Yes, I know it’s a shock but yes, I’m finally back in the kitchen.
I thought I’d ease back into the food blogging genre by sharing with you how we spent Australia Day.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And happy belated Australia Day and I hope you enjoyed plenty of lamb and pavlova.
Tropical Meringue Roulade
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.
This recipe has been adapted from a recipe found in Delicious Magazine.
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