Every New Year justifies a new beginning, and this year why not try a fancy dessert to help ring in the New Year you deserve? Below are presented two forms of dessert to help you celebrate 2015, one a decadent Pavlova and the other is a more sensible dessert of roasted honeyed plantains served over vanilla ice cream.
A Pavlova is a sweet, delicate dessert that originated in New Zealand. It was named for named for the famous ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova. It is a light fluffy marshmallowy meringue decorated with chocolate, strawberries and macadamia nuts. If you are looking for something special to wow your guests, this is the dessert for you.
However, should you be in the mood for a more healthful yet sweet dessert to celebrate 2015, Honey Roasted Plantains are the perfect thing for your table. Even thought they may look like bananas, plantains simply are not bananas. They are part of the same family, but a plantain is a vegetable not a fruit. They are commonly known as the potato of the Caribbean, because they are not very sweet and they are rather starchy. And you can’t eat plantains raw, they must be cooked first. In this recipe you need to boil them in their skins before slicing them. This may seem odd, but it will be just fine.
So, however you decide to celebrate, I wish you a Happy New Year.
New Year’s Macadamia Nut Pavlova
1½ Teaspoon Cornstarch
6 Egg Whites
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
1 Cup Sugar
4 Ounces Melted Chocolate
12 Strawberries, Quartered, or other berries that you prefer
¼ Cup New Zealand Macadamia Nuts, lightly toasted
8 Ounces of Whipped Cream
In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites and corn flour together. Add in the vinegar and vanilla and continue mixing.
Slowly add the sugar into the egg vanilla mixture. Continuing beating the mix on a high speed until soft peaks form.
Place a non-stick baking mat on a baking sheet. Spread mixture in a circle about 2-3 inches deep.
Place the baking sheet in a preheated 300 degree F. oven. Turn the oven off and bake for 1½ hours. Leave in oven until it is completely cool.
Melt the chocolate and decorate the Pavlova. Top the Pavlova with the strawberries and the toasted macadamia nuts on the melted chocolate and let sit for until the chocolate sets. Place a large dollop of whipped cream on the top of the Pavlova just before serving.
Honey Roasted Plantains over Vanilla Ice Cream
This recipe calls for Ice Cream, but should you be starting your new year’s diet and are a bit concerned about extra calories, you can leave out the Ice Cream and enjoy the Roasted Honey Plantains in a bowl on their own.
7 Very Ripe Plantains
1 ½ Cup Honey
½ Brown Sugar
3 Tablespoons Melted Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
Vanilla Ice Cream
Fresh Springs of Mint, to Garnish.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash the plantains but do not peel them yet. Heat up a pot of water and add the plantains with their skin still on. Let the water come to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and remove the plantains from the water and let them cool down.
Peel the plantains just like you would a banana and slice them lengthwise into strips. You can get about five or six strips per plantains. They will be soft enough to roll now, so take a slice of plantain and roll it on up and lay them in a buttered baking dish.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Combine the lime juice with the honey and add to the melted butter. Then pour the honey lime butter over the rolled up plantains.
Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Halfway through roasting, open the over and spoon the honey liquid over the plantain rolls. They will be done when the rolls are a nice golden color.
Serve in an ice cream dish with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.
Geoffrey is a trained chef and editor of BlazeVOX, a publisher of innovative fiction and poetry.