Does Pavlova travel well?
I've been tasked with making the birthday "cake" for a member of our office team who does not eat gluten and hates coconut. I'm thinking about making a Pavlova -- baking the meringue the day before, transporting the sliced strawberries and whipped cream in separate containers and assembling the whole thing on site. Will the meringue stay crisp over night? What should I store it in?
Or can anyone suggest a festive gluten free cake-like thing that doesn't have coconut in it and doesn't requite the purchase of 9 different flour substitutes?
Thanks so much!
The meringues will keep OK overnight, but they are rather fragile. You could try a dacquoise instead, which is nut meringues (though you could do plain if all nuts are out) layered with buttercream. Make a day or two ahead, and the little bit of moisture in the buttercream soaks into the meringue and softens it slightly. Along these lines: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
The meringues can also be layered with various mousses but will soften even more. And of course if the birthday person likes chocolate there are tons of flourless chocolate cake options. If you have The Cake Bible, I like her Cocoa Souffle Roll, and dust the oiled pans with cocoa instead of flour to make it GF. I fill it with white chocolate whipped cream and cover it in ganache to make faux (and way better!) ho-hos.
re: babette feasts
OOH! Great ideas! You have kicked my imagination back into gear!! I am leaning toward something strawberry-based, as we should be at the peak of our very short and delicious strawberry season here in VT when the event rolls around...but now I'm thinking about nutty things too...luckily no nut allergies in the office!!
I love pavlova with strawberries and WC. CI gave me a great trick to make WC more interesting, grind lemon zest with sugar add to cream and let sit overnight, strain and whip or Martha makes a killer caramel WC, make caramel mix into cream refrigerate overnight and whip. Simple is best, never try to over complicate it. Nigella makes a great orange cake with almond flour....you really do have lots of options.
Cheesecake would be great - you can make a nut crust or use crushed GF cookies or graham crackers, and choose a flavor combination that the honoree loves.
Otherwise I'd do a flourless chocolate layer cake with a filling of custard, whipped cream, or mousse.