For the Pavlova you need
125ml / 4 egg whites
15 ml lemon juice
250ml castor sugar
15ml boiling water (for coffee flavor add 15ml good quality instant coffee or espresso)
It is important to set the oven and prepare the baking tray before you begin mixing.
Swiss roll pan 36x25cm. Prepare the pan in advance. Line the pan with good quality baking paper. Lightly spray the paper with non-stick baking spray.
Oven: middle rack 150°C
To prepare the roulade
- Using a clean, dry mixing bowl and preferably an electric food mixer, beat egg whites until foamy
2. Add the salt and lemon juice
3. Continue whisking until nearly stiff peaks & then add castor sugar gradually, beating well until all the sugar has been added and the mixture is tick and glossy
4. Beat in boiling water
5. Gently fold in the sifted cornflour
6. Gently spoon onto baking tray and spread the meringue
7. Bake 25 mins.
8. Immediately ‘unmould’ the roulade on a clean sheet of paper on paper or a clean, dry dish towel.
9. Once it has cooled for a few minutes, roll it up lengthwise in the paper or towel, then immediately unroll it, leaving a slight ‘fold’. This makes it easier to roll once you add the filling.
10. Once it is completely cold, add the filling
Filling…. some basic ideas!
500ml chilled whipped cream
250ml chilled whipped cream mixed into 250ml crème patisserie (confectioner’s custard) This makes a more stable filling if you are going to make it in advance.
Use 2 thirds of the cream in the filling and either pipe or spoon the remaining cream on the top of the roll to hold the fruit
Flavour the cream as follows
Sweeten: bearing in mind that the meringue is sweet I prefer not to sweeten the cream, only the crème patisserie has some sugar
Vanilla always enhances the flavour of cream
A few spoons of lemon curd or soft jam may be added
Add 25ml of desired liqueur, Brandy or Whiskey; or a hint of rose water goes well with berries, but use cautiously, you don’t want it to taste of body lotion!
Sliced or diced fruit. Fruit must be cut small enough to make rolling easy.
Add some herbs or spice. Finely chopped mint is good with some fruits. If the dessert is for adults I sprinkle ground red or black pepper over the strawberries
Caramelized pear filling
1 large or 2 small cans pears, you can also use stewed fresh pears!
Drain the pear juice & reserve some to dilute the caramel
250 ml sugar
100ml cream for caramel
5ml flaked salt (optional)
3ml chilli flakes (optional for the adventurous!)
300ml cream for filling and topping
Optional: 80g pecans or walnuts, reserved ½ for decoration and roughly chop the rest
Drain the pears and set them aside
Heat the sugar in a saucepan until it melts and caramelizes; do not stir …. it will crystalise, if needed simply gently shake the pan or pot.
Once a rich golden colour is reached add the cream and 50ml pear juice. Be careful as it may splutter. Stir to form a rich caramel sauce. Add the pears to the caramel. If you are adding salt add it now.
Whisk the 30ml cream until thick. For the pear filling I like to flavour the cream with a pear liqueur or brandy.
Spread 2 thirds of the cream onto the roll. Arrange 2 thirds of the caramel coated pears on the cream.
Roll the pavlova
Spread or pipe the remaining cream on the top of the roll and arrange the pears on top. Drizzle the remaining caramel over.
If you have used chilli flakes add a few very thin slices of red chilli!