If ever there was a quintessential Australian dessert, it would be the pavlova. Crispy meringue with a fluffy marshmallow centre, topped with sumptuous cream and in-season fruit. Light as a cloud… and just as dreamy.
400ml (13.5 fl oz) can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
200g (7 oz) egg whites (about 6 egg whites)
100g (3.5 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
1 tsp white vinegar
200ml (7 fl oz) thickened (heavy) cream
2 tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2 mangoes, peeled, stone removed, thinly sliced
store-bought coconut chocolate balls, to decorate (optional)
toasted coconut flakes, to decorate
The night before you want to make your pavlova, place the can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight.
The following day, preheat oven to 120°C/250°F. Trace a 20cm (8”) circle onto a sheet of baking (parchment) paper. Turn the paper over and place on a large baking tray.
Use electric beaters to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly, until the mixture is thick and glossy and all the sugar has dissolved. Beat in the cornflour and vinegar until just combined.
Use a large metal spoon to spoon the mixture onto the lined tray. Use a palette knife to shape into a disc, using the circle as a guide. Smooth the sides (I like the sides to be slightly higher than the centre too, but that’s up to you!).
Bake in the oven for 90 minutes or until the pavlova is dry to the touch. Turn oven off. Leave the pavlova in the oven, with the door slightly ajar, for 2 hours to cool completely.
Carefully open the can of coconut cream. Spoon the firm coconut cream from the top of the can into a medium bowl (the clear liquid can be used in smoothies). Add the thickened cream and icing sugar to the coconut cream. Use clean electric beaters to whip the mixture until soft peaks form.
Place the pavlova on a serving plate. Top with the cream mixture. Arrange the fruit over the cream mixture and scatter over chocolate balls and toasted coconut flakes.