Pavlova Roulade

Pirate Dreams
Posted on 05/04/2012 by cakecrumbs

Pavlova is one of my favourite things in the world. So when looking through Julie Goodwin's "The heart of the Home" to find a recipe for week 19 of my cook book challenge, it was difficult to go past this.

For the uninitiated, a pavlova is a meringue-based dessert. It was created by a New Zealand chef in honour of the ballerina Anna Pavlova and has since become a staple in Australian and New Zealand national cuisine.

A good pavlova meringue has a crispy exterior but is soft and marshmallowy on the inside. It is then typically topped with cream and fruit, but it is open to additions. Additions that usually involve some form of chocolate. I like adding broken up Flake or Peppermint Crisp to it, preferably by folding it through the cream. It's such a delicious, refreshing dessert and always the first thing I make a bee line for.

I've never attempted a roulade of any sort simply because I foresaw it cracking and collapsing all over the place. I don't know what possessed me to think it was a good idea to do it the first time with meringue, least of all a pavlova meringue which is notorious for cracking at the best of times. Perhaps it was my love of pav, or the fact the point of Cook Book Challenge is supposed to be to challenge myself. 

I did the daggiest kitchen dance of all time when this worked. I was so exited. Not only did this not collapse, the whole process was much easier than I expected.

Once my excitement died down, I then had to resist eating the whole thing before the guests arrived.

But I couldn't resist taking a single slice first. You guys love dissected shots, right? It's was for the good of the blog! Honest!

Julie's recipe call only for strawberries. I added peaches and kiwi fruit. as with a normal pavlova, let your tastebuds do the talking and alter the filling as you see fit. Here's her recipe:

Pavlova Roulade


6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups (330g) caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
600 ml cream, whipped
2 punnets strawberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan forced). Grease and line a 26 x 34 cm baking tray with non-stick baking paper
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a little bit at a time, beating constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Sprinkle over the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and gently fold through the egg whites until combined. Do this very gently! Spread the mixture into the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until just firm. Meanwhile, slice half the strawberries and save the rest for serving. 
  3. When the meringue comes out of the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle a fresh sheet of baking paper with cornflour and lay it over the top of the meringue. Place a clean tea towel on the bench, and carefully turn the baking dish upside down so that the meringue comes out on top of the baking paper/tea towel. Carefully remove the baking paper from the bottom of the merinue. Spread half the cream in a line along the long edge of the meringue cloest to you. Press the sliced strawberries into the cream.
  4. Now the fun part -- carefully, using the tea towel as a helping hand, roll the meringue over the cream until it looks like a log. Carefully lift onto a serving plate, putting the join at the bottom. Serve with remaining cream and strawberries. 
Note: You can assemble the roulade up to 4 hours in advance, and refrigerate. It should be eaten on the day it is made. if you like, spread remaining cream on the top, and arrange quartered strawberries on the cream. Pomegranate seeks make a beautiful garnish. 

For more about Julie's cook book and more photos, check out the original post @ Cakecrumbs

storywriter84 4th-May-2012 03:24 am (UTC)
Sounds delicious!
cakecrumbs 4th-May-2012 02:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) They totally are!
hisietari 4th-May-2012 05:19 am (UTC)
I feel homesi~ck... *lol* Fantastic recipe! Meringues aren't my strong side, unfortunately. I wonder if it's the oven, or me.
cakecrumbs 4th-May-2012 02:48 pm (UTC)
Aww. :( I've never really had a problem with meringues, not sure why, but they tend to trip a lot of people up. I'm thinking of writing a tute on them for the blog to attempt to help some people out. It can be hard to know if it's you or the oven, though. Does the meringue look right before it goes in the oven?
hisietari 4th-May-2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
I'm not really sure if it looks right. It's a little hard to compare, really. Maybe it's because we don't have caster sugar here, only normal, sort of "rough" sugar. But then, enough people make meringues here. Mine just get yellowish-brown and smudgy inside. lol

A tutorial would be very much appreciated!
cakecrumbs 5th-May-2012 12:01 am (UTC)
Oh wow, that would make it tough not having caster sugar for baking.

Next time I make a meringue I'll take some photos and put something together. It can be a good excuse to make another pavlova! ;)
hisietari 5th-May-2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
HA!! There's a new product that looks like it might be caster sugar. We're getting somewhere. 8B

You're too sweet! ;)
hisietari 8th-May-2012 11:09 am (UTC)
I made it! It worked! Everybody loved it! SWEETSPLOSION!! lol

Nah seriously, this was terrific. The log was pretty long, so I decided to cut it in two halves and fill one with strawberry cream, and one with raspberries. I think I've eaten most of it so far, but only because we had plenty other cakes on the table before this came on, and it's stored in my fridge. XD

Baking went well, with the little shock moment when the corn flour formed lumps. I could dissolve most of them with the help of a finger, but still need to work on how to avoid the problem in total. Would sieving help?
cakecrumbs 8th-May-2012 11:26 am (UTC)
That's awesome! I'm so glad it turned out well for you.

Regarding lumpy cornflour, I assume you're referring to when you added it to the meringue rather than on the baking paper when rolling it? Sieving could help. I haven't had that problem before so I'm guessing a bit here. Cornflour usually lumps when too much of it comes into contact with wet ingredients at once, so perhaps it wasn't spread out enough? I sprinkled it straight off the tablespoon without sieving. From memory it was pretty thinly distributed over the surface. I remember being concerned the additions to the meringue would be heavy and sink so I think I tried to do it really softly and spread it as evenly over the surface as possible.
hisietari 9th-May-2012 12:33 pm (UTC)
I see! Did you add it while still in the mixing bowl, or when the meringue was already spread on the baking sheet? I guess I'll try the latter next time, the cup measure I mix in (bowl's too wide) doesn't offer enough surface.

Thanks! <3
ariall 4th-May-2012 06:08 am (UTC)
That looks wonderful!

I've been using a relatively failsafe (ha!) Donna Hay pav recipe but I've never tried making a pav roulade. Weekend project here I come! :)
cakecrumbs 4th-May-2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
Awesome, I hope it goes brilliantly for you! I've been thinking of trying Donna Hay's recipe: her pavlovas always look so perfect.
quabazaa 4th-May-2012 11:41 am (UTC)
Kiwi here.. I'm impressed! The idea of being able to roll the pav once done is quite amazing. Not sure I'd be able to do this, pavlova doesn't seem to work that great in fan ovens, or is it just mine?

Well done! Love the pics :D
cakecrumbs 4th-May-2012 02:59 pm (UTC)
I've only baked in a fan force oven a few times, and it didn't go well! I have a gas oven and I much prefer to bake in those. But they should go okay in a fan oven (although having the differential of heat does help with some recipes, I'm not sure if it makes difference with meringue).

The meringue was a lot more managable than I expected, though. It's not a very time consuming recipe so might be worth giving it a go and finding out!
sashimi_salad 4th-May-2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
O so much yum!
cakecrumbs 4th-May-2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks. xD Pavlovas are full of yum!
nimrod_9 4th-May-2012 01:44 pm (UTC)
Never made a meringue in jelly roll looks delish tho!!
cakecrumbs 4th-May-2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Totally is. Though it can be worth serving it with the extra cream as Julie suggests in her recipe: some may find there's too little cream to meringue in this version.
journalprint 5th-May-2012 10:18 am (UTC)
That's an absolutely mouth-watering 'dissected' pavlova photo ...yes, I really needed it! :)

I'm going to try to make this for my husband's 33rd birthday. Thanks for sharing the recipe and your experience making it!
cakecrumbs 5th-May-2012 02:10 pm (UTC)
Oh awesome! I hope it turns out as splendid-tasting as it did for me, and prettier than mine!
suede 5th-May-2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
Looks delicious! I am thinking that a strawberry-raspberry-blueberry one could be awesome too!
cakecrumbs 6th-May-2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
Definitely! They're not in season here at the moment, and frozen ones always leak so much red juice. But during summer they make a great pav topping. Or filling, in this case.
(no subject) - Anonymous
cakecrumbs 6th-May-2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
Absolutely my pleasure! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
rieyll 7th-May-2012 04:05 am (UTC)
Oh, is THAT what this is called? We had something like it once a couple of weeks ago at a restaurant, and my mom loved it so much and she pestered me to make it, nevermind the fact that I've only ever made pavlova ONCE, and even then they were mini pavlovas. We had no idea what it was called though, since on the menu it was called Sunshine Roll or something. Heh.

Maybe when I'm feeling brave and adventurous, I'll give this a go. The meringue looks absolutely divine!

Also, yes please to be making a meringue tutorial!
cakecrumbs 7th-May-2012 04:39 am (UTC)
Don't worry about feeling brave and adventurous - it took me a year to conjure up the nerve to do this, but it's a lot easier than you'd think. Now I wish I'd tried it sooner. It came together so easily, I was so surprised.

I'll try to find an excuse to make something meringue-ey this weekend. I've already snapped some shots for Swiss meringue, so I just need to do a normal meringue now. I'd planned just to got through tips, tricks and processes for beating the actual meringue, rather than baking as that depends entirely on what you're making with it. Would that be helpful still? Or is it the baking part that's problematic for people?
rieyll 7th-May-2012 07:03 am (UTC)
For me, I'm more intimidated with the process before it actually goes in the oven! But I've heard some people have problems with the baking itself, though I'd have thought that has more to do with each oven's temperament. Maybe a troubleshooting type thing for the baking part?
rachelpage 10th-Feb-2015 11:07 am (UTC)
This was really great, thanks so much!
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