona almonds. Cheese Boutique had also been so kind to place an assortment of cheese and pâté in the centre of each of the dining tables.

asamadamscheeseweb

Cheese dreams are made of these.

The third Extraordinary Chef at this event was Chef Jason Bangerter of Landgon Hall, the refined country house hotel & spa located in Cambridge, Ontario. To no one’s surprise, Chef Bangerter played to the richness of our environment by offering a vibrant Summer Gazpacho served in wine tumblers, Blueberry Ricotta Stuffed Gougère (towers of them sprinkled with beautiful petite edible flowers), a perfectly plated entree of Heritage Breed Hen Presse and his pièce de résistance, a stunning Foie Gras Parfait.

asamadamsfoiegrasweb

I had to share what it looked like after I had taken a bite, otherwise you may of confused this stunning work of art for a wall hanging and not an edible delight — which it was.

Almost like clockwork, as dinner came to an end and the tables were cleared, the sun began to set. An ideal finish to an outstanding meal. 

Toronto sunset

Search #SamInHand for more guest images.

As if the view wasn’t sweet enough, Cheese Boutique provided guests with a massive assortment of desserts to choose from. Not that I could fit another morsel of food in me. Wait. Are those Portuguese Custard Tarts I see?? Damn you, Cheese Boutique! You’ve discovered my one true weakness.

dessert

Beignets, cookies, tarts, the greatest thing to ever happen to whipped egg – the Portuguese Custard Tart…

But, seriously, how about this view?!!

asamadamssunset02web

From beginning to end, this was a magical evening that I feel grateful for being apart of. I’ll admit, when we first arrived to The Royal Canadian Yacht Club, I briefly had my doubts that I would feel anything but uncomfortable and stiff. Let’s face it, the RCYC is a high class, elite club — one of the most reputable in the city — and, albeit awesome in other ways, I am not exactly a high-class, elite person. But any concerns that I had melted away as soon as food service began. From then on out there was no sense of status ranking in the crowd, there seemed only to be a universal love for food. The focus here was on new experiences and honest flavours elevated to grandeur. The Mystery Island Picnic was a smashing success and praise for it belongs to our EXTRAORDINARY Chefs, their staff and, of course, my thirst-quenching date.

Looking forward to seeing each of you at the next event!