Great foodie gift ideas, plus a summer pavlova recipe

Are you searching for the perfect Christmas gift for the foodie in your life? Or perhaps you’re an avid cook yourself, always looking for the latest and greatest culinary inventions and gadgets. We’ve come up with our favourite kitchen-inspired products ideal for home chefs of all skill levels. From a personalised baking notebook, to cute geese measuring cups, and a handy cookbook holder, we have gift ideas guaranteed to please even the most hard-to-buy-for food lover.

But first, to get you in the spirit, we’ve found this decadent yet simple dessert recipe for you. Nothing says Australian Christmas more than a colourful berry-topped pavlova, like this one from Love to Cook, the new cookbook from leading food magazine delicious. Serve this pav as the finale to your festive feast and be prepared for the glowing compliments. Enjoy! (Scroll down for gift ideas.)

Fruit Pavlova_Love to Cook
Recipe: Valli Little; photography: Jeremy Simons; styling: David Morgan.

Giant pavlova with berries and salted caramel

Serves 8
The idea is to put this in the centre of the table and give everyone a spoon to dig in.

6 eggwhites
350g caster sugar
1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 tbs cornflour, sifted
1/3 cup (50g) icing sugar, sifted
600ml thickened cream
500g mixed berries

Salted caramel
2 1/2 cups (550g) caster sugar
300ml thickened cream (at room temperature)
1/2-1 tsp sea salt flakes, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 150ºC. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place eggwhite in the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed for 3-4 minutes to soft peaks. Add caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each to be incorporated before adding the next, whisking until mixture is glossy. Reduce speed to low, then add balsamic, cornflour and icing sugar, beating to combine. Spread mixture over the baking paper in a round or rectangle shape, making a slight indent in the centre. Reduce oven to 130ºC and bake meringue for 1 hour. Turn off oven and leave meringue in the oven, with the door ajar, for 1-2 hours until cooled completely. Remove from oven and place on a platter or serving board.
  3. Meanwhile, for the salted caramel, combine sugar with 1/2 cup (125ml) water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium and cook, without stirring, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush, for 8-10 minutes until a golden caramel forms. Remove from heat and pour in cream (be careful, as mixture will bubble, then seize). Return pan to low heat, add salt to taste and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
  4. To serve, whisk cream to soft peaks, then spread over meringue. Scatter over berries and drizzle with salted caramel.

Love to Cook (ABC Books, $39.99) from ABC Shops and Centres, ABC Shop online and bookstores.

Great gift ideas for food lovers

gifts for the cook
1. Set of 3 chopping boards, $94.  2. ‘English dinner’ apron, $39.95.  3.  Cookbook holder, $99.  4. ‘Weights and measures’ tea towel, $20.
1. ‘Espalier’ oven mitt, $22.  2. Personalised ‘mixer’ cooks notebook, $29.95.  3. Set of 3 bamboo kitchen utensils, $29.95.  4.  Ceramic geese measuring cups, $59.

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