We have a pet. Yes I’m aware that you’re not allowed pets in units, well not in our block anyway, but we did not bring out pet into our home she found us.
Her name is Bluey and she’s been with us for about two years.
Bluey is a Blue Tongue lizard.
According to my little bit of research, Bluey’s a she because she stays in a home base.
The men are wanderers who visit a few different ladies (bad men!).
We speak fondly of our little lizard although she’s been the cause of a few heart attacks over the years.
Just last week, overflowing washing basket in hand, I opened the door to walk outside and nearly stepped on her.
On our first meeting I was returning a lady beetle to the garden and came face-t0-face with Bluey.
I like having her around though.
Apparently she eats the bugs and keeps snakes away.
There’s a bit old dis-used stable behind our place so anyone to keep the snakes away is welcome.
I am glad that Bluey stayed away last weekend when we had our little 19 month-old niece to visit.
I’m pretty sure their meeting wouldn’t have been on great terms.
After a bit of play time outside after lunch, not meeting Bluey, I brought everyone in for dessert – choc-rapsberry pavlova stack.
If it wouldn’t turn me into an oompa loompa I could quite easily eat this for dessert every night. It’s that good.
There’s something about the choc-cream-berry combination that is always a winner.
Best you save it for special occasions.
It’s also really really easy to make and has very few ingredients.
Beat the egg whites with an electric beater until they form soft peaks.
Gradually add the caster sugar and keep beating until the meringue is thick and glossy.
I used to think that you could over-beat meringue and so never got it to the pretty glossy stage.
It’s so much better if you do.
Another trick is to rub a little between your fingers. If it’s grainy then you need to beat it a little longer.
Take the bowl off the stand and fold in the sifted cocoa.
You can free-hand/spread this or use a little stencil.
I traced around my loaf tin on the underside of the baking paper so I’d have a guide line to keep all three layers the same size.
As long as they’re even it doesn’t matter how you do it. You can make them any shape you like too.
Feel free to go crazy and make a circle or square.
Bake them for 40 minutes at 130C fan-forced.
The have to cool in the oven with the door just open a little bit so make sure you don’t make them just before you want to cook dinner or use the oven for something else.
They take about 3 hours to cool completely.
Here they are after a couple of hours cooling off.
You can make the meringue a few days in advance and keep it in an airtight container.
It can actually last weeks as long as you store it correctly.
To construct it, lay down the first layer of meringue then spread it with 1/3 of the whipped cream and 1/4 of the raspberries.
Repeat with the second layer.
Cover the top with the rest of the raspberries and serve immediately. I can’t really tell you how many this serves.
There were four of us. I served it in the middle of the table and we all had modest serves.
Somehow over the course of the afternoon extra slithers were dished out and then the odd spoon would dive in for an extra mouthful.
Let’s just say the plate only needed a rinse, not a scrape to clean it.
What about you? Do you have any pets that you didn’t invite into your home?
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 400ml whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 200g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- Pre-heat the oven to 130C fan-forced and line two baking trays with paper.
- Draw 3 rectangles on the underside of the paper (I traced around a loaf tin).
- Beat the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Add the caster sugar a little at a time and beat until the meringue is thick and glossy.
- Take the bowl off the stand and fold in the sifted cocoa.
- Divide the mixture between the three rectangles and smooth out the tops.
- Bake for 40 minutes and then open the oven door a tiny bit, turn off the oven and leave the meringue to cool completely in the oven.
- Beat the cream until soft peaks form then add the vanilla and icing sugar and beat until it holds its shape.
- To serve, place one meringue on a serving platter, top with 1/3 of the cream and 1/4 of the raspberries.
- Repeat with the next layer and decorate the top with raspberries.
- Serve immediately.