Super Easy Pavlova Nests – need to whip up a quick dessert?

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Ok, here’s a super quick and easy way to put together Pavlova Nests. Not so much a recipe but an idea if you need to whip up a quick and easy dessert.

NOTE: Before you begin, make sure to not to make the nests until you’re ready to serve them. Once you’re ready to serve them, slap it all together and serve them right away.

Ingredients:

  • Pavlova Nests (pack of 10)
  • Thickened Cream (600ml)
  • Fruits (i used peaches and blueberries)

First of all, we’re not going to make the pavlova nests, we’re going to use pre-made nests from your local super market and they’re only around $5 for a pack of 10 or you could buy the meringue nests which are pretty much the same thing. This way, you’re guaranteed perfect pavlova nests that taste and will hold its form. But also be wary that the nests can break in the packaging or already be broken so if you’re expecting a lot of company, buy an extra packet.

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The next thing you’ll need is some thickened cream (300-600ml depending on how many you make). Just whip it up, add a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a tablespoon of sugar. The cream doesn’t need to be sweet because the pavlova or meringue nest is already sweet. Put some glad wrap over it and place it in the fridge if you’re going to be serving these later on. Otherwise, whip up the cream just before you serve them.

Choose your fruit or fruits. I recommend sticking with 2 or 3 because the nests aren’t that big to fit more than that and plus 2 or 3 fruits look and taste better. For these pavlova nests we chose peaches and blueberries. You can buy canned fruit like we did for the peaches and bought the blueberries because they’re in season.
Ok, now you have your 3 main ingredients, lets build these treats:

  1. carefully layout your pavlova nests on a tray or plate
  2. If you haven’t whipped the cream yet, do so with the method above. Then slap on the whipped cream. The cream doesn’t need to be neatly piped on, I recommend to just slap it onto the nests but still be careful as they’re quite fragile and you do want people to be able to pick them up and eat them.
  3. place your fruit on top and you’re done. They’re ready to be served.

I told you it was easy. We made these 10-15 minutes before the Melbourne Cup race was about to start. I don’t think some of the people were impressed because we whipped the cream with an old mixer and caused static on the TV. Oh well but I have to say, they tasted the bomb!

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 Photos, taken with iPhone 5

Slightly Overcooked Bistro Cheesecake Recipe – But Still Edible

As you can see, I slightly overcooked my first cheesecake 🙁
Well that’s what you get for not watching it while it baked…oooops~!!!

I never knew there were so many cheesecake recipes, I went the easy path and looked up some Cream Cheese Philadelphia Recipes which you can find here

Anyways here’s the recipe and method I used to cook my very first Cheesecake.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (185g) sweet biscuit crumbs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
90g butter, melted

Filling
3 x 250g PHILADELPHIA Block Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Tips
The best tips for making cheesecake can be found below (highly recommend watching before baking):

How To: Cheesecake Base
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hftjwieCzWY&feature=player_embedded

How To: Perfect Cheesecake
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUoLfMy-k2c&feature=player_embedded

Method

1. COMBINE the biscuit crumbs, cinnamon and butter in a small bowl.  

I used some Arnotts Marie biscuits and crushed them in a food processor then mixed it together with the cinnamon and butter and added some crushed walnuts too for added flavour and texture.

2. Press the crumb mixture into base of a fully greased and lined 24cm springform pan, chill.


3. BEAT the PHILLY and sugar with an electric mixer until just combined. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth. Gradually add the eggs and beat until just combined.

4. POUR the filling into the prepared base.  5.  Bake in a moderately slow oven 160ºC for 40-45 minutes or until cheesecake is just set. Allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar. Refrigerate overnight.

I recommend lowering the temperature to 150ºC and bake for around 30-40 minutes and most definitely keep watching it!

Here’s my finished product, as mentioned in the title, slightly overcooked but definitely didn’t hinder the taste. Dress it up with some strawberries and blueberries to hide the cracks that may have formed…hehehe…don’t laugh, I’m learning and you may have yourself a pretty nice looking cheesecake if you didn’t manage to burn it (slightly), like me 🙁

Lessons I’ve learnt:

  • Keep an eye on your cake while baking!!!
  • Lower the oven tray closer to the bottom to prevent burning the top and sides
  • Lower my oven temperature because it’s a bit stronger than I think
  • Having a bowl of water at the bottom of the oven while baking creates a moist cooking environment
  • Keep an eye on your cake while baking!!!