The Challenge

Make a pavlova

My Bake

A grilled plum and chocolate pav with praline shards

What Happened?

Well pavlova is a popular dessert in our household and we’ve made quite a few so feeling good. Plus I am really happy with my recipe, it’s come out well in practice. The main star of the show here of course is the meraingue which should be crispy on the outside with a nice chewy center. Meraingue is very susceptable to the ambient climate so to get it just right you have to take into account the weather. Practicing in Richmond it had worked very well. But it had been a warm summer and not too humid. In the tent in Toronto the humidity was very high and i was very worried about the meraingue not drying out at all so I made a decision to leave it for longer in the oven. A decision I would regret!

For the plums I was grilling half and cooking down some other to make a sauce. Then there was a marscapone cream. Marscapone goes beautifully with grilled plums. In fact if you want a simple but yummy dessert just grill some halved plums with a little honey drizzled on, then whip some sugar into marscapone and dollop it on the plums – fantastic! For the sauce component I had been peeling the plums so I could get a nice smooth sauce but after a raised eyebrow from Bruno and Rochelle I switched to leaving the skins on – great idea – much more colorfull sauce!

So we come to final assembly. All the components looked great. I had also made a sheet of almond brittle. Actually I’d made two sheets – one of which had come out far too thick so one of the cameramen had been nibbling it all through the bake! I was aware that we were getting close to time but I wasn’t sure how close. I had my meringue cream layers piled up along with the grilled plums and now I was carefully cutting up my brittle into artfull shards for the top when someone said “15 seconds left”. What???!!!! So I picked up the entire sheet and smashed it onto the bench. Then grabbing shards in both hands started ramming them into the top. Time’s up!!!

Adreneline rush but overall pretty happy

Judging

So the thing about pavlova – like so many baked goods – it might look fine on the outside but you really have no idea if it’s worked until someone cuts into it. So with my pav – the judges liked the look (for once!) but as they cut in we discovered it was dry through and through. I had overcompensated for the humidity. On the plus side they enjoyed the flavor so I think all in all I should be ok

Overall

I was still very happy with the bake. I delivered it on time and looking pretty good and tasting delish! Shame about the meringue but I felt it was an honest misjudgement which didn’t take too much away. Plus it was a meringue with incorporated chocolate which the judges acknowledged was trickier so all good. Feeling in the middle of the packish

Sentencing

Well us boys are not doing well! I was very sad to see Cory go he’s a star and had a lot of great baking experience. As the show progresses we are all bonding more and more and it gets harder and harder to say goodbye!

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