In an effort to convey the everyday cook's life, I feel morally obligated to include the bad with the good. Yesterday afternoon's baking was definitely a low point.
I've been sorta/kinda watching what I eat a bit - portion control at the very least. So, I wanted a new dessert option, something incorporated berries. Pavlova! It is fairly healthy - egg whites and sugar with berries and cream on top (I was opted for light Cool Whip to cut some calories there). I bought the berries and the Whip, and set about making mini pavlovas based on a random recipe I found.*
So, here are the egg whites, vinegar, vanilla, sugar, and eventually cornstarch whipping around:
There were problems from the start. I was out of sugar (I KEEP FORGETTING!) and used powdered sugar. I figured, no problem, it is finely milled sugar with some cornstarch right? So I reduced the cornstarch a bit. And I kept hitting the whipper in my mixer with whatever I was pouring in, so it would go flying around the kitchen. I had to wipe cornstarch off of about 3 square feet of wall.
So finally, the meringues are made. Into a low oven they go:
I turned off the heat about 35 minutes later. They weren't v. crispy, but I thought, maybe they'll set up after an hour in the cooling oven. Well, they didn't. And while I was making dinner, I decided, hey, why not flip the oven on for a bit and see if that helps. Well, it didn't. Mainly because I forgot I'd turned the oven on until I smelled burning sugar....
Oops. So, dessert was in the bin. I just ate the berries and Cool Whip and felt fine about it. Sigh.
*the recipe was not in any way at fault. Definitely user error.