Tropical fruit Pavlova
I love pavlova, and I don’t need to wait for summer to make it, but I do love the mango and passion fruit topping that comes with summer. I know that I broke with tradition by making it with tropical fruit instead of strawberries and cream but what can I say, I like to live dangerously. Yes, I know, I should have been a Bond girl. Well, I kinda like to think of myself as a KBG (Kitchen Bond Girl) whose adventures play out between the sink and the oven, where I have braved the perils of the knife rack, the gas burners and boiling seas of stew, super sharp skewers, ten tonne cauldrons, and red hot oven racks. Being too impatient or forgetful to protect my butter fingers in oven mitts I have burnt, blistered, scalded, slashed and sliced my digits and palms on many a mission to capture the perfect flavour or the ultimate dish. You’ll be happy to know that this pav will bring you no harm, this is no Dr No, this is Dr Yes, Yes, Yes! Pure pleasure guaranteed to make your taste buds get up and do a little dance of joy. Just follow the instructions for this mission, should you choose to accept it, and you will have a delicious pavlova which looks almost as good as Halle Berry emerging from the sea.
I urge you to read the recipe and the tips to get the pavlova just right. It is time consuming but it's for the fam...
Ready, take a deep breath, count to 3 and lets go......
221 g egg whites, about 7 large eggs - 225 mL
350 g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 ½ tsp white vinegar
1 teaspoon oil
Preheat oven to 150°C cut a piece of baking paper that's big enough to line a baking tray. Draw a circle in the middle that's 20 cm in diameter on the side you wont be putting the pavlova on. You don’t want to be putting the pavlova on lead. Grease the side you will be putting the pavlova on with about 1 teaspoon of oil.
Carefully break the eggs, separating the egg white straight into the whisking bowl, and the egg yolks into a small airtight container, taking care not to break the egg yolk. If you get any yolk into the egg white, you will have to throw out the egg white and start again, so be careful. Keep the egg yolks in the air tight container with a thin layer of water, to keep them moist, and make a delicious lemon or passionfruit tart. Recipes are on my blog ( under baking/sweet. )
Whisk the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. (roughly 10 minutes)
Lower the speed to just below medium speed and add the sugar, 1 tbsp at a time.
This will take between 10 -15 minutes, so be patient. Scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice during the whisking process.
Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed back to medium, and whisk the egg whites until the sugar has completely dissolved, and the egg whites are thick and glossy, and hold their shape well.
Continue to whisk while you combine the corn flour and vinegar in a small bowl. Add the corn flour mixture into the egg whites and increase the speed to fast. Allow the cornflour mixture to mix thoroughly into the egg whites for about 40-45 seconds.
Using a clean and dry spatula, scoop the meringue on to the greasy baking paper where you have drawn the circle. Pile the meringue in the middle of the circle.
Spread the meringue evenly on the drawn circle.
Once you have shaped the pavlova use the back of a spoon to create grooves along the sides of the pavlova, going from bottom to top.
Transfer the pavlova into the preheated oven, and immediately reduce the temperature to 110°C.
Bake the pavlova for 90 minutes. DON’T open the oven door while it’s baking.
After 90minutes, turn off the oven and allow the pavlova to cool down in the oven up to 6 hours or overnight.
1 cup whipping cream 35% fat
3 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 kiwi fruits peeled and chopped
1 mango peeled and chopped
Pulp from 2 passion fruits
Whip the cream, the sugar and the vanilla extract with an electric mixer until firm peaks form.
Spread the cream on top of the pavlova, and top it with the chopped up fruits. Drizzle passion fruit on top.
Tips and tricks
Make sure ALL your utensils are dry.
Do not use granulated sugar it doesn’t dissolve easily. You will be in the kitchen whisking for EVER . Use castor sugar.
Egg whites are easier to separate when the eggs are chilled, and whisk better at room temperature. So after separating the egg whites let them come to room temp before whisking.
Adding sugar too fast without letting it dissolve first, can cause the pavlova to weep after baking due to undissolved sugar crystals.
Add sugar 1 table spoon at a time, with 30 seconds between each table spoon, yep, it takes a little while but you will get a beautiful meringue.
A good way to check if the sugar has dissolved is by taking a small amount of meringue and rubbing it between your fingers. If it feels grainy then the sugar hasn’t completely dissolved but if you don’t feel any granules then the sugar has completely dissolved.
Whisking egg whites until the sugar completely dissolves can take between 20 - 30 minutes.