I was somewhat relieved to see 2010 go. It was one of the toughest years of my life and I'm excited to see what 2011 has in store for me. I thought I'd see the year out with those nearest and dearest to me - a group of old friends and my two gorgeous godsons.
We had a BBQ planned at my house, so I set about making some treats for my guests to enjoy.
First was the punch. The last time I drank punch was NYE seven years ago, and it was the most potent brew I've ever tasted. I wanted to ensure my punch still had a bit of a buzz (it's new years, let your hair down!) but still tasted delicious.
Kel's New Years Fizz-olution
1 litre pineapple juice
1 bottle of white sparkling wine (I used Yellowglen White - you don't need anything fancy!)
500ml vodka (I used Smirnoff)
1 litre lemonade
Loads of ice (I froze berries into some of my ice cubes)
Assorted fruit, sliced (I used raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, apricots and lemon)
Mix it all together and serve in a punch bowl.
For dessert, I decided to make Eton Mess. It's a pavlova without the stress. Will it hold its shape? Will it be sufficiently meringue-ey on the inside and crisp on the outside? Who cares! It's Eton Mess! :D
I made my own meringues but feel free to use store bought if you're in a hurry.
4 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 120 celsius/100 fan forced and line baking trays with baking paper. Whip egg whites until frothy. Start gradually adding sugar and cream of tartar.
Beat until glossy and the sugar has dissolved (test this by rubbing a little mixture between your fingers - if it's grainy you need to beat it a little more).
Spoon mixture onto prepared baking trays (my meringues were a couple of tablespoons worth). Place in preheated oven and reduce temperature to 90 celsius/80 fan forced. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until meringues sound hollow when lightly tapped. Allow to cool in oven for a few hours then transfer to an airtight container.
Assembling the Mess
Beat 300ml cream to stiff peaks, adding one teaspoon of vanilla bean paste/seeds of one vanilla bean.
Break meringues into 3cm pieces, add whipped cream and assorted fruits (I used passionfruit, raspberries, strawberries and apricots). Fold mixture together and spoon into glasses or a serving dish. Enjoy!