Video: Coffee pavlova recipe


I am working on some more writing-related things, and I encourage people who are here for the writing to go to the launch of Offshoots X (which includes my poem, Role Reversal) after the September 19 workshop but since Writing Cards and Letters finished I also have time to play with other things, such as video.

For my birthday this year, I made my favourite dessert… a New Zealand invention called a pavlova. It’s like a giant meringue which is soft in the centre. Since my friends often ask how to make one, I filmed myself making it in time-lapse mode. I also took photographs of the ingredients, mostly in multilingual Swiss packets, which might help people looking for the ingredients in French-, German- or Italian-speaking countries. I then added music and titles to create this video recipe:

Here’s a transcript:

For my birthday this year I made a pavlova, a typical New Zealand dessert. The typical New Zealand recipe involves buying one ready-made from the supermarket… but I live in Switzerland, so I used:

“Aunt Daisy’s” pavlova recipe on a fridge magnet. Extracts from this recipe will be in blue [My comments will be in black… or in square brackets in the transcript]

a small pinch of salt

one teaspoon white vinegar [I used balsamic because it’s what I had]

1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence [I used a teaspoon of coffee instead, for a coffee pavlova]

one teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)

3/4 cup caster sugr (berry sugar)

Note: do not use ordinary granulated sugar [I used raw caster sugar because it was easier to find. It’s also tastier in case I forget the vanilla. A mixture of normal sugar and icing sugar also works. My sister, who lost 80kg, says it’s fine with half NutraSweet.]

[0 cups Russian ballerina]

4 egg whites at room temperature [so, 4 eggs and a bowl to put the yolks in]

one cup heavy whipping cream

sliced and peeled kiwifruit, passionfruit, strawberries or seasonal berries to garnish

[An oven that does what I tell it. You can’t make pavlova in an oven that can’t get the temperature right.]

an oven tray with a sheet of cooking paper

an electric food mixer. The bowl should be clean and perfectly dry.

[Sound isolating earphones to block the noise of the beater; NOT to listen to music]

——

Separate the eggs. Beat egg whites. When soft peaks form, add sugar very gradually, putting in one dessertspoon at a time, sprinkling it across the surface with a good interval between additions. [(not actual speed)] Beat until very stiff (any undissolved sugar generally goes gummy and spoils the texture.) Continue beating.

[Beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it. Everyone will want to eat it. Beat in your sugar, beat your egg white. It will go gummy if it’s not right. Beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it. Everyone will want to eat it. Beat in your sugar, beat your egg white. It will go gummy if it’s not right. Introducing the latest in cakedancing: the spoonwalk.]

Add salt [{it goes a lot thicker at this point)] then vinegar and vanilla [for my coffee pavlova, this means coffee powder dissolved in a teaspoonful of water] a few drops at a time. Keep beating as you do so. Beat in the cornflour. Keep beating until the mixture is really glossy and will stand when cut with a knife [(or spoon)]. Draw a circle as a guide [yeah, right]. Tip the pavlova mix into the centre of the tray. Spread it with a spoon [(or knife)] into a round about 8-9in [(20-23cm)] across, leaving the centre slightly dished (concave). [My mother says to leave the centre convex, so I leave it flat and draw a smiley face.] Place on rack in centre of oven and cook for one hour.

[Then comes the best thing about making your own pavlova… cleaning the bowl and the beaters. If you don’t do this thoroughly enough, you’ll have to wash the remaining mixture off your hands and off the bowl.]

After the hour, turn the oven off and it’s crucial to leave the pavlova inside until the oven is cold. [(Oven pictured is empty, because I forgot to take pictures after this.)] Remove the pavlova from the oven [(here’s one I prepared earlier.)] Beat the cream. Top the pavlova with the whipped cream and nestle the fruit decoratively on top of the cream.

——

tripod

camera

mirror to photograph the camera

Mac to edit the video

Pavlova made by Angela Brett

Eaten by the people playing pass the parcel in the background and the one holding the camera

Video also made by Angela Brett, to try out iMovie ’09, and take revenge on the camera that once recorded an entire concert from a great angle, accidentally in time-lapse mode

Featured music:

I’m Having a Party by Jonathan Coulton

http://jonathancoulton.com

(used with Creative Commons license)

Tensor (Instrumentality) by Rob Rix

http://robrix.org/

(used with permission)

Barroco by Talking Cure

http://cyrille.lips.club.fr

(used with Creative Commons license)

Beat It by Michael Jackson

(used with chutzpah)

reverse, rinse, repeat

No disrespect is intended toward Michael Jackson, Anna Pavlova, Aunt Daisy, or any other dead or living person or chicken implicated in this video. If you liked the video, please do something nice to their heritors so that they don’t get upset with me.

When I made a coffee pavlova for my birthday this year, I filmed myself in time-lapse mode. I also took photographs of the ingredients, mostly in multilingual Swiss packets, which might help people looking for the ingredients in French-, German- or Italian-speaking countries. I then added music and titles to create this video recipe. Here’s a transcript:
For my birthday this year I made a pavlova, a typical New Zealand dessert. The typical New Zealand recipe involves buying one ready-made from the supermarket… but I live in Switzerland, so I used:
“Aunt Daisy’s” pavlova recipe on a fridge magnet. Extracts from this recipe will be in blue [My comments will be in black… or in square brackets in the transcript]
a small pinch of salt
one teaspoon white vinegar [I used balsamic because it’s what I had]
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence [I used a teaspoon of coffee instead, for a coffee pavlova]
one teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
3/4 cup caster sugr (berry sugar)
Note: do not use ordinary granulated sugar [I used raw caster sugar because it was easier to find. It’s also tastier in case I forget the vanilla. A mixture of normal sugar and icing sugar also works. My sister, who lost 80kg, says it’s fine with half NutraSweet.]
[0 cups Russian ballerina]
4 egg whites at room temperature [so, 4 eggs and a bowl to put the yolks in]
one cup heavy whipping cream
sliced and peeled kiwifruit, passionfruit, strawberries or seasonal berries to garnish
[An oven that does what I tell it. You can’t make pavlova in an oven that can’t get the temperature right.]
an oven tray with a sheet of cooking paper
an electric food mixer. The bowl should be clean and perfectly dry.
[Sound isolating earphones to block the noise of the beater; NOT to listen to music]
——
Separate the eggs. Beat egg whites. When soft peaks form, add sugar very gradually, putting in one dessertspoon at a time, sprinkling it across the surface with a good interval between additions. [(not actual speed)] Beat until very stiff (any undissolved sugar generally goes gummy and spoils the texture.) Continue beating.
[Beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it. Everyone will want to eat it. Beat in your sugar, beat your egg white. It will go gummy if it’s not right. Beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it. Everyone will want to eat it. Beat in your sugar, beat your egg white. It will go gummy if it’s not right. Introducing the latest in cakedancing: the spoonwalk.]
Add salt [{it goes a lot thicker at this point)] then vinegar and vanilla [for my coffee pavlova, this means coffee powder dissolved in a teaspoonful of water] a few drops at a time. Keep beating as you do so. Beat in the cornflour. Keep beating until the mixture is really glossy and will stand when cut with a knife [(or spoon)]. Draw a circle as a guide [yeah, right]. Tip the pavlova mix into the centre of the tray. Spread it with a spoon [(or knife)] into a round about 8-9in [(20-23cm)] across, leaving the centre slightly dished (concave). [My mother says to leave the centre convex, so I leave it flat and draw a smiley face.] Place on rack in centre of oven and cook for one hour.
[Then comes the best thing about making your own pavlova… cleaning the bowl  and the beaters. If you don’t do this thoroughly enough, you’ll have to wash the remaining mixture off your hands and off the bowl.]
After the hour, turn the oven off and it’s crucial to leave the pavlova inside until the oven is cold. [(Oven pictured is empty, because I forgot to take pictures after this.)] Remove the pavlova from the oven [(here’s one I prepared earlier.)] Beat the cream. Top the pavlova with the whipped cream and nestle the fruit decoratively on top of the cream.
——
tripod
camera
mirror to photograph the camera
Mac to edit the video
Pavlova made by Angela Brett
Eaten by the people playing pass the parcel in the background and the one holding the camera
Video also made by Angela Brett, to try out iMovie ’09, and take revenge on the camera that once recorded an entire concert from a great angle, accidentally in time-lapse mode
Featured music:
I’m Having a Party by Jonathan Coulton
(used with Creative Commons license)
Tensor (Instrumentality) by Rob Rix
(used with permission)
Barroco by Talking Cure
(used with Creative Commons license)
Beat It by Michael Jackson
(used with chutzpah)
reverse, rinse, repeat
No disrespect is intended toward Michael Jackson, Anna Pavlova, Aunt Daisy,
or any other dead or living person or chicken implicated in this video. If you liked the video, please do something nice to their heritors so that they don’t get upset with me.

So, how did I find iMovie ’09? I’d previously used up to iMovie ’06, so I was skipping a version, though I’m not sure how much difference that made since iMovie ’09 has a completely different interface. I found it pretty frustrating for several reasons:

  • I couldn’t copy and paste entire titles (which would have been useful for the multiple ‘beat it’s, and in other places) and copying the text from the titles did not copy the transparency of the colour. That said, all of these titles would have been even more fiddly to add and edit in iMovie ’06.
  • The only way I could find to change the length of time a still image showed for, other than cutting a clip (which would have altered the Ken Burns effect) was to type in a duration. But more often than not, iMovie would immediately change the duration to something else; I’d type 3.2 seconds, it’d change it to 3.1 seconds, and so on. So it was impossible to get the clips lining up perfectly with the music. Also, although there is a feature to line up beats in the music with videos, this doesn’t help much with still pictures.

Apart from that, though, it was fun. I’d never created a video with many titles and Ken-Burnsing still photos in the earlier versions, and I’ve never created a more ‘usual’ video-made-mostly-of-video-clips in this iMovie, so I can’t really use these problems as a basis for judging iMovie ’09 or comparing it with previous versions.

I didn’t put a Creative Commons thingy at the end of this video because it would be complicated to explain… basically, the parts I did, and the CC-licensed music I used, are all under pretty much the same license as the rest of this blog, however the music to the ‘Beat It’ part in the middle (from a MIDI I found on the internet of a song by Michael Jackson) obviously can’t be covered by this since I probably wasn’t allowed to use it to begin with.I couldn’t resist. Sosumi.

Bon appétit!

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