Once you get the hang of the pavlova technique, making them is really a joy. This dessert is like a work of art, and has all the essentials I think a dessert should have. The glossy meringue shell is crisp and rich, the cream topping is soft and delectable, and the exotic fruit adds the perfect dose of color and flavor.
Use your favorite combination of fruit — I have made some suggestions in the recipe below. This dessert is always a showstopper, and preparing it always brings me the same insane amount of bliss as eating it does! The best part about this recipe is that it can be prepared two days in advance.
For Step-by-Step Instructions:
The cinnamon in the pavlova really elevated the meringue, and it's always fun to play with billowy whipped egg whites! I really liked the whipped coconut cream, but regular whipped cream would also be a tasty, easy option.
- Christine, March 2015
Cinnamon-Hazelnut Pavlova with Coconut Cream & Exotic Fruit
For the pavlova:
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 heaping teaspoon balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons ground skinned hazelnuts
4 (14-ounce) cans organic whole coconut milk, refrigerated (I use Natural Value brand, which is marked Kosher for Passover)
Seeds scraped from 1/2 a vanilla bean
To make the pavlova: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until satiny peaks form. Add the sugar, 1 spoonful at a time, and continue beating until the mixture becomes stiff and very shiny.
Using a spatula, fold in the cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, and the ground hazelnuts. Spoon the mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, forming a 10-inch circle that is about 2-inches thick.
Place in the oven, and immediately turn the oven down to 300°F. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. When the pavlova is done baking, it should look and feel dry on top. Remove from the oven, and let cool in a dry place overnight.
The next day, invert the pavlova onto a serving dish, peel away the parchment and reverse onto another serving dish. The pavlova shell can be made up to 48 hours in advance. Be sure to wrap it well in plastic wrap and keep it in a dry place until ready to assemble.
To make the coconut cream: Be sure to use cans of coconut milk that have been refrigerated for at least 24 hours. Scoop out the top solidified layer of the coconut milk that sits at the top of the can and place into a large bowl. Do the same with all 4 cans. (You can save what’s remaining in the can for another recipe.) Use a whisk to beat the coconut cream until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla bean seeds. (The coconut cream can be made 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to assemble. Whisk well before assembling.)
To assemble the pavolva: Dollop the whipped cream into the center of the pavlova, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the fruit over the cream. Voila! Take a photo of your pavlova — you’ll regret it if you don’t!
Recipe reprinted with permission.
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