Let them eat pav

ROYAL TREAT: Fresh fruit cuts through the sweetness of the pavlova and the gingerbread scroll.
ROYAL TREAT: Fresh fruit cuts through the sweetness of the pavlova and the gingerbread scroll.

In the last of our series, Ruth Pretty finishes her royal feast with dessert. 

I simply adored the dessert tasting plate we made for Prince William and Princess Catherine when they visited New Zealand. A swirled passionfruit pavlova was the jewel, luxuriously finished with vanilla whipped cream and passionfruit honey. Sponge-like gingerbread rolled with creamy cinnamon filling stood proud as scrolls. Diced feijoa, just in season at that time, combined with ginger in syrup and sliced mint cut the sweetness. A sprinkle of crushed dark-chocolate-coated hokey-pokey finished the plate.


Makes 500ml - enough to fill one roll

115g (1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp) cream cheese

1/2 tsp cinnamon

340g (1 1/3 cups) creme fraiche

75g (1/2 cup) icing sugar, sifted Place cream cheese and cinnamon into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle beater, and beat till combined and smooth.

Place creme fraiche and icing sugar into a second bowl and, using a wooden spoon, mix till well combined.

Fold creme fraiche mixture into cream cheese till well combined.

Refrigerate for up to three days.


Makes 8-10

4 (1/2 cup) egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch salt

230g (1 cup + 2 Tbsp) castor sugar

1 1/2 tsp cornflour

1/2 tsp malt vinegar

1/4 tsp pure vanilla essence

1 tsp Fresh As Passionfruit Powder (powdered freeze-dried fruit found online or at specialty kitchen stores) Preheat oven to 100°C. Line one or two low-sided trays with baking paper.

Place egg whites, salt, sugar, cornflour, vinegar and vanilla essence into the dry - and preferably warm - bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk for 20-25 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

The mixture should be satiny with no sugar granules visible.

Remove bowl from mixer and add passionfruit powder. Gently fold together.

Place pavlova mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm fluted nozzle. Pipe 4.5cm to 5cm round pavlovas on to prepared tray, spiralling up to a height of 5.5cm-6cm.

Place into preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until pavlovas are crisp on the outside.

Cool and serve with your choice of accompaniments immediately.

Alternatively, you can store them at room temperature in an open-top container, simply covered with a tea towel, for up to one week.


Makes 12-16 scrolls

5 eggs, separated

165g (1/2 cup) golden syrup

50g (1/4cup) brown sugar

2 Tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

105g (3/4 cup) flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp table salt

50g (1/4 cup) sugar (1st measure)

20g (2 Tbsp) sugar (2nd measure)

Cinnamon Cream

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 42cm x 30cm low-sided baking tray with butter or baking spray and line with baking paper.

Place egg yolks into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk for 2 minutes or until pale and creamy.

Add golden syrup, brown sugar and fresh ginger and whisk to combine.

Sieve together flour, baking powder, ginger and allspice. Add pepper and salt and stir till combined. Add to egg mixture and whisk until just combined.

Into a clean, dry and preferably warm bowl, place egg whites and whisk until soft peaks form. Slowly add the first measure of sugar and whisk until glossy and stiff peaks form.

Using a large spoon or spatula fold half of the stiff egg whites into the batter mixture until half combined. Fold the remaining stiff egg whites into the batter mixture until no white streaks remain.

Place into prepared tin and, using a plastic spatula, evenly but gently spread to all edges.

Place into preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes or till lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack and sprinkle with the second measure of sugar. Cool for 10 minutes.

Run a knife around the edges of the tray to loosen any caught edges.

Cover with a clean tea towel. Place a tray or board on tea towel and invert gingerbread on to tea towel. Remove baking tray and baking paper.

Cover with tea towel and cool completely. Lay out plastic wrap on to a bench and transfer gingerbread, sugar side down, to plastic wrap.

Evenly spread the Cinnamon Cream over the surface of the gingerbread leaving 1cm margin on the longest sides.

With one of the longest edges closest to you, roll gingerbread up like you would a Swiss roll.

Wrap gingerbread firmly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours or till cream is firm and gingerbread roll holds its shape, or for up to two days.

Unwrap the gingerbread from the plastic wrap and cut on the diagonal into portions. Freeze any scrolls that are surplus to requirements.

The Dominion Post