Pav-Lova Changes Everything – a gorgeous dessert inspired by the Lloyd Webber musical Aspects of PavLove.
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Aspects Of Love was the follow-up musical to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s monster hit, Phantom Of The Okra, and was a very different beast in terms of pace and style. Based on David Garnett’s novel of the same name, the show opened in London in April 1989 starring Michael Ball as young heroic studd-muffin, Alex Dillingham, who opens the show reminiscing on the impact of love (and pavlova) on his life with – yes, you guessed it – Love Changes Everything (a song that remained in the UK chart for what felt at the time like a very long 14 weeks!).
FLASHBACK to 1947 and his tryst with actress/cougar, Rose, spied on by his creepy uncle George (originally due to have been played by the late Roger Moore, who pulled out (stop sniggering…) two weeks before opening night).
FAST FORWARD two years and Rose has shacked up with uncle George, much to Alex’s disgust. Following an altercation, George retreats to his ex, Giulietta, only to be rejoined by Rose (who discovers her attraction to Giulietta…). Rose and George have a daughter who, [fast forward some more] as a teen, falls in love with Alex who then sleeps with Giulietta at George’s wake (SPOILER – oh, sorry, too late) and…. just listen to this and you’ll get the picture!
If after that you fancy something sticky, creamy and juicy in your mouth [too much?], how about a pavlova?!
This was my first… pavlova. I based it on a Nigella Lawson recipe that you can find here, although I changed the flavour from lemon to rhubarb and raspberry. Follow Nigella’s instructions, omitting the lemon juice and lemon rind, and substituting 2 tsp of distilled malt vinegar instead. I used a half quantity of my home-made rhubarb and raspberry curd that formed the basis of our recent Curd You Use Me post. You could omit the curd, but it does add a nice additional texture and flavour. I also used fresh raspberries and roasted rhubarb.
Chop the rhubarb into inch-long pieces and, on a lined baking tray, mix with about 3 tbsp demerara sugar (the type of sweetener is unimportant – the idea is just to take the edge off the sourness of the rhubarb). Bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes until the rhubarb is soft. Set aside to cool. Any juices can be mixed in with the curd.
Assemble the pavlova with a layer of curd on top of the meringue. If you have any unsightly squashed raspberries or annoyingly green bits of rhubarb, press these into the curd. Smother the curd layer with a thick coating of whipped cream and then decorate to your heart’s content with raspberries and rhubarb.
This recipe produced the most amazing marshmallowy meringue base and the fruit mix, curd and cream combination was a great success. You’ll soon discover that pavlova does change everything… and you’ll be back for (not at all sloppy) seconds.