• Alex Danzig. Photo: Lior Gonen.
    Alex Danzig. Photo: Lior Gonen.
  • Pavlova Meringue. Photo: Adi Shilon
    Pavlova Meringue. Photo: Adi Shilon
Recipe

Alex Danzig’s Favorite Pavlova Meringue

Their favorite dish: Alex Danzig is a man of great depth, knowledge and wit. Adi Shilon makes the classic pavlova meringues for this class act

Alex Danzig knows everything. Regardless of the topic under discussion, Alex will have a deep understanding of it, especially if the topic is history, Poland or women’s volleyball.  

Born in Poland in 1948, Alex moved to Israel with his parents at the age of 9 and settled in the Yad Eliyahu neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Fifty years ago, his life changed when he joined the Hashomer Hatzair youth movement. There he met his best friends, Sa’id Moshe and Eli Margalit, and together, the three carved their path and landed in kibbutz Nir Oz. Over the years, Alex worked as a farmer, a history teacher at the local school and was a member of the Hashomer Hatzair leadership.

In 1989 he visited Poland and fell in love with his birth place all over again, reconnecting with his roots. Upon his return to Israel he dedicated his time and talents to forging connections between Israeli and Polish people, Christians and Jews. For thirty years Alex initiated and led youth trips to Poland, mentored the trip guides and developed a curriculum that focused on teaching young adults about WW2. He focused on the history of European Jews prior to the war with an emphasis on the rich culture and beauty of his native homeland.

Alex’s home is an expression of love for the written word. Thousands of books in Hebrew and Polish fill its shelves, closets and corners. His love for sports in no different. Specifically sports that Polish athletes excel in, for example, women’s volleyball and ski jumping. Alex is exceptionally funny and enjoys toying around with words, making up his own, which quickly catch on with his four kids, twelve granddaughters and one grandson.

Alex Danzig was kidnapped to Gaza by Hamas from his home in Nir Oz on October 7th.

Sa’id Moshe and Eli Margalit (Churchill), his best friends since for more than fifty years, were murdered.

Ingredients for Pavlova Meringue

For the meringue:

  • 6 egg whites (6.3 oz/180 grams)
  • Salt
  • lemon
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) Sugar
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) cornstarch

For Sabina Waldman's cheese mousse:

  • 7 oz (200 grams) cream cheese or mascarpone
  • 8.8 oz (250 grams) sweet cream
  • 3.5 oz (100 grams) confectioner's sugar
  • vanilla extract (or cardamom)
  • and also seasonal fruit of your preference and mint leaves

Instructions

Prepare the meringue kisses:

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 200F (90C) degrees.

  • 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt and a few drops of lemon juice. Once a foam begins to form, slowly add the sugar and cornflour with the mixer running. Continue whipping at high speed until a stable meringue is formed. It takes about five minutes.

  • 3. Arrange the kisses on a baking sheet lined with greased parchment paper with either a piping bag or an ice cream scoop. If a hollow is not formed in the center naturally, make one with a spoon. Bake for about three hours.

  • 4. Towards the end of baking, whip all the mousse ingredients for about two minutes, in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until you get a stable and airy cream with a yogurt-like texture. Transfer to the refrigerator to set for at least half an hour.

  • 5. Assemble the pavlova close to the time you want to serve. The mousse can wait in the fridge and the gently covered meringue at room temperature. Place or sprinkle a nice amount of cream on each, arrange the fruit, herbs and whatever else you like on top.

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This recipe is part of Adi Shilon’s “Their Favorite Dish” project, which tells the story of 60 abductees through the recreation of their favorite recipe for a pastry or dessert. For all the details and additional recipes in the project.

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