First posted: Dec 13, 2015

Espresso Pavlova with Poached Plums



Cooks in:        Serves:6-8

For the Pavlova
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 level tsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 level tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice
For the Spiced Plums
  • 200ml water
  • 3 Tbsp honey (or light brown sugar)
zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
  • 4 firm plums, peeled, stones removed and cut into sixths
  • 1 cup cream or double thick Greek yoghurt
  • Handful mixed nuts, toasted until golden
  • Handful fresh mint leaves, to garnish

What to do

1. Pre-heat your oven to 140C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or a silicone mat.

2. Ensure the bowl of your electric mixer is clean and dry. Add in the egg whites, and whisk until you have soft peaks. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the sugar in 3-4 stages, allowing the mixer to mix well in between, until the meringue is thick and smooth, and can stand in firm peaks. Add in the espresso powder, cornflour and vinegar and mix again until they are all incorporated.

3. Spread the mixture onto the baking tray in a circle, about 22cm in diameter. Leave the outside edges slightly higher than the centre so that you have a gentle 'crater' shape to fill later.

4. Bake for 20 minutes at 140C and then turn down to 120C and bake for another 50-60 minutes or until the outside of the pavlova is dry to the touch. Switch the oven off and the door slightly ajar and leave the pavlova to cool completely. Transfer to a serving plate, or airtight container until needed.

5. Meanwhile, add your plums to the poaching liquid and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until they are soft and can be easily pierced with a knife. Remove and place in a bowl for later use, and reduce the poaching liquid for a further 10-15 minutes or until syrupy.

6. To serve, top with the whipped cream / greek yoghurt, plum slices, toasted nuts and a drizzle of the reduced poaching liquid. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and serve immediately (otherwise the filling will make the meringue soggy).

Photo from 'Sarah Graham's Food Safari' by Ricardo de Leça.

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