Pavlova is standard dessert fare at many Australian gatherings. The classic Pavlova is a dessert consisting of a crisp, light meringue base topped with fruit and cream. Most often the centre of the meringue is of a ‘marshmallowy’ consistency. However Pavlova can be stacked in layers, mini Pavlovas, or lightly baked and rolled with a filling.

The meringue can be flavoured with nuts, spices, chocolate, cocoa or coffee powder and filled with custard, mousse, Bavarian cream, mascarpone, fruit curd or yogurt. For my first attempt at making this famous Australian dessert, I made plain meringue with lemon curd filling, topped with fresh strawberries and chopped pistachios.



For the Pavolva

4 egg whites, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup / 225g / superfine sugar

3 teaspoons / 8g cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon white vinegar

For the Passion Fruit Curd

150ml strained passion fruit pulp

2 tablespoons of passion fruit seeds

20ml / 1 metric tablespoon lemon juice

170g / 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped

200g / 9/10 cup caster sugar

3 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks

For the Chantilly Cream

300ml / 1 1/4 cups / 10 fl oz full fat cream

16g / 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

5ml / 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Pavlova Assembly

2 green kiwi fruit + 2 gold kiwi fruit, sliced

1/3 cup shredded coconut, toasted


  • Preheat the oven 135°C / 275°F and prepare a large flat tray by lining it with non-stick baking paper.
  • Beat egg whites until they are foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat egg whites till soft peaks form.

  • Continue beating while gradually adding sugar 1 tablespoon at a time till meringue is thick and glossy.
  • Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still gritty with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves.

  • Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and gently fold in the sifted cornstarch followed by the vanilla.
  • Add the vinegar and pile the mixture onto the baking paper lined flat tray into a 20cm/ 8-inch circle.

  • Hollow out the centre a little and bake the pavlova for about 1 1/4 hours. Cool in oven with door ajar.
  • If your oven runs hot and the pavlova is colouring, simply lower the temperature by 5 or 10 degrees.

  • Store the cooled pavlova in an air-tight container. Meanwhile prepare the passion fruit curd filling.
  • For passion fruit curd, in a medium saucepan place passion fruit pulp, lemon juice, butter and sugar.

  • Cook the mixture over medium heat till the butter has melted and the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • In a bowl place eggs and additional egg yolks and whisk eggs until combined. Whisk the eggs slowly.

  • Pour whisked eggs into the passion fruit mixture. It is important to keep whisking while you do this.
  • Strain the passion fruit curd mixture through a sieve back into the saucepan to remove any ‘eggy’ bits.

  • Add passion fruit seeds and continue to cook over a low to medium heat until mixture has thickened.
  • It should coat the back of a spoon. Once mixture has cooled, place in a sterilized jar and store in fridge.

  • The curd will last for a couple of weeks in the fridge. For the Chantilly cream, combine all ingredients.
  • Using a hand whisk or electric whisk, beat the whipping cream in a stainless steel, glass or china bowl.

  • It is whipped properly when it is still soft and billowy but holds its shape when the whisk is withdrawn.
  • Once the cream is whipped, cover it and store in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the pavlova.

  • Remove baking paper from pavlova and place on a serving tray.  Spread the Chantilly cream over top.
  • Drizzle with as much of the curd as you like, decorate with kiwi fruit and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

  • Cut the pavlova into wedges and serve with extra passion fruit curd if desired. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
  • Pavlova cannot be frozen. Assemble right before serving and if you have any leftovers, store in fridge.

Daring Bakers August Challenge

It told me a while to get my hands on frozen puff pastry; it seemed that all my usual stores and supermarkets had run out of the stuff right when I needed it. Of course, I could make my own from scratch but after one has been through the gruesome experience of being on call almost every alternate night over the past month, one tends to resort to laziness and shortcuts to get things done. I finally got round baking these beauties on my mum’s birthday and they make a really beautiful edible ‘bouquet’ of red roses for someone who loves both food and flowers. The recipe, from Cooking with Manuela, can be tweaked to include other fruits like plums or peaches if you don’t care for apples and the baked roses should be eaten on the same day as the puff pastry looses its crispness if stored for too long.



1 frozen puff pastry sheet

2 large red organic apples

Juice of half a medium lemon

1 tablespoon flour, for dusting

3 tablespoons apricot preserve

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Powdered sugar, for dusting


  • Thaw the puff pastry for about 20 to 30 minutes. Prepare a bowl with some water and the lemon juice.
  • Cut the apples in half and remove the cores. Cut the apples into paper thin slices but leave the peel on.

  • Right away, place the sliced apples in the bowl with lemon and water, so that they do not change color.
  • Microwave the apples for about 3 minutes, to make them slightly softer or simmer them in a small pan.

  • Unwrap the puff pastry over a clean, lightly floured counter. Using rolling pin stretch the dough a little.
  • Try to keep the rectangular shape. Cut the dough in 6 strips. These are about 2 in x 9 in (5 cm x 22 cm).

  • Combine apricot preserve with two tablespoons of water in a bowl and microwave for about one minute.
  • Spread the preserve on the dough. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Drain the apples.

  • Place the apples on the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon. Now fold up the bottom part of the dough.
  • Carefully roll, seal the edge, and place in a greased muffin cup and repeat the same steps for all 6 roses.

  • Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 40 to 45 minutes until the pastry is fully cooked on the inside.
  • Remove immediately from the muffin cups and leave to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack before serving.

Cinnamon Apple Roses

If you need a recipe to use up the last bottle of golden syrup at the back of your kitchen drawer before its due date, this might be what you are looking for. Adapted from Frugal Feeding, it makes a dense, slightly chewy cake, which is deeply infused with the delicate flavour of Lyle’s Golden Syrup without being overly sweet. If you are still left with some syrup after this cake, you can always put it into good use – for pouring over pancakes and porridge at breakfast or for drizzling over salads and fruit desserts or even for a touch of sweetness in marinades and cocktails – right down to the very last drop of this precious liquid gold.



125ml golden syrup

25g muscovado sugar

110g unsalted butter

2 eggs, room temperature

200g self-raising flour

50g ground almonds

1-2 tablespoons milk


  • Preheat oven to 170oC. Grease a 15cm round baking pan and line the base with parchment paper.

  • Melt together golden syrup, muscovado sugar and butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat.

  • Beat in the eggs, one by one, until well incorporated. Carefully fold in ground almonds and flour.

  • Use spatula to fold milk into the batter and spoon mixture into the prepared pan and level its top.

  • Bake cake for around 45 minutes or until golden brown and skewer comes out clean from centre.

  • Leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning out. Cut into wedges, enjoy with ice cream. Serves 12.

Golden Syrup Cake

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