SHF#33: Tropical Pavlova

July 27, 2007 at 10:02 am | Posted in events, other sweet, sweet things | 17 Comments

tropical pavlova

I only realized that it was time again for Sugar High Friday when I saw the great-looking posts popping up on other blogs.  Recipes with mango, coconut, pineapple…it didn’t take a genius to see that this month’s host Mary from alpineberry has chosen “tropical paradise” as the theme.  Right on time, too.  I could use something lighter– I’ve just about OD’ed on chocolate mud cake from that madhatter I decorated over the weekend.  Also, there’s a really good selection of tropical fruit here (I think Queensland is a big growing region).  It all looks really nice and is easy to find.

I didn’t have to wonder long what tropical concoction I would make.  The new issue of delicious. magazine was in my mailbox on Tuesday, and on the cover was a winter pavolva with poached quince and cinnamon whipped cream.  Of course those particular flavors wouldn’t whisk me off to palm trees and hot sand, but I immediately thought that a pavlova would be an excellent vehicle for tropical fruit.  So I went to the market and came back with passion fruit, mango, papaya and star fruit.  To amp up the tropicaliness (new word!) of the dessert, I folded a little fine desiccated coconut into the meringue before baking and I sweetened the whipped cream with soft palm sugar.

If you’ve never had a pavlova before, it’s a legendary Australian dessert, although I think the Kiwis also argue that it’s theirs.  I don’t who’s right about that, but I do know that crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside meringue topped with whipped cream and tropical fruit will make you feel like you are somewhere far away from your small city apartment.

tropical pavlova

Tropical Pavlova – makes 4 servings
adapted from delicious. (August 2007)

for the meringues:
2 egg whites
pinch of salt 
125 g superfine sugar
1/2 t white vinegar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 t cornstarch
2 T desiccated coconut (optional) 

for the whipped cream:
200 ml heavy cream
2 T palm sugar (can substitute 2 T powdered sugar, sifted)

for the fruit:
use whatever you like

-for the meringues: Preheat oven to 230°F/120°C.  Draw four 9 cm circles on a sheet of parchment, leaving space between.  Flip the parchment over and use to line a baking sheet (make sure your circles are visible beneath the sheet).

Using a mixer, beat whites with a pinch of salt until they hold soft peaks.  Gradually sprinkle in the superfine sugar, beating well between each addition.  Whip until the whites are stiff and shiny.  Carefully fold in the vinegar, vanilla, cornstarch and coconut (if using).  Pile meringue onto circles on baking sheet and spread to size, making an indent in the center of each.

Bake for 50 minutes.  Meringues should be crisp on the outside.  Turn off oven, crack door slightly and cool meringues in oven for 1 hour.  Remove from oven to finish cooling.

-for the whipped cream: Whip the cream to soft peaks with the sugar.

-to assemble: Pile whipped cream on top of the meringue indents. Top with cut fruit.


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  1. That’s beautiful!

  2. This is just so creative and incredibly beautiful… I love your version much better than the one in Delicious!

  3. I’ve never made a pavlova, but have always wanted to. Your dessert is beautiful!

  4. It looks so beautiful, I love star fruit so much!

  5. this is fabulous! It looks so good…
    DO you deliver? 😉

  6. I love Pavlovas in the summertime, yours is just gorgeous and looks so appetizing. =)

  7. Beautiful photo. A similar dessert elsewhere was not nearly as good looking. Good mix of tropical fruits in this dessert, too.

  8. I have been drooling over that pavlova in this month’s Delicious. I think yours is much better. Yum.

  9. Thanks everyone!

    marye– I haven’t set up a delivery system yet, but if you’re ever in Sydney, you are welcome to do take-out (or dine-in!).

    Anh & KJ–I drool over everything in delicious. Love that magazine! (I even sent them a silly e-mail that was “letter of the month” winner a few months back.)

  10. I really like the starfruit perched atop the pavlova. So pretty!

  11. Ina Garten just featured a pavlova on her show yesterday. It was like a sign from above (or Food Network) that I should try making this. :oD

  12. It’s so yummy! I’ve tried this recipe but there is one thing I’d like to ask you: When I finished baking and cooled pavlova in the closed door oven for 1 hour, the meringue , when taking out of the oven was sticky , not as crisp as i expected. Could you tell me where i was wrong? Thank U so much

  13. So beautiful! It looks just perfect, like something from a dream tropical vacation.

  14. Mary, Lori and Lynn– Thanks!

    Katie– Hmmm….I don’t know. It should be crisp on the outside and a bit chewy inside. The inside should be almost marshmallowy. If yours was too sticky, then maybe give it an extra 15 or 20 minutes baking time. As long as the meringue isn’t browning, it should be fine.

  15. Thanks a great looking pav. Well done!

  16. This is so pretty and exotic looking! It inspires me to try a pavlova myself!

  17. I have never heard of of may pavlova, but this looks heavenly!

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