*Winning image of the February 2014 Food Foto Gallery food photo contest
Another Kiwi classic – the Pavlova Roulade, or meringue roll as it’s known in other parts of the world.
This was definitely one of those desserts I’d put in the ‘too hard basket’ – the rolling of that delicate meringue just looked too much like a recipe for disaster! However, first time worked a charm and it ended up being a quick and easy dessert to make, rolling included. The family loved it.
If I were to make one suggestion, it would be to have more fruit than the recipe suggests. I like a lot of tart fruit to counteract the sweetness of a meringue. So next time (and there WILL be a next time!), I’m going to make a berry coulis to serve alongside – that way people can pour on as much or as little as they like. Thanks to Foodmag.co.nz for this fabulous recipe.
- 5 egg whites, room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup (195 g) (6.8 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 3/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
- 300ml (10 fl oz) cream
- Few drops vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) – I used 160°C (320°F) as my oven’s a bit temperamental, and it worked just fine. Line a 25cm x 35cm (10 x 14 inch) Swiss roll pan with baking paper (lightly spray the pan with oil first so the paper sticks).
- Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk them until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, a tablespoonful at a time, beating well until the mixture is thick and glossy, about 8-10 minutes.
- Use a spatula to carefully fold half the chopped pistachios through the mixture. Spoon the meringue into the prepared pan and smooth the top, trying not to knock too much air out of the mixture. Sprinkle over the remaining pistachios.
- Bake the meringue in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the meringue is crispy on the top and set inside, and slightly coloured. Set the meringue aside for a few minutes to cool. The meringue will deflate as it cools – this is totally normal.
- Place a large piece of baking paper – bigger than the baking pan – onto a flat baking tray. Turn the tray and baking paper upside-down on top of the baking pan (i.e. the baking paper should be directly above the pavlova roll, and the tray on top) and, gripping both the baking pan and tray, turn the whole thing over. The pavlova roll should plop gently out of its pan and now be bottom side up on the baking paper with the tray directly underneath.
- Carefully peel the baking paper liner off the pavlova roll, cover it with a clean tea towel and leave it to cool. You can slide the baking tray out from under the pavlova roll and put it away – it’s not needed anymore.
- When you are ready to fill the pavlova roll, whip the cream and vanilla essence together to soft peaks (not stiff). Spread the whipped cream evenly onto the cooled pavlova roll, leaving a 5cm (2 inch) border at one of the short ends. Sprinkle over the raspberries.
- Turn the pavlova roll (on the baking paper) so that the short end is closest to you and the 5cm gap is at the other end, and start rolling it into a log shape, using the baking paper to do so. The cream mixture will slide a little as you’re rolling it – hence the 5cm (2 inch) border at the end!
- Slide or lift the pavlova roll carefully onto a platter, with the join at the bottom. Dust it with icing sugar, if using.
- Cut into slices and serve with extra berries and/or a berry coulis.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting