Originally written as part of the World Cup 2014 cooking project.
Australia is ranked lowest in the World Cup according to FIFA’s official rankings. Couple this with the fact they are in a group with Spain, the current World Cup holders, the Netherlands and Chile and you would be forgiven for not giving the Socceroos any chance whatsoever. In fact, my mate who runs a local café only but today said that he would give a couple of us free coffees all day if Australia even scored a goal. He may live to regret that offer because the steel and gritty determination of this sporting nation is second to none, and with the star Tim Cahill always seeming to pop up in the right place at the right time I am confident that I will be having more than one free coffee day.
So, to the first day of this World Cup project 🙂
Actually, this is a dish that I had to start yesterday as you’ll gather when you read the recipe. In stark contrast to the image of Australia and the steel and grit of their sporting team the dish I have cooked is light, airy and sweet. It is an Australian classic; the Pavlova. And straight away this project runs in to a controversy. Like Russel Crowe and Crowded House the Pavlova has crossed the Kiwi-Aussie line. However, with Pavlova there still lies a shroud of mystery? Was it developed in New Zealand or Perth? Nothing is conclusive; however I have included it as an Aussie classic because regardless of where the first one was made, in the 14 years I have been in Australia it is quite obvious that this dessert is in every Australian’s make-up, from Avoca Beach to Zanthus.
The Pavlova here has been miniaturised and served with a caramelised Cavendish banana, Bundaberg rum (Australian) and lime puree, freshly whipped cream and sliced banana.
Mini Pavlova with Caramel Banana, Rum and Lime Puree - AustraliaPrint
- For the Meringue:
- ■ 140g egg Whites | About 4 Whites from a medium Egg.
- ■ 225g white caster Sugar |
- ■ 13g corn flour |
- ■ ½ tsp. white vinegar |
- For the Banana Puree:
- ■ 125g white caster sugar |
- ■ 2 ripe bananas | Not over ripe, just the perfect eating ripeness.
- ■ 20ml dark rum | I used Bundaberg to keep with the Australian theme.
- ■ 1 Lime - juice of |
- For the Final Dessert:
- ■ 125g single cream | Minimum of 35% milk fat solids.
- ■ 2-3 ripe bananas | Thinly sliced. Eating ripeness.
- Grated lime zest for garnish.
Preheat an oven to 130 deg. C (270 deg. F).
For the meringue: whisk the egg whites so that they form stiff peaks. Add half of the caster sugar and continue to whisk for about 30 seconds. Add the other half of sugar and continue to whisk until you have really stiff peaks. Add the corn flour and vinegar and gently fold until completely mixed through.
Line a baking sheet with baking parchment (use a little butter to hold it in place). Place a 75mm diameter stacking ring on the baking sheet and using a piping bag with an 8ml nozzle pipe the meringue mix in to it in a spiral motion. Pipe 3 layers and then gently remove the stacking ring. Repeat for the other meringues. Alternatively you can carefully spoon the meringue on to the baking sheet in nest shapes. Bake the meringue for 10 minutes at 130 deg. C and then reduce the oven to 100 deg. C (210 deg. F) and bake for a further 50 minutes. Now, turn off the oven and let the meringues cool and dry overnight in the oven.
For the banana puree: add the 125g of caster sugar to a large heavy based frying pan. Put the pan over a medium heat and allow the sugar to caramelise to a deep golden brown colour. Jiggle the pan around so that the sugar caramelises evenly. Add the two whole bananas to the caramel and toss them around until softened and coated. Deglaze the pan with the rum and put the lot into a food processor taking care as it will be hot. Add the lime juice to the processor and then blitz until smooth. After this I then use a hand blender to ensure all the caramelised sugar is blended. Put the puree in the fridge for an hour to cool.
For the dessert: Pipe or spread the banana puree over the top of each meringue. Whip the single cream to firm peaks and carefully spread it over the banana puree. Place the banana slices on the cream – be creative – and finally grate some lime zest over the banana for garnish. Enjoy the crunchy and sticky meringue with that amazing puree.