I have always been attracted to Australians and Australia. (Elizabeth Hurley)
Really, Liz? First, there was the jerky comment, and now this? Did you have to…?
I am not an Australian. I’m not saying it will never happen. But, I’m not one yet. And, I do love my adopted country. At least, most of the time, I do. So, given yesterday was Australia Day, it would have been a tiny bit wrong not to recognise it somehow.
As it happens, I’ve never really understood the fascination with lamingtons. And, the old traditional Aussie meat pie is also out because I can’t do gluten. But, I do love a good Pavlova. I’ve even posted about the great Pavlova debate before. That post included Bill Granger’s recipe for seriously good brown sugar Pavlova. It’s caramel-y and yummy. And, he serves it with a yoghurt cream – just that tiny hit of sour really makes a difference.
But our dietary habits have changed a little here at Casa TSL since that post. No gluten. Very little dairy (especially not the cow juice variety). Not a lot of sugar. Time to experiment…
The thing with experiments is that sometimes they don’t work out the way you want expect them to. So, when my meringues failed to reach the lofty heights that I desired* (frankly, they were more macaroon-y in shape), I changed direction and created an Australian take on that very British of desserts – the Eton Mess.
I figure it kind of still works for multi-cultural Australia on the country’s national day – an English dessert, made by a Kiwi of Anglo-German heritage, living in Sydney, with mangoes from Queensland bought from a Greek grocer…
And, despite the less-than-stellar meringues, my Eton Mess tasted pretty fab’!
Mango, Passion Fruit & Coconut Eton Mess (TSL-Style)
For the Meringues/Macaroon-y Thingys
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
3 large egg whites (freshest possible!)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
For the Coconut Cream
2 cans full-fat coconut cream (refrigerated overnight)
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Mango-Passion Fruit
2 large mangoes
6 passion fruit
1) Preheat your oven to 150°C/300°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. I traced 6 circles around the base of a large mug onto the paper. They were to be the templates for my meringues (or macaroons if they flop like mine!). You could equally do one big meringue of about 20cm in diameter.
2) In a dry pan, toast your coconut desiccated coconut until it starts to turn golden brown
3) Ensure the bowl and beater of your mixer is clean and dry (Fat is the enemy of egg whites – running a paper towel dipped in vinegar around your bowl will fix that!). Whisk your egg whites with a pinch of salt for about 8 – 10 minutes until glossy and thick. With the mixer on high, add the coconut sugar one tablespoon at a time. Then, slowly add the arrowroot, vinegar and vanilla. Gently fold in the toasted coconut.
4) Spoon your meringue mixture onto your prepared baking paper. Place the tray into your oven immediately reduce the temperature to 120°C/250°F. Bake for one hour. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven to cool completely. NB – your meringue will be browner than usual due to the use of coconut sugar.
For the Mango – Passion Fruit
5) Peel and chop the two mangoes into a medium bowl. Add pulp of passion fruit. Stir and refrigerate until ready to assemble.
For the Whipped Coconut Cream
6) Refrigerate mixing bowl for five minutes before use.
7) Open the refrigerated cans of coconut milk. The cream will have separated from the milk. Carefully scrape out the cream into your mixing bowl. Add the vanilla and coconut sugar. Whip the cream until fluffy.
8). Distribute half the fruit mixture into the base of your serving glasses. Repeat with half the whipped cream. Crumble half the meringues over the top of your mixture. Repeat. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
E N J O Y !
*I suspect my eggs weren’t quite fresh enough. But, it could also have been that coconut sugar is quite coarse. Perhaps, next time I might blitz it in the food processor first.