In summer, pavlova makes a whole lot of sense, says Jean-Michel Raynaud, pastry chef at Baroque Bistro.
Photo: Marco Del Grande
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- 200g egg white
- 200g castor sugar
- 200g pure icing sugar
- 20g corn flour
- 200g pouring cream
- 100g mascarpone
- 50g sugar
- Fresh passionfruit pulp to serve
Preheat oven to 120C. In a food mixer, beat egg white until soft peaks form, then add castor sugar gradually on high speed. Mix corn flour and icing sugar and incorporate slowly on medium speed until meringue forms firm peaks. Mix on low speed for one or two minutes. Put in two small cake tins about 9-centimetres across and bake at 120C for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 90C and bake an additional 15 minutes. To use one large cake tin, cook for longer. The outer shell should be hard enough to keep its shape but the inside should still be soft.
For mascarpone chantilly cream, whip pouring cream until soft peaks form, mix mascarpone and sugar and fold through cream. When ready to serve, spread cream over pavlova and top with a coulis of passionfruit, preferably infused with lime zest, star anise or cardamom.
Top Tips: For the fruit salad, I have compressed rockmelon, watermelon, pear, apple and coconut slices in a vacuum pack machine with elderflower and lime syrup. It infuses the fruits with these flavours and breaks down the fibres so they are almost translucent. Home cooks can use fresh melon slices.
For the apple and pears, slice them very thinly on a mandolin, then poach in a hot sugar syrup (500ml water/300g sugar) for one minute, then let them cool down, they will become transparent.
The ‘‘tapioca’’ is basil seeds that have been hydrated with hot water or you can use fruit juice such as passionfruit. When they cool down, a natural gel forms. For the crystal sugar decoration on the pavlova, I have used a combination of isomalt and glucose.
A similar look can be achieved at home by sprinkling castor sugar on a sheet of silicone paper then baking it in a 170C oven until the sugar melts (do not overcook it or it ends up as caramel). Remove from oven, allow to cool and harden, then break into shards. Do this step at the last minute, or the sugar becomes sticky again.