Monday, 2 December 2013

An Advent Calendar for Karen

Hello audience, a lot of you have been sent here by the lovely Tamara from Confessions from a part-time working mom, and others have probably stumbled here by accident while trying to find whatever high brow stuff normal people look at while browsing the internet. (I personally prefer sites that feature toilet humor, but that definitely doesn't happen around here.)

There is nothing funny to be seen here at all.

But for those of you who know exactly why you're here (and even for the ones who don't) I was contacted by Tamara in mid November when she invited me and a heap of other bloggers to help her create an advent calendar for the lovely and ever so talented Karen from Baking in a Tornado. You see Karen never had the pleasure of owning an advent calendar as a child. Can you imagine not knowing the excitement that is that cardboard box with little windows full of tiny chocolates? When I was a kid that was the only way I knew how close we were to the big day. But being one of six kids we never actually got to eat much chocolate, it was one of the only times I wished my mum had stopped at two kids. (OK that's a lie, I always wished my mum had stopped at two.)

One pile each, that might have been almost enough to make me happy...

So today is my turn to make the chocolate to go behind the little window (and as with everything else I do, it must come with a long winded speech). I have wracked my brains for a whole ten minutes now, trying to come up with something that is special enough to give to one of the loveliest bloggers I know. I've decided since Karen is such a food lover, I'd give her a recipe straight out of a real Aussie Christmas. Now I don't use this recipe, as we are lazy chefs at my house and buy our meringue base pre-baked from Woolworths, but I have gotten it from the oldest recipe book in our house, The Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook, published in 1977, so you know this recipe is the real deal. For a real Australian taste at your next Christmas dinner, whip up this little beauty and impress your family and friends.


3 egg whites at room temperature (little tip, make sure the eggs are a few days old for really stiff peaks)
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup of castor sugar
1/4 cup of white sugar
1 tablespoon of cornflour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
500ml thickened cream (17 fluid ounces I think)
Fresh fruit to top (or if you're my family, peppermint chocolate and Cadbury Flake)

Pre-heat the oven to 90 degrees celsius if it is a gas oven or 160 degrees celsius if it is an electric oven (200 and 325 degrees farenheit)
Beat the egg whites and salt until they form stiff peaks
Add the caster sugar gradually, beating well between each addition
Combine the white sugar and cornflour and lightly fold into the meringue with the lemon juice
Spoon the mixture into a round cake dish and bake in the oven for 1 hour if it is a gas oven or 30 - 40 minutes if it is an electric oven
When the pavlova base is dry to the touch turn the oven off and leave the pavlova inside the oven to cool
When the pavlova is cool whip the cream and spread over the entire pavlova base
Decorate the top of the pavlova with soft fruit such as berries, kiwi fruit, bananas and/or chocolate.

Well now that I have revealed one of the things we have on our table every single Christmas, I hope you can all enjoy it too.  A big thank you to Tamara for setting this all up, and Merry Christmas Karen, two days down, twenty two days to go. Enjoy the rest of your calendar.


  1. That's wonderful, Erin - thanks so much! We have friends here in Switzerland who are huge Aussie fans, and last year for new year's eve they brought a pavlova. I think they told us the name comes from an figure ice skater or ballet dancer?

    1. That is absolutely true. The Pavlova was named after the ballerina Anna Pavlova in honor of one of her tours to either Australia or New Zealand. You know it's summer here when the pavlovas start appearing on the dinner table, it's always such an exciting sign.

  2. Once again I'm just overwhelmed with the kindness and the effort it took to put this all together for me. Thank you so much for the kind words, for sharing your traditions and for the beautiful recipe. I can't even tell you how this all makes me feel. ❤

    1. You are most welcome. It was the least I could do for you after everything you have done for all your blogger friends over the year. I'm glad you liked it.


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