Lychee + hazelnut pavlova

Lychee + hazelnut pavlova

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Serves
8-10
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

I can’t take credit for this creation – this is one of my mum’s inventions and it was a real favourite of ours growing up, thanks to its gorgeous combination of soft, crunchy, hazelnut-flecked meringue, clouds of whipped cream and sweet, floral lychees. Because it’s a quick-cook pavlova it will come out of the oven crackled and beautifully soft in the middle, so be very careful how you handle it. Hilariously, I once tried to recreate it in a home economics class at school, where we’d been asked to bake a recipe of our choice. My teacher, a terrifyingly shrill, screeching woman with, as far as I could tell, no natural instinct for food or flavour, read the recipe and insisted that I wouldn’t be able to bake a pavlova in 35 minutes. Outraged, she threw my mix away and sent me home in tears. This one’s for you, Miss Clarkson.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Meringue

Quantity Ingredient
4 medium egg whites, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
3-4 drops vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
125g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Filling + topping

Quantity Ingredient
300ml double cream
425g tinned lychees in syrup
icing sugar, for dusting
3 passionfruits, flesh and seeds scraped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer until thick and fluffy and soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking constantly until thick and glossy. Whisk in the vanilla extract and vinegar and gently fold in the chopped nuts.
  3. Spread a circle of meringue, 20–25 cm in diameter, on each baking sheet. Bake for 35–40 minutes (don’t worry if the top cracks, it will still taste delightful), until they easily peel away from the parchment. Remove from the oven and carefully lift the meringues and baking parchment onto a wire rack and rest until they’ve cooled. Peel the parchment from the meringue discs and – using a palette knife – lift one onto a serving platter or cake stand.
  4. Whip the cream into soft peaks, being careful not to over-whip, and drain the lychees, reserving the juice. Gently fold three quarters of the lychees into the cream with 1–2 teaspoons of the lychee juice (the mixture will thicken). Spread most of the cream and lychee mixture onto the base meringue, saving some to cover the top layer, and sandwich with the other meringue. Pile the remaining cream mix onto the top meringue and cover with the remaining lychees and passionfruit flesh and seeds, and dust with icing sugar.
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