The Florence one-day cooking classes are working harder and harder. This fills us with pride and desire to keep going on what we do. It’s not just about love for cooking and passing on know-how.
In fact, the most important thing is the incredible adventure that awaits us every time in meeting new people. 10 years ago I started working as a cooking teacher and private chef around the villas of Tuscany. At that time I did not imagine how important certain characteristics are to the detriment of others. Since I’m a sociologist, I love mankind in general and empathize with others. The relationship that is created with our customers is something special. And I think it is the aspect that enriches me most of this work.
Memories from our Florence one-day cooking classes
Among the Florence one-day cooking classes I can not forget that one month ago. Customers from San Francisco and dance fans were in Florence for a ballet. Well, when they contacted us to ask for a cooking class, I immediately offered them the Pavlova cake as a dessert. They made a complete Italian meal, fresh pasta based. Well, to end with this fantastic and elegant cake, deeply related to the dance world.
Furthermore in December, here in Tuscany, we have wonderful lemons. That’s why I proposed to my clients from the USA the Pavlova version with lemon curd instead of fresh fruit. Among other things, lemons come directly from my lemon tree. Thanks to them I make my famous “Limoncello” liqueur and the best lemon bars!
This dessert seems of Russian origins, but it contends between Australia and New-Zealand.
Pavlova’s biographers established two versions:
- Chef Bert Sachse invented this cake in Australia in 1935
- A chef (we don’t know the name) made this delicacy, around 1926, to offer it to the Russian dancer Anna Pavlova, at that time on tour in Oceania.
The chef (whoever he was) was impressed by the grace and elegance of the dancer, and by the white that enveloped every appearance on stage.
The Pavlova cake, in fact, provides a cloud of meringue as a base, white, soft and elegant, just like Anna’s tutu. Over this voluptuous meringue, a lush whipped cream, and lastly delicious fresh fruit.
Although many studies on the origin of this cake, there is no scientific evidence of how it was born.
Anyway, one thing is certain: after various international disputes, today the meringue cakes with fruit are considered “a popular dessert of New Zealand and Australian cuisine”.
Professor and anthropologist Helen Leach of the University of Otago, New Zealand, gathered the largest library of cookbooks that contains the story of Pavlova cake. There are 667 recipes and 300 different sources.
In fact, you can prepare the Pavlova cake in many varieties, just like the dance repertoire of Anna Matveyevna Pavlova’s performances.
That’s why, whatever your version, you’ll never risk betraying the essence of this fantastic recipe.
Lesson learned from our Florence one-day cooking classes
The Pavlova is a dessert that provides a base already in itself free of gluten, milk, and lactose as made with meringue!
So, the recipe version that you find below is suitable for all those who they have problems with these allergens.
Summing up: the Pavlova is a really easy and fast recipe, but please pay attention to details, because everything depends on your personal good-taste.
Make the lemon curd one day before, here you can FIND MY RECIPE
Toast almond flakes 3 minutes, they’ll give an amazing flavor but also a very nice appearance to your cake
Use 4 tsp of whipped egg whites to stick the baking paper to a baking tray: you’ll be sure it won’t move.
- 4 egg whites room temperature
- 1 cup (225gr) caster sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 lemon
- ⅔ cup (50gr) flaked almonds
- 1¼ cup (300ml) double cream
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Heat the oven 375°F (180°C)
- Lightly beat the egg whites and begin to add the sugar, 1 spoon at a time, always turning the whips until the end.
- Make the meringue fit well until it is firm and shiny.
- Add the starch, the grated peel of 1 lemon and 2 teaspoons of juice.
- Pour the mixture on baking paper creating a circle and leveling with the back of a spoon.
- If you see irregular peaks it's ok, they are just a feature of this cake!
- Bake and lower the temperature to 300°F (150°C)
- Keep in the oven for about 1 hour.
- After this time, turn off the oven, open the door a little and leave the cake inside until it cools.
- Whip the cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar and place in the fridge
- Once the cake is cool, pour on the lemon curd and, over it the whipped cream
- Sprinkle with almond flakes
- Enjoy it!