TGIF! What’s more fun than today being a Friday? It is Australia Day long weekend! Three days of chilling out and enjoying the festivities. Music festival and food are two highlights of the weekend for me. Australia has been my adoptive country for the past thirteen years. After becoming a citizen, my then seven year old son told me, ” I am Australian now so I love lamb!” As a young child, he adapted to the culture quickly and has been calling Australia home since. He is seventeen years old now and still loves his lamb. You know what else he and I both love? Pavlova! That meringue-based dessert with crisp crust and soft, light inside. Now I know for a fact that there is an ongoing “friendly” debate between Aussies and Kiwis as to where the dessert originally came from. Australia or New Zealand? I am Australian so even if Wikipedia says based on formal research, New Zealand is the source of origin, I would still say it is an Australian invention. But let us not go there, I say. I am sure our Kiwi neighbours would not mind us Australians claiming pavlova as our invention just this one time since it is Australia Day weekend.
My family loves pavlova , whether it be the traditional or a pavlova-inspired dessert. I have tried lots of recipes and have a couple of favourites. One of them is this peach and mango pavlova roulade. It looks intimidating to make with the rolling involved you need to do ( to form the roulade) but seriously, a very easy one to make. This is a personal favourite as I love peaches. They are in season so I am in my happy cooking land!
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 2 teaspoon cornflour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 250 g mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup double cream
- 2 peaches, peeled, stones removed, chopped
- 1 mango, peeled, flesh cut from stone, chopped
- 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
- fresh mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 170C degrees. Grease and line base and sides of a Swiss roll pan. Make sure paper overhangs above rim of long side of pan. If you don’t have a Swiss roll pan, you can use a lamington pan.
- Beat egg whites using an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Add caster sugar gradually, beating constantly until thick and glossy.
- Fold through cornflour and vinegar until just combined. Spread evenly onto prepared pan.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until just firm. Oven temperature varies so check if you need to bake it for a further minute or two.
- Line a clean tea towel with baking paper and sift over extra caster sugar. Invert meringue onto paper, peel away baking paper from meringue and set aside to cool completely.
- Whisk or stir mascarpone, cream and caster sugar in a bowl until smooth. Spread over cooled meringue, leaving a centimetre border around meringue.
- Top with peaches and mangoes.
- Using baking paper as a guide, starting from the short side, roll meringue to form a log. Wrap baking paper and tea towel around roulade and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Transfer roulade to a platter and just before serving, sprinkle chopped pistachios and the fresh mint sprigs on top.
How pretty is this dessert? Beautiful flavours of mascarpone and cream and juicy fresh mangoes and peaches. The pistachio nuts add that crunchy nice texture and I love the delicate flavour of fresh mint sprigs. This is one of those desserts that you would go for another slice or two after your first. Just simply divine!