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Viv’s Baby Meringues

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These meringues were created for a friend soon to have her first baby. A book of advice, wise sayings and best wishes was presented to the mother-to-be at her baby shower.

I thought the recipe for some “baby” meringues would be appropriate for my contribution to the book!

I made a basic meringue recipe, and coloured and flavoured four different kinds of meringues.

Rose water meringues: a drop of rose water and a couple of drops of red food colouring

Orange meringues: a drop of orange flower water and one drop of orange food colouring

Pear meringues: a drop of pear essence and a couple of drops of green food colouring

Almond meringues: a drop of almond essence and one drop of blue food colouring

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Ingredients

3 egg free range whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup caster sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to very slow – 135 degrees C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Beat egg whites at low speed with an electric mixer until frothy, add cream of tartar and beat on highest speed until peaks hold their shape. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons of the measured sugar and continue beating for 2-3 minutes. Add all the remaining sugar at once, fold in quickly and lightly with a metal spoon.

Add your flavouring at this point or food colour. Spoon or pipe onto prepared trays. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Leave in oven for a further 1/2 hour or until dry – longer is better. When cool, store in an airtight container.

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Avocado, Pear and Two Cheeses Pizza + Free Range Leg Ham, Artichoke and Cherry Tomato Pizza

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Pizza on the Barbecue Revisited

I have been really enjoying cooking grilled pizza on the barbecue. I  recently posted my first efforts and am now posting a couple of variations that have worked well.

One quantity of the dough recipe below makes 2 pizzas. I sometimes freeze the other pizza dough and use later for either pizza or just plain grilled flatbread, served with a little olive oil with salad or with dips.

A tip – if you are freezing the dough – defrost and allow to come to room temperature but cook pretty quickly as the dough becomes soft and difficult to handle if you leave it too long.

The basic recipe:

Ingredients
Dough

2 ¼ tsp dry yeast
1 cup warm water (40.5 – 46 degrees C)
2 to 2 ½ cups Tipo 00 flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

Free Range Leg Ham, Artichoke and Cherry Tomato Pizza 

1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 spring onions finely chopped
3 artichoke hearts, sliced
3 or 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 or 3 slices of free range leg ham, sliced
Basil  leaves

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Avocado, Pear and Two Cheeses Pizza with Chutney and Red wine Dressing

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used Dorset Drum, an English cheddar with a soft texture)
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 pear, sliced
Avocado half, sliced
A handful of crumbled blue cheese (Gippsland Blue is good)
Thyme sprigs

For the dressing Dressing, mix 1 tablespoon of good English fruit chutney with 1 tablespoon of red wine  and a glug of extra vrigin olive oil, and spoon over the oooked pizza.

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Method

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in most of the flour and the salt, stirring until smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until the dough comes away from the bowl but is still sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with lightly floured hands. Knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic and soft, but a little sticky, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to bowl lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil, turn to coat. Cover with cling wrap and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2-3 hours. Press it with your finger to see if it’s done; an indent should remain.

Remove the dough from the bowl, divide in half and shape each half into a ball. This quantity makes 2 small pizzas. Or leave as 1 ball for 1 large pizza.

Brush with more oil and set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat your barbecue to very high.

Stretch and shape the ball/s of dough into a rectangle or round – or any rustic shape! Brush the top/s with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest for 15 minutes. Place on the grill directly on the bars, oiled side down, and grill until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip over and grill for 1 minute longer.

Place the pizza/s on a baking tray and apply your toppings:

Scatter over your toppings, with the exception of the herbs.

Return to the barbecue, turn down the heat  to medium, close the cover and cook until the cheese has melted and the vegetables are heated through, about 5 minutes.

Scatter herbs over the cooked pizza before serving.

 

Pear, Artichoke and Blue Cheese Grilled Pizza With Rosé and Cranberry Dressing

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Making pizza on the barbecue is really easy as I discovered when I made one for the first  time. I make lots of pizzas – home made is always nicest – but I was delighted with how quick and easy grilling the dough on the barbecue is!

This recipe was inspired by Bobby Flay’s recipe from his Barbecue Addiction television program: http://m.foodnetwork.com/recipes/551582

You make a normal pizza yeast dough – then grill it for a minute each side on the bars of a very hot barbecue. Then dress the grilled pizza with your toppings of choice, place on a baking tray and heat on the barbecue on medium heat, with the hood down to simulate an oven.

Fresh, hot, grilled pizza made right in front of your friends! You could even do “make your toppings” with everyone customizing their own pizza!

Ingredients
Dough

2 ¼ tsp dry yeast
1 cup warm water (40.5 – 46 degrees C)
2 to 2 ½ cups Tipo 00 flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

Toppings

1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 spring onions finely chopped
1 pear, sliced
2 -3 artichoke hearts, sliced
A handful of crumbled blue cheese (to taste)
Rosemary sprigs

Method
Pizza
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in most of the flour and the salt, stirring until smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until the dough comes away from the bowl but is still sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with lightly floured hands. Knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic and soft, but a little sticky, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to bowl lightly oiled with extra virgin olive oil, turn to coat. Cover with cling wrap and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2-3 hours. Press it with your finger to see if it’s done; an indent should remain.

Remove the dough from the bowl, divide in half and shape each half into a ball. This quantity makes 2 small pizzas. Or leave as 1 ball for 1 large pizza.

Brush with more oil and set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat your barbecue to very high.

Stretch and shape the ball/s of dough into a rectangle or round – or any rustic shape! Brush the top/s with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest for 15 minutes. Place on the grill directly on the bars, oiled side down, and grill until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip over and grill for 1 minute longer.

Place the pizza/s on a baking tray and apply your toppings:

Scatter over cheddar cheese, spring onions, sliced pear, sliced artichoke hearts and crumbled blue cheese.

Return to the barbecue, turn down the heat  to medium, close the cover and cook until the cheese has melted and the pears are heated through, about 5 minutes.

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Remove from the barbecue and drizzle with the rosé and cranberry dressing and garnish with rosemary sprigs. Cut and serve immediately.

Rosé and Cranberry Dressing
Combine ¼ glass of rosé with a splash of caramelized balsamic, 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp of cranberry sauce and sea salt and black pepper to taste. You can vary these proportions to achieve the desired taste.

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