"A pavlova topped with mango is a Christmas staple in many homes, but this version takes it up a notch with hibiscus flowers and candied hazelnuts," says pastry chef Lauren Eldridge. "I love adding brown sugar to the meringue base to balance the sweetness, while coconut crème fraîche is rich yet light and airy. Everything you could want in a pav!"
- Olive oil spray, for greasing
- 6 eggwhites
- 225 gm caster sugar, lumps removed
- 100 gm dark brown sugar, lumps removed
- 1½ tbsp cornflour, sifted
- 1½ tsp white vinegar
- 250 gm jar wild hibiscus flowers in syrup (see note), to serve
- 1 large mango, skin removed, thinly sliced, to serve
- 10 roasted hazelnuts
- 100 gm caster sugar
Coconut crème fraîche
- 250 gm crème fraîche
- 100 ml thickened cream
- 500 gm coconut yoghurt
- 1Preheat oven to 200°C. Draw a 20cm circle on a sheet of baking paper and place paper, pencil-side down, ontoa greased baking tray. Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer on medium speed until foaming. Combine sugars in a bowl and add to eggwhite mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, dissolving between each addition. Increase mixer to high and whisk until stiff peaks, then fold in cornflour and vinegar. Spoon and spread onto paper in prepared tray and use the back of a spoon to flick outside edges to form little peaks. Reduce oven to 130°C. Bake until golden and crisp (1½ hours; reduce temperature to 110°C in final 20 minutes). Turn off oven, prop door ajar slightly and completely cool in oven.
- 2For candied hazelnuts, preheat oven to 150°C. Heat hazelnuts until warm (5 minutes). Place a board onto the edge of a bench and a large tray lined with baking paper on the floor under the edge of bench. While hazelnuts are warm, insert skewers in to hold. Combine sugar and 30ml water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Brush sides of saucepan with a wet pastry brush, then boil, swirling pan occasionally until caramel (3-5 minutes; be careful, hot caramel will spit). Remove from heat and immediately place saucepan base into a bowl of water to stop cooking. Leave for a minute to thicken, then dip hazelnut into caramel (if caramel is too thick, melt over low heat). Place skewer on board with hazelnut over edge so caramel drips when firm. Trim caramel to 10cm long and twist skewer to remove.
- 3For coconut crème fraîche, whisk crème fraîche and cream until medium peaks, then gently fold in coconut yoghurt.
- 4To assemble, cover pavlova with coconut crème fraîche, and decorate with mango, hibiscus flowers and candied hazelnuts.
Wild hibiscus flowers in syrup are available from specialty stores and major liquor stores.Drink suggestion A Lillet Rosé Martini made with Lillet Rosé, gin and ruby red grapefruit juice. Cocktail suggestion by Lee Smith.