FOOD: Rolled pavlova.
I thought this was a bit of a folly at first. Pavlova is Australian royalty, sitting there perfectly crisp, crowned with fruit. Why would you interfere? Why would you flatten and roll it?
I presume this recipe came from a time when dessert logs were in vogue, possibly the 1960s. This version, I’ve appropriated from Karen Martini.
The thing I like about it – or what attracted me – was that when I tried one recently at a friend’s house, the ratio of meringue to cream, and the associated texture, was more pleasing than the conventional version. The positive outcome of rolling a pavlova with its filling is about the change in texture. The crust breaks down and becomes lovely and chewy.
It’s all too easy to forget how delicious pavlova is. Often a dessert this old would be thought of as retro, but pavlova doesn’t have that reputation because it has been a constant. It’s a dessert from the 1920s that still has relevance. It transcends all trends and fads because it is super delicious.
This is a dessert I have to eat every six to 12 months, or the withdrawal becomes too intense. For me, it’s a dessert up there with tiramisu.
When making a pavlova, I like to add yoghurt to my cream to lighten it. The acid makes the whole thing a little more interesting.
Because this recipe doesn’t need to stand up, it doesn’t require cornflour. In a conventional pavlova, I would add a little for insurance, to guarantee a pert finish.
The topping is also important. I’m a traditionalist, which is to say that as long as it has passionfruit on it
I don’t mind what else is there.
ANDREW McCONNELL is the executive chef and coowner of Cutler & Co and Cumulus Inc. He is The Saturday Paper’s food editor.