Being in the kitchen is one of my most favourite things, and yet, I can’t get over just how much fun it was to make this stunning Pavlova Roulade!
Even as I sit here writing, feeling nauseous and recovering from my first ever taste of stevia, (which I put in my coffee as a taste test) I’m beyond thrilled with how this dessert turned out. Stevia..? OMG stay away from its bitterness and nasty, lingering aftertaste, unless of course you like to punish yourself.
Back to the fun part…
…what started as a craving for lemon curd, led, most joyfully to making lemon mousse, which led to making this gorgeous, exquisite confection. I needed something to use that luscious mousse in, after all. I toyed with the idea of making a (gluten free) cake roulade, as well as serving the mousse simply, with some seasonal fruit. The chef part of me took over, when I started thinking about the egg whites leftover from making the lemon curd. That meant I HAD TO use them, and what better use for egg whites is there than pavlova!
Isn’t it remarkable, that egg whites, sugar, a bit of vinegar, cornstarch & some vigorous whisking can make this impressive mountain of pavlova meringue! BTW, it got me thinking of the famous, gigantic meringues I hear are magnificently displayed in London’s famed Ottolenghi shop. I used my go-to pavlova recipe, from Donna Hay, omitting the coconut that I added for the tropical version. For the lemon mousse, use this recipe for lemon curd, following the extra step of adding softly whipped cream to make it lemon mousse. (I encourage you to make the curd/mousse a day ahead, or in the morning you make the roulade, as it needs a couple of hours to firm up in the fridge. Making ahead = professional chef/cook standard!)
If you make the mousse ahead, that’s half the recipe. Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer) for the meringue takes no time at all, and after baking it’s just the über fun of assembling.
I’ve just realized what’s made making this dessert so special… it truly was a kitchen experiment, with results better than I could have dreamed of.
Granted, I have made many a pavlova, bowls & bowls of lemon curd, and the occasional roulade, usually as a yule log at Christmas. I’ll admit baking the pavlova as a sheet, without changing anything in the recipe, was a gamble – but one I was willing to take. Is it wrong for me to say how pleased I am with myself…?
Incredibly light, with sweet & chewy crunch from the pavlova roll, tanginess from the mousse, and a summery, fruity component with the raspberries – this dessert has it all going on. With peaches being best friends with raspberries, I did want to add some to the filling, but kept them as part of the plating garnish. When you need an impressive finale to any meal, you should make this extraordinary, delicious Pavlova Roulade!
- 150 ml egg whites, at room temperature (approximately 4 eggs)
- Pinch salt
- 200 grams/1 cup caster/fine sugar
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Approx. 2 cups of lemon mousse (see lemon curd recipe, on blog post just before this one)
- 1/2 cup approx. fresh summer raspberries
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Line a 10x15” baking sheet with parchment paper, having it larger than the pan - to rise up about 1” above the edges.
- Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking for about 30 seconds before adding more.
- Whisk for 5 - 6 minutes or until stiff and glossy, and the sugar is thoroughly combined. (Test a bit between your fingers - if it feels gritty, keep beating). Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vinegar & vanilla and whisk for another minute, or until glossy and combined. Sift the cornstarch over top, and gently fold it in using a large spatula, trying not to lose any volume.
- Take a small dab of the meringue, dotting each of the four corners of the baking sheet and firmly pressing the parchment down into the corners; to help keep the parchment in place.
- Spoon the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading it out evenly. Put the baking sheet in the oven,and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until crisp to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Invert the cooled meringue onto a clean piece of parchment, carefully peeling away the parchment from the bottom. Spread the mousse over, and sprinkle with berries, leaving an approx. 2” space, along one long side.
- Use the parchment to help lift and roll into a log shape, towards the 2” space you’ve left uncovered, rolling somewhat tightly; don’t worry if it cracks along the side; this is normal .
- Chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Sift over a light dusting of icing sugar, for a pretty finish.
- Serves 8 - 10, as a gorgeous light and summery dessert!
- *Tip: make your own caster/fine sugar by blitzing regular white sugar in food processor for 30 seconds.
- **The prep time does not include making the mousse; make it the day before, and it will be well chilled/set, plus save you the time when you make the roulade. (Or you'll have a minimum 2 hour wait for the mousse to set.)