6 large egg whites
1 1/2 heaped teaspoons cream of tartar (or 2 teaspoons white vinegar)
250 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 heaped teaspoons cornflour
1/2 cup icing sugar, for dusting, plus a little extra to serve
250 grams mascarpone
250 grams sheep’s milk yoghurt
1 1/2 punnets ripe strawberries, sliced in rounds
1 1/2 punnets raspberries
10 basil leaves, shredded
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, splintered
1. Preheat oven to 165°C.
2. Line a tray with paper, cut to approximately 32 x 24 cm.
3. To make the meringue, place the egg whites in a mixer and whisk to soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar then gradually beat in the caster sugar until the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the vanilla and cornflour, and vinegar if using. Beat on low until combined.
4. Spread the meringue over the baking paper in a flat rectangular shape. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Turn onto a tea towel that has been dusted with the icing sugar.
5. Combine the berries, basil, balsamic vinegar, caster sugar and vanilla bean. Let macerate for 5 minutes.
6. Place the mascarpone in a large bowl and soften it with a whisk. Whisk in the yoghurt and then spread the mixture over the meringue. Roll it up like a Swiss roll, using the tea towel as you go. Place on a platter and spoon over the berries and their juices. Dust with extra icing sugar if desired.
Pavlova is a summer celebration in itself, sweet and decadent but with lots of seasonal fruit as well. I often find it too sweet so I came up with this version. Instead of whipped cream, I use mascarpone and sheep’s milk yoghurt, which gives this dessert a lovely sharpness.
Rolling your pavlova gives an impressive finish to the presentation and adds a lovely, unusual chewiness to the texture. It also makes it easier to transport if you’re bringing a plate or having a picnic. Just pour over the berry salad and icing sugar when you arrive.
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