Friday Food – Toasted Coconut Pavlovas

Last week we had a get together dinner with some friends. It was kind of last minute, but kind of planned. You know how these things happen sometimes…?

Anyway, one friend said she would take care of mains, the other friend was bringing beer, wine and ice-blocks for the kids, so I put my hand up for the grown up dessert…. I love making desserts.

I had seen a recipe for coconut pavlovas a while ago, and me being me, instead of looking for that recipe I decided I would make up my own version. It was really quite easy to make and was DELICIOUS! It was really nice to use the free range eggs that my dear chickens laid just that morning too!

To serve, I made 4 dinner plate sized pavlovas (I doubled the recipe), and I served them as ‘Couple Sized’. So when I put them on the table, I made sure I put two spoons deeply into the tops of the pavlovas. It was a really great way to serve them, the ‘couple’ idea was really cute – PLUS they took a fraction of the time to cook! Very handy. I made the pavs at 2pm and they only took 30 minutes to cook and that still gave them lots of time to dry out further in the oven – check out the pavlova tips at the bottom of the post….

In my family, this recipe is known as ‘Marshmallow Pavlova Slice’ – a recipe from the archives. I found it hand written in my trusty old recipe file, I must have written this down somewhere in the 1990s!

Toasted Coconut Pavlovas

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: Smaller Pavlovas – 25-30 mins  Larger Pavlovas – 40-45 mins

Serves: 2 ‘Couple Sized’ Pavlovas  - or – enough for 4

 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup shredded coconut

4 egg whites

1 cups caster sugar {see variations below}

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon white vinegar – or – lemon juice

Corn flour for dusting

Whipped cream + fruit {see variations below} for serving

 

Method

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celcius, line some baking trays with baking paper.

2) Toast coconut over very low heat until it starts to colour – do not walk away from it – just keep tossing and tossing until you get a good golden colour. As soon as it is the colour you like, tip it out onto a plate to cool. If you leave it in the pan it will continue to cook.

3) Separate eggs – do not get any yolk in the whites or the pavlova WILL not work!

4) In a squeaky clean glass or stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (this takes about 5-7 minutes)

5) Gradually add the sugar, in small amounts (I would do it in 4 lots), beat well after each addition, you should not feel the sugar granules. Add vanilla and lemon juice and beat for a further one minute.

6) Carefully fold in the toasted coconut.

7) Sprinkle the lined baking trays with a light dusting of cornflour. Then spoon the merringue mixture onto cornflour paper, you could trace the plate size you will be using as a guide. Make sure you pile the mixture up high and even, this will ensure you get lots of the fluffy pavlova in the middle.

8) Cook for 20+ mins until you have a hard shell on the outside. When you think it is golden enough – turn the oven off – leave the door ajar and allow the oven to cool completely. Note: do not remove pavlovas from the oven! They need time to dry out.

9) Remove from the oven, carefully lift onto plates, serve with whipped cream and…

  • mango, passionfruit and kiwi-fruit
  • raspberries and shaved chocolate
  • banana and more toasted coconut

Variations

  • Instead of coconut, you could add 100g of melted chocolate
  • You could make tiny pavlovas also, the size of a saucer or smaller – how cute!
  • Instead of caster sugar, you could use vanilla sugar – but use my method – here – don’t buy one cup of it!!

Tips for making great pavlovas…

  • Absolutely NO yolk in the egg whites. You cannot have any fat in the mixture – this is deadly important!
  • Use a glass or stainless steel bowl – DO NOT use plastic – plastic absorbs fat so could have residue on it from the last batch of biscuits you made in it.
  • Cook the pavs then leave them IN the oven with the door ajar – they need to dry out.
  • Pavs should be high in the oven and then sink down when they have cooled – the store bought ones are held up with gelatine and other rising agents.

What to do with all of those egg yolks?

Creme Brulee I was going to write a list of things to do with egg yolks – but this would be the MOST delicious thing to do with them!

 

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Comments

  1. Delicious! You know, you can always be relied upon to bring something wonderful and homemade. And I can always be relied upon to bring alcohol ;-)

  2. I will say, though, that I once made a mean pavlova. I made many of them when I lived in Norway almost 20 years ago. But haven’t made a single one since! The coconut in yours was an inspired addition.

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