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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
Oh dear! I have been neglecting the blog lately because so many things had to be taken care of this month. The success of my 7-day ‘Tour de Maurice’ required days of detailed planning, hotel bookings, phone calls, reading trip advisor reviews, browsing through several tourist brochures, making to-do and to-see checklists, scanning restaurant menus and negotiating for the best deals within my limited time frame. Travelling from home to places I had only seen on maps and meeting people from all walks of life was an exciting adventure I had always been looking forward to.
From Day1 I started this beautiful journey around the coastal roads of Mauritius, stopping to visit hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, churches, beaches and many places of interest I had never been to. My first stay was at Otentic, where I spent the night in a safari tent and got to taste delicious grilled fish and tarte banane. The next day was a relaxed one with a boat trip to Ile aux Cerfs and a leisurely drive along the Eastern coast. My second night was at the Radisson Blu where I was surprised with nice Opera cake on my Birthday eve.
On Day 3 I travelled along the Northeast coast visiting small forgotten villages, followed by an absolutely gorgeous lunch in a beautiful colonial mansion at Demeure St Antoine. After a tiring day and an evening walk on the streets of Grand Baie [bustling with nightlife], I checked in at Bleu de Toi, a charming little guesthouse in Pereybere. I woke up to a bright Saturday morning on my birthday and set off to discover the Northwest part of Mauritius.
I was struck by the imposing façade of the Historical Ruins of Balaclava which stands proudly on the banks of Riviere Citron within the grounds of Maritim resort. Birthday lunch was seafood pasta and apple flavoured mojito at La Plage in Trou aux Biches. This year I had to do without my usual homemade cake, instead I was wowed by 2 patisserie cakes: a Pear & Chocolate Mousse cake and a Genoise a la Vanille, topped with cream and fresh fruit. To end this perfect day, I got a soothing back massage at the Ispa club, the Address Boutique where I spent my 4th night away from home.
Day 5 was a long one as I had to travel all the way from Port Chambly to Black River. The weather got nasty as we hit Albion but mercifully we had clear skies as I edged towards Cascavelle. Visiting Casela Nature & Leisure Park was the highlight of the day as I had not been to the park to see recent additions including camels, giraffes and rhinos. Maybe I will try out the camel ride someday but they said they will be bringing elephants soon… hmm… so much for the adventurous me! For the night, I stopped at Vanilla House, a well equipped guest house next to La Balise Marina.
The plan for following day was to cruise along the west coast right to the tip of Le Morne peninsula where I [finally] visited the famous Slave route, part of the cultural landscape which has been proclaimed as a National Heritage since 2006. From there I drove to La Prarie beach, one of my favorite spots for a brief photo shoot and eventually reached Baie du Cap. From there starts the dangerous road to Chamarel, a rustic village where I was to spend the night.
For the last night, my accommodation was a simple yet beautifully decorated cottage at La Vieille Cheminee, a self sufficient farm in the heights of Chamarel. Driving into the village on the next day, I discovered its old church, Eglise St Anne as well as the attractions it is famous for: the Seven Coloured Earths and Chamarel Waterfalls. Not far away, the Rhumerie de Chamarel provided a comprehensive guided tour of the rum-making process, ending with a gourmet lunch and rum/fruit paste/jam tasting. The final leg of my trip was along the South coast, stopping at Chateau de Bel Ombre, Gris Gris and St Aubin to finally reach home after my exhausting yet enriching ‘Tour de Maurice’.
Back home, I baked myself a small butter cake in my mini Bundt pan to celebrate the end of my holidays. The recipe from Baker Street was a delight to my sweet tooth as I emptied a whole back of plump whole Seeberger cranberries into the batter along with freshly shaved orange zest. Though a bit late for my birthday, I did make up for the lack of a personalized homemade cake with this rich and fruity combination that got me back to blogging.
ORANGE CRANBERRY BUNDT CAKE
For The Bundt Cake
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup golden caster sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
Zest of 1 medium orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kitchen salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup dried cranberries
For The Orange Glaze
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan or coat well with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Combine thoroughly and set mixture aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes until fluffy.
- Add the eggs at once and continue creaming for 1 minute. Add the orange zest and vanilla extract.
- Beat until combined. Add about half the flour and mix on medium-low speed until just combined.
- Add the buttermilk and mix on medium low speed until just combined. Add in the rest of the flour.
- Mix until just combined. Gently stir in the cranberries. Spoon the batter evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan about 10 minutes, and then invert onto a rack.
- Cool at least 20 minutes before glazing. For the orange glaze, combine all the ingredients together.
- Whisk until it becomes creamy orange color. Pour glaze over cake and serve at room temperature.
Orange & Cranberries
EGGLESS PINEAPPLE CAKE
1/2 cup unsweetened yogurt
1/2 cup pureed soft/silken tofu
3/4 cup full cream milk
1 teaspoon pineapple extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kitchen salt
1/2 cup canned pineapple, diced
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 and 1/4 cups white sugar
For the Pineapple Cream Filling
2 cups whipping cream, whipped
1 teaspoon pineapple extract
2 cups canned pineapple, diced
1/4 cup pineapple juice [from can]
1 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup glace red cherries
- Preheat the oven at 350F/180C for 15 minutes. Line a 9×9-inch pan with parchment paper.
- Mix together yogurt, tofu, milk and pineapple extract in a medium bowl and set them aside.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl.
- Add yogurt mixture in 3 portions beating after each addition. The mixture will look curdled.
- Add flour and fold in with a spoon, then fold in the pineapple chunks. Spread batter into pan.
- Bake for 21-23 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Transfer pan to a cooling rack and turn out cake after 15 minutes. Leave it to cool completely.
- For whipped cream frosting, keep bowl and beaters in the fridge for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
- Place the whipping cream and pineapple extract in the bowl and whip until stiff peak forms.
- Before assembling and frosting the cake, brush generously with the reserved pineapple juice.
- Leave cake to soak syrup for at least 15 minutes. Place cake on a serving platter or cake stand.
- Spread cake with the whipped frosting. Garnish with coconut, pineapple chunks and cherries.
Recipe from Eggless Cooking