Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Rhubarb & Ginger Pavlova & A Taste of the British Isles BBQ

When it comes to BBQ you really have to strike when the proverbial iron is hot and the sun is shining. Forward planning never seems to work with the unpredictability of British weather. I slightly threw caution to the wind last Friday by planning a BBQ with friends for the Sunday. If al fresco eating wasn't going to be on the cards we could at least do the cooking outdoors and the eating indoors. Marks & Spencer provided me with a selection of goodies from their recently launched Tastes of The British Isles range (21st century twists on UK classics) so the main event was sorted but I needed a desert. I have long been coveting a Kitchen Aid stand mixer and finally bit the bullet, splashed the cash and got myself one. The colour is Ice Blue and most importantly it matches my kitchen perfectly. Time to put it to good use.


Rhubarb & Ginger Pavlova



RHUBARB & GINGER PAVLOVA



Ingredients

4 Free Range Egg Whites
200g Caster Sugar

500g Rhubarb
50g Soft brown Sugar
4 Tbsp Stem Ginger Syrup
2 Balls Stem Ginger
600ml Double Cream
Rhubarb Curd (optional)
Crystallised Ginger to decorate (optional)

Method
Preheat your oven to 100c fan.
Place the egg whites in a large clean bowl and use an electric whisk or stand mixer at the highest setting to beat them until stiff.
Then add the sugar a teaspoonful at a time until it is all incorporated. 
Pipe or spoon your meringue onto a sheet of baking paper/silicone. Use a wee blob of mix to stick the sheet to the tray. 
Bake for 2 hours then switch off the heat and leave the Pavlova to cool in the oven.

Cut the rhubarb into chunks and place in a saucepan with the sugar, 3 Tablespoons of the Stem Ginger Syrup and two finely chopped balls of Stem Ginger. Cook over a gentle heat for approx 15 minutes until soft but not too mushy. Set aside an leave too completely cool.
Whip the cream into soft peaks. At this point I stirred through a few tablespoons of my homemade Rhubarb Curd plus a further Tablespoon of ginger syrup. Alternatively you could strain some juice off the rhubarb mixture and incorporate it.
Pipe or spoon the cream into the Pavlova base then top with the Rhubarb & Ginger mixture and finally decorate with crystallised ginger.

Pavlova Kitchen Aid

With pudding sorted it was time to get the BBQ goodies ready. I removed the stalks and stuffed Chestnut Mushrooms with Welsh Cashel Blue Cheese and wrapped Wye Valley Asparagus in Air Dried Cumbrian Style Ham. Both of these are firm favourites when we are barbecuing. I cooked the mushrooms on a Sizzle & Serve platter from Judge Cookware. I can see this durable cast iron platter with its heat resistant maple wood serving stand having a multitude of uses. It worked really well on the BBQ preventing any mushrooms or melted cheese slipping through the grill bars and keeping the food hot when serving. The final side dish was Sweetcorn Wheels. These came with a smoked paprika, lime and sour cream dressing which I completely forgot to add before serving. It's still sat in the fridge! 

M&S A Taste of the British Isles BBQ

Breads and condiments came next. We had Flatbreads, Ultimate BBQ Buns and PoshPuppies Rolls. The flatbreads were really good, particularly warmed on the BBQ before serving. Absolutely loved the brioche style PoshPuppies Rolls which were perfectly sized to match the PoshPuppies sausages. The Sweetcorn & Flameroasted Burger Relish was a big hit with both adults and kids. Being a Gin aficionado I couldn't resist the Cucumber, Gin and Mint Relish even although it is recommended for salmon & trout. I'll be giving it a more fuller fishy taste test in due course.

M&S A Taste of the British Isles BBQ

Pre BBQ nibbles consisted of multicoloured Best of British Potatoes Crisps which proved to be a really talking point. These were dipped in Cornish Cruncher & Apple Dip and Pea and Mint Dip. The pea and mint was vibrant and delicious and it's bowl was scraped clean. To wash everything down we quaffed on Sparkling British Apple & Cucumber Presse and British Elderflower & Cucumber Cordial. Both were fantastically refreshing and had a real taste of summer. I suspect a splash of the cordial would work really well in a glass of Prosecco. Our "desert wine" was a bottle of British Rhubarb & Ginger Presse. The perfect match for my Pavlova. The gorgeous green and cream tableware is the Eden range from Premier Housewares. Perfect for picnics and BBQ's as it's made of Bamboo so is light, durable and easy to clean. Much more stylish looking than plastic or paper plates and bamboo has inherent anti-bacterial qualities as well as being a renewable resource.

M&S A Taste of the British Isles BBQ

What is it with men when it comes to cooking on a BBQ? Don't lift a finger in the kitchen all year but become all cave man like and territorial when the sun comes out and they don an apron and brandish BBQ tools. With all the hard work done Foodie Loon was in charge of the cooking. The Cumberland Whorl with Apple, Cider and Mustard Glaze both looked and tasted impressive. The Chorizio Burgers had a real spicy kick about them which took you by surprise but made you want another bite. The PoshPuppies sausages were a great size and tasted really meaty. All the kids loved them too. I skewered Coconut Chicken Escalopes and Ginger Beer Chicken Escalopes along with slices of pepper and red onion. Always best to be extra careful with chicken to ensure its properly cooked through on the BBQ. I had a couple of Gefu Twinco BBQ Skewers from Haus which did the job really well. These have twin prongs so solve the perennial skewering problem of rotating food. They also have an integrated slider to easily remove the cooked food. No more battling with forks, fingers and red hot skewers.


M&S  A Taste of the British Isles BBQ

M&S A Taste of the British Isles BBQ

Rhubarb & Ginger Pavlova



On the day the weather really wasn't too bad. It could best be described as mixed with sunny spells. Too windy to sit outside but warm enough for all the kids to play out. The best part of the day typically came in the evening when all our guests had left. All the BBQ food went down really well with very little leftovers or cremated casualties and the Rhubarb  and Ginger Pavlova rounded things off perfectly. Fingers crossed for further al fresco dining opportunities in the coming months. That's assuming we actually get a summer this year! 



Judge Sizzle & Serve, Gefu Twinco Skewers
M&S A Taste of the British Isles BBQ
Eden Bamboo Tableware Premier Housewares

Disclosure - I was provided with BBQ food from Marks & Spencer, Eden Tableware from Premier Housewares, a Sizzle & Serve Platter from Judge Cookware and Gefu Twinco Skewers from Haus for the purposes of this post. All views expressed are my own. This is not a paid post.


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28 comments :

  1. Now that's what I call a BBQ! The skewered coconut chicken escalopes sound so tasty! :)

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    1. Thanks Sarah! The Coconut Chicken was one of my favourites and worked really well on the skewers.

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  2. I keep meaning to pop into M&S to pick up some of that Gin & Cucumber Relish! Glad the KitchenAid is getting a good workout - lovely colour!

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    1. I've now tried the Gin & Cucumber Relish with Salmon and it works really well. I'm sure Fanny would approve.

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  3. Look at that fantastic feast, and such a gorgeous pudding to finish it all off with! Beautiful! I'm intrigued by the size of your BBQ - is this a home made creation?

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    1. Nope, its just a regular gas BBQ, I guess its on the large side but not as huge as some I've seen.

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  4. Wow - what an amazing barbecue! I've seen the M&S range and it looks great. But Gin and Cucumber Relish??? WOW.

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    1. There are so many tasty sounding things in the M&S Tastes of the British Isles Range but I just had to have the Gin & Cucumber Relish, despite it not really going with anything on the BBQ!

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  5. That is some serious BBQ you had there, what a treat. Even better when it is followed by rhubarb & ginger pavlova :)

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    1. When we have friends round for a BBQ I always go all out, I do the prep then relax with a drink whist Foodie Loon cooks.

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  6. Our Rhubarb plant has turned into a monster. :) I'm in the middle of cooking with it now, and this recipe is going to come in handy!

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    1. My Rhubarb didn't do at all well and I only got a couple of stalks per season but I've moved it to a different part of the garden and now its a monster!

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  7. Wow! What a feast!! So much food. I love it! I love the rhubarb and ginger combo. It's perfection as is your pretty pavlova. A brilliant entry to Simply Eggcellent. Thanks for linking x

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    1. Thanks Dom, I still reckon you need a sweet treat even after a big BBQ and pavlova fitted the bill perfectly.

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  8. This looks amazing! I love rhubarb

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    1. Thanks Jo, me too. I will always choose a rhubarb desert if its on the menu.

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  9. The pictures are amazing! I love BBQs! Congrats on finally getting yourself a kitchen aid mixer, I really want one but they're like 500 pounds here SO expensive! Rhubarb ginger pavlova is something I definitely want to try!

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    1. Thanks Diana. The Kitchen Aid has been a long time coming but I decided to finally just go for it and so far I'm pleased that I did.

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  10. My mouth is watering! The pavlova loves lovely, the combination of rhubarb and ginger...mmmm. And the asparagus wrapped in ham...oh I need to eat all of that now!

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    1. Both Rhubarb and Aspargus are definitely up there on my list of favourite foods.

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  11. Looks fabulous.. perfect for the summer month.. thanks for sharing

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    1. Thanks Farha, the rhubarb season doesn't last long so just hope we get some summer to enjoy it.

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  12. I'm loving this Rhubarb & Ginger Pavlova combo as I imagine the tartness of the rhubarb is perfectly offset by the sweetness of the meringue:-)

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    1. Exactly that Camilla, its a perfect combination of sharp and sweet.

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  13. Rhubarb and ginger must be one of my all time favourite combinations, I must try this pavlova before the rhubarb fully goes out of season!

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    1. I'm sure there is a rule for when you should stop harvesting Rhubarb but I just keep on going with mine!

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  14. This sounds delicious. I love a good pavlova!

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    1. Me too. Its one of my go to deserts to bring along for a sweet.

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