Tropical Meringue Roulade and it’s Gluten-Free

Yes, I know it’s a shock but yes, I’m finally back in the kitchen.

Gluten-free Tropical Meringue Roulade

Gluten-free Tropical Meringue Roulade

I thought I’d ease back into the food blogging genre by sharing with you how we spent Australia Day.

Two meringue roulades fill with cream and berries

Two meringue roulades filled with cream and berries

There were two functions.  The first was at Mr Competitive’s house.  He hosts an annual BBQ lunch after the Palm Beach to Whale Beach swim (3km ocean swim in waters where I’m convinced there are Great White sharks).  All the boys did the swim except for my husband who this season took a leave of absence feigning injuries so he wouldn’t have to swim in what turned out to be very unfavourable conditions.

The carving technique

The carving technique

Anyway, back to the food.  Everyone was asked to bring something and I provided a rocket, pear and caramelised walnut salad.  That I didn’t photograph.  Mr Competitive provided some marinated chicken thighs and sausages.  No one mentioned the lack of lamb.  (Because it’s considered un-Australian to not eat lamb on Australia Day).

BBQ Butterflied Lamb

BBQ Butterflied Lamb

An American friend had put her hand up to bring dessert and she walked in with a ‘fruit crisp’.  Jaws dropped because just like the lamb, it’s considered very un-Australian to not eat pavlova on Australia Day.  But no one mentioned it.  We’re a very polite crowd.  The ‘fruit crisp’ was made with nectarines and was what we would call a fruit crumble.  It was heated up and served with ice cream.  It was quite a wintery dessert for a very hot day but the polite crowd didn’t say anything.

Watermelon salad with feta and mint

A good time was had by all and then it was on to our next function.  We were off to my parent’s house to celebrate Australia Day, my mother’s birthday, my sister’s wedding anniversary and Archie’s 21st.  Shame Archie missed it.

This menu proves we are very proud Aussies and made up for the errors of chicken and fruit crisp we’d eaten earlier in the day.  We had marinated butterflied lamb sprinkled with pomegranates and served with homemade mint sauce.

There were also sausages because ‘snags’ are very Aussie too and we had a few salads.

Raspberry pavlova

Raspberry pavlova

In the spirit of the occasion Mum made two meringue roulades and she filled them with passionfruit (every good Aussie used to have a passionfruit vine sprawling the back fence) and berries.  This dessert doesn’t need anything else to accompany it.  And it’s gluten-free.  And it can be made in less than an hour.  And it can be made ahead of time.  And it makes you proud to be an Aussie.

About to go in the oven

About to go in the oven

So…I thought for my first day back in the kitchen for 2014 I would share the recipe that my mother believes comes from a 2011 Delicious Magazine.

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

And in case anyone had a gap after all of that, there was also a pavlova because on Australia Day, you can never eat too much pav.

All rolled up

All rolled up

And happy belated Australia Day and I hope you enjoyed plenty of lamb and pavlova.

Tropical Meringue Roulade

Tropical Meringue Roulade

Tropical Meringue Roulade

Serves:  6-8

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5

Cost:  A few eggs, some cream and some fruit and that’s all there is to it.  Economical and a great way to use up leftover egg whites.

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 200ml (6.7 ozs) thickened cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2 tspns icing sugar
  • half cup diced papaya
  • half cup diced mango

Pre-heat oven to 160C (320F).

Line a 34cm x 24cm (13.5 x 10 inch) lamington tray with greased baking paper, leaving a 3cm overhang on all sides.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites, caster sugar and salt with electric beaters until stiff and glossy.

Spoon meringue mixture into the lined pan and spread evenly with a palette knife.  Sprinkle with almonds and coconut.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until the almonds and coconut are golden and the meringue is just set but not crisp. Keep an eye on things at this stage – if the coconut is too golden after 10 minutes, cover loosely with foil, then continue cooking.

Place another large piece of baking paper on top of the meringue. Carefully invert, then gently loosen the paper on the base without removing it.

When just cool enough to handle, grasp both ends of one long side and gently roll the meringue onto itself, enclosing the lining to form a long, paper-covered cylinder with the coconut and almonds on the outside. Leave to cool, seam-side down (this will help the finished roulade hold its shape].

Meanwhile, to make the filling, use electric beaters to whip the cream, vanilla seeds and icing sugar to stiff peaks.

Gently unroll the meringue onto a board and ease away the inside layer of paper (don’t worry if there are a few cracks as the cream will hold it together).  Spread the cream evenly over the meringue, then scatter with the chopped fruit, reserving a little to serve.

Using the remaining paper, roll meringue back onto itself to form a log.  Keep the roll wrapped in the paper and place it seam-side down on a plate or board. Chill for at least 20 minutes, then slice 2cm thick and serve with the reserved fruit.

Filled with vanilla cream, papaya and mango

Filled with vanilla cream, papaya and mango

This recipe has been adapted from a recipe found in Delicious Magazine.

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  1. Welcome back to the kitchen with a bang Charlie. This looks so lovely with all that fruit. Can’t believe Archie missed the family celebrations again! x

  2. I love that roulade. I did laugh at the American and the fruit crisp but seriously, no lamb? I can accept the American didn’t know any better but serious, Mr. Competitive knew better. Archie missed out on his family 21st AND the cruise? What’s he up to?

  3. What a wonderful menu for both occasions, not withstanding that the first party wasn’t quite as Australian as it should have been. I agree that a crisp is definitely more a winter dish. Lucky your family had their own event with all the standards.
    Happy birthdays, anniversary to all.

  4. The roulade looks wonderful so very summery. A crisp/crumble is quite wintery but I do love crumble with ice cream, I could eat it any time. GG

  5. This looks delicious! I love the exotic flavors (American here, so I suppose everything Australian is exotic to me). I have one question, though. Is thickened cream like whipped cream here? Is it sweet or unsweetened?

    • Hi Kate, thickened cream is just cream that’s had some gelatine added to help it whip better. You don’t have to use it, pouring cream works just as well. And no, it’s not cream that’s been sweetened.

  6. Happy Australia Day! I would assume this is similar to our American celebration of Independence Day?

    The food looks delicious. What a polite bunch you are.

  7. Mmmm… I just have to try lamb. I must. I’m not Australian, but still. All your dishes look lovely! xo

  8. Wow – that roulade looks fantastic! And you got to have Pavlova after all! I did not know that a fruit crisp and ice cream were a winter dessert – I need to go make me some STAT – definitely a good way to make winter go by 🙂

  9. Delicious from begging to end.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  10. So many great dishes and of course, one must save room for dessert.

  11. What a perfect dessert! I love the fruit!

  12. Gorgeous gorgeous! I want all of it!

  13. I love this roulade, Charlie! It’s so colorful, bright and exotic! Just wonderful 🙂

  14. Australia Day is funny isn’t it. We had Mexican for dinner and a German cake for dessert. Was a lovely evening spent watching far away fire works. Your roulade looks amazing.

  15. That roulade with all the tropical fruits sure looks lovely. You make it sounds so easy to put together.

  16. Definitely very un-Australian not to eat lamb on Australia Day! And the crisp dessert, while thoughtful, is adding insult to injury 🙂 Your family meal looks like the perfect celebratory meal and I’m glad it was more patriotic indeed. We had butterflied lamb leg and snags on the bbq as well- as should be mandatory for us all! Your roulade looks fantastic, what a great change from the usual xox

    • At least we got an invite to an Australia Day BBQ, Rebecca. Even if the cuisine wasn’t spot-on, an invite is an invite and we were very grateful to have been put on the list!

  17. Perfect menu and luscious dessert. Looks like a perfect meal for a celebration of Australian Day.

  18. I love this Australia Day dessert, so classy! And it would have been so refreshing in the heat 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  19. It makes me smile that your American friend brought crisp because that is the quintessential dessert for the birthday of a country in the Northern Hemisphere. 🙂 I’m glad you accepted it with grace even though it wasn’t your tradition at all. 🙂

  20. You make me laugh. I think you’ve guaranteed Mr Competitive is going to get even more competitive. Mind you no lamb on Australia Day – I think he needs to lift his game 🙂

    • I think the problem is that he was focused on the big race. But very nice of him to have us over for a BBQ – he’s very hospitable and we definitely need to reciprocate.

  21. I love your twist on standard meringue desserts – this roulade looks beautiful and the tropical fruit is a great pairing. It sounds like you had a great Australia day too, even if some of the food wasn’t fully in an Australian stereotype 😉

  22. G’day and WOW Charlie! i want some of this right now, true!
    It is not even brekkie, but one can never have too much pav…I agree too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  23. Looks terrific! I especially love that watermelon feta salad.

  24. My God that looks good. But all the rolling and unrolling looks way beyond me. I bet it went down very well.

  25. Oh Archie, now what mischief were you up to instead? 😉
    (ps. I didn’t have lamb or pav this Australia day…but shhhhh)

  26. You come back to cooking, and cook a bomb that looks as close to perfection as if it was turned out in a professional baker’s lab. Such a shame Archie missed out on so many occasions, including his own 21st. Hope he is doing great.

  27. Aww I don’t think it’s that bad to not have lamb on Australia Day. Wasn’t it just some ad for lamb that gave us that rule? I had to have a vanilla slice on Australia Day but that was because I had a mad craving for it!

  28. Welcome back in the Kitchen Charlie 🙂 I haven’t been in the kitchen or cook much really since Christmas and New Year we then had Chinese New Years house party as well so we’re trying to recuperate now and having a lot of meals out hehe

    Wow this tropical meringue roulade looks and sounds amazing!!! I haven’t had a roulade for the longest time hehe

  29. I think the choice not to have lamb on Australia Day would be like if we in the United States chose not to serve turkey on Thanksgiving. Some of the guests, the impolite ones, would revolt! But you did have a wonderful meal. It’s lovely to have your mother’s recipes! Everything you shared looks mighty good to me!

  30. Well I’m glad you guys made up for your un-patriotic meal with this gorgeous meringue roulade!! It is stunning!

  31. Well, I’m definitely going to get my husband to make this. We’ve been living away from Australia since 1998 but I got homesick for Australia on Australia Day for the first time ever this year and had my hubby make me Neil Perry’s pavlova. I always associate pavlovas with Australia summers, as my nanna used to make it throughout my childhoods (I wrote about it here, hope you don’t mind me leaving the link: ) We will definitely be trying this, but will use local Cambodian fruits. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂

  32. This reminds me that I’ve never made a meringue and I need to remedy that. I think this rolled one with the coconut, almonds and fresh fruit is inspired…and very tropical vacation looking, too. 🙂

  33. Oh, my gosh, I never knew you could roll a meringue! I love this idea!!! What a day of deliciousness you had 🙂

  34. What a great & tasty feast for Australian Day! Hey! Great foods alround! 🙂

  35. What a delicious way to return to the kitchen. I like pavlovas but i LOVE a delicious roulade… I know they are the same ingredients but it just tastes so much better all rolled together. …and papaya is so good in a tropical meringue.

  36. That sounds great!

  37. That looks awesome.. and a bit scary to make… I remember cracking many swiss rolls in my youth… I’d need to pluck up my courage. I missed the Palm to Whale this year – and was glad too when I heard about the conditions!!! Off to the Bondi 2km tomorrow, after which I will be desperate for some good lamb and a delicious pav.

  38. Welcome back to the kitchen! Everything you made looks amazing, the bbq lamb looked fantastic! I have never had a meringue roulade, so this is on my to-do list for sure!! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  39. Sounds like a great time! We used to have a passionfruit vine when we lived in Florida — love the flowers! Glad to know that lamb and pavlova are must have’s on Australia Day — I’ll know what to do should I ever host a celebration! Fun post — thanks.

  40. I haven’t had watermelon since the summer months! Love the fruits you used throughout your menu. Everything looks delicious!!

  41. Welcome back Charlie – Is it nice to prepare food again, or is it a bit of a hassle after a lovely cruise with no cooking and no cleaning up? 😀

    Love the sound of this – looks so colourful too! Happy belated Aussie day!

  42. Oh my goodness…I’m sure that if I attempted to roll that up it would fall apart! And the “fruit crisp” really did make me laugh out loud. You’re right that is very American, and I too make it year round with different types of fruit. Especially during peach season which is around July!

    I would not have been disappointed about the lack of lamb. I don’t think I would make a very good Australian! Ha 😉

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