It’s banoffee and it’s a pavlova. It’s also very easy to make
Vanessa Greenwood: A delicious twist on the classic biscuit-base banoffee
Making a pavlova is truly easy. Once the egg whites, sugar, cornflour and vinegar are successfully whisked to a voluminous white meringue mixture, a low and slow baking gives a delicate shell that can only be honoured with chilled whipped cream. Decorating a pavlova with as much gusto as an Easter bonnet simply must be done. Fresh fruit and lots of it, looks great.
Since the beginning of this column I have looked forward to making a banoffee recipe. It is hard to find anyone who dislikes banoffee. This version is slightly unusual. A student who completed our certificate course came up with this clever idea for a banoffee pavlova. It is one of her favourite family desserts.
When I made it, my kids, who are serious banoffee fans, went ballistic with glee. As a treat, it is possibly the ultimate sugar rush. Apart from the distinctive marshmallow-like pavlova centre, the combination of whipped cream, sliced banana, caramel and chocolate provide many distinct textures.
So, would I consider pavlova a substitute for the classic biscuit base of a traditional banoffee? Yes.
it is certainly one to try, so you can decide for yourself. You could also buy caramel if you don’t want to make your own.
Variation: Any colourful fresh fruits, toasted nuts, curds and coulis can be used to decorate pavlovas.
For the filling
3-4 just-ripe bananas, sliced diagonally into 4cm lengths
250ml cream, softly whipped
40g chocolate, grated
3 egg whites
175g caster sugar
2 level tsp cornflour
1 tsp white wine vinegar
20g caster sugar
100ml condensed milk
1 tsp golden syrup
Preheat oven to 120°C (conventional oven). Use a pencil and a 20cm dinner plate to outline a circle on a sheet of parchment paper. Turn the paper over and place on a greased baking sheet.
To make the meringue: place egg whites in a spotlessly clean, grease-free mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk on high speed until the egg whites resemble soft white peaks. Use a large spoon to gradually add the caster sugar while you continue to whisk. Keep whisking for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture is glossy and stiff. Stir the cornflour and vinegar together, then gently fold the cornflour and vinegar mixture through the meringue.
To shape the pavlova, pile the meringue into the centre of the circle. Without flattening the meringue, use a spatula to spread the meringue into a circle, within the outline as drawn. Level the top with a spatula.
Bake on the lowest shelf of the preheated oven for 1½ hours, resisting the temptation to open the oven door. Turn off the oven and leave the pavlova inside the oven to cool down fully. Once cool, set aside in an airtight container until ready to use.
For the caramel, melt the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. When the sugar has dissolved fully, add the condensed milk and golden syrup. Increase the heat to high and stand over the pan, stirring for approximately 10 minutes until a golden caramel colour (reduce the heat if the sugar starts to catch on the base of the pan). The caramel needs to be a pouring consistency when served (so, if it goes stiff, gently reheat and loosen by stirring in a splash of cream or milk).
When ready to serve, top the pavlova with freshly whipped cream and the sliced bananas. Drizzle caramel over the top. Lastly scatter with grated chocolate. Serve immediately.