Christmas Recipe: Tropical Pavlova Wreath
Hi everyone! I’m Mel, founder and Executive Chef at All Things Delicious and I am sharing another Christmas recipe!
Christmas is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate other than having a show-stopping Tropical Pavlova Wreath as the centrepiece at your dessert table! With just a handful of ingredients, you can make this gorgeous dessert this festive season! The great thing is you can make the components in advance and assemble them when you’re ready to stun your guests!
The pavlova is shaped like a wreath and filled with whipped mascarpone cream, and tropical fruits!. I've topped it with caramelised honey pineapples, some cubes of juicy, ripe mangoes and a thickened dragonfruit-calamansi compote. The STAR of the show are definitely the dehydrated pieces of thinly-sliced starfuit! My suggestion is to make the dragonfruit compote, mascarpone whipped cream and dehydrated starfruit one day ahead. Make the meringue early the next day so that it has time to cool completely before you assemble the pavlova. Hey, it’s Christmas so I am pulling all the stops!
With help from my Whirlpool oven (Whirlpool W7 OM4 4S1 P BL Oven) that can go as low as 60°C, I’ve dehydrated slices of starfruit to create translucent little stars to decorate the pavlova. I’ve done this one day ahead of time and kept the slices in an airtight container in a cool, dry place with parchment paper lined between the layers of these beauties.
I chill my dragonfruit compote and mascarpone whipped cream in Whirlpool’s fridge! (Whirlpool JumboFlexi 591L) This fridge works wonders because of its 6th Sense feature that allows long and fresh preservation of fresh food! Your hard work stays fresher, retains its shape and colour for longer!
With the making of any meringue like a pavlova, the most important tip I can give is to ensure your bowls and tools are squeaky clean i.e. free from grease. Any small amount of fat can cause the egg whites to refuse to rise into the glorious, shaving cream-like consistency.
So when the elements of the pavlova are ready, you can start assembling the dessert! Starting with mascarpone cream, and then the fresh tropical fruits, followed by dragonfruit compote. Lastly, place pieces of the dehydrated starfruit all over the Tropical Pavlova Wreath!
And there you have it! Cut a slice of the pavlova, making sure that you get all the good stuff! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and Merry Christmas!
Dehydrated Starfruit Slices
- 50g sugar
- 230ml water
- 1 small starfruit, sliced thinly with a mandolin
- 250g egg whites
- ¾ tsp cream of tartar
- 420g sugar
- 1 ½ tsp corn flour
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Mascarpone whipped cream
- 50g cold mascarpone
- 15g sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 100g cold cream
- 250g purple dragonfruit flesh
- 100g sugar or to taste depending sweetness of dragonfruit
- 50ml water
- 8 calamansi, cut in half
- ½ tsp agar-agar powder
- ½ honey pineapple, 2cm cubes
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1-2 ripe mangos, 2cm cubes
- Prepare the starfruit slices, dragonfruit compote and mascarpone whipped cream one day ahead.
- Using a mandolin, thinly slice a small starfruit.
- In a medium saucepan, dissolve 50g sugar in 230ml water on medium heat. Do not boil and keep it simmering.
- Add the starfruit slices and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Do not boil. In the meantime, turn on the oven at 60˚C fan-assisted.
- Remove saucepan from heat and arrange starfruit slices, removing any excess liquid, onto a baking tray with silpat or silicon paper. Dehydrate in the oven for about 4 hours until translucent and slightly crisp. Store in an airtight container, in between parchment paper to avoid sticking.
- Make the dragonfruit compote. Add sugar and water. Using a handheld blender, blend the fruit until there are no more chunks of fruit. Taste to see that this is sweet enough. Add more sugar if required.
- On a medium-high heat, add the agar-agar powder in the compote mixture and let it come to a boil and keep to a rolling boil for another 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and squeeze in calamansi juice into the dragonfruit compote.
- Using a spoon, remove the layer of skin that forms on the surface of the compote.
- Cling wrap it, ensure that the surface of the compote is covered well.. Store in the fridge to let it chill overnight.
- While the dragonfruit compote is cooling down, make the whipped mascarpone.
- Add mascarpone into a mixing bowl, with sugar and vanilla extract.
- Whisk on low speed to incorporate and slowly add the cream. Increase speed to medium-high and whisk until semi stiff peaks consistency.
- Store into a clean container and keep it refrigerated overnight.
- The next morning, make the pavlova. Turn the oven on to 150˚C.
- In a sparkly clean mixing bowl, add the egg whites. Using a clean whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks on low to medium speed.
- With the motor running, add 1 tablespoon of sugar every 30s and continue whisking on medium speed.
- After incorporating all the sugar, whisk for another 8-10 minutes until meringue is thick, glossy, and sugar has dissolved.
- Add corn flour and whisk until combined. Add white vinegar and whisk until combined. The meringue is ready!
- Using a pencil, trace a 7-inch circle on a parchment paper and then smaller circles around the perimeter of the bigger circle. I’ve used a side plate and a drinking glass to draw these circles. Turn the paper over, place it on your baking tray.
- Transfer the meringue into a piping bag and pipe circular “bowls” onto the parchment paper, using the pencil marks to guide you into making the wreath shape. The bowl shape of each circular meringue will ensure the pavlova becomes a great receptacle for the mascarpone whipped cream and fruits later!
- Put tray into the heated oven and reduce temperature to 100˚C. Bake in the oven for 1 - 1½ hours until crisp to the touch. Turn off the oven and leave the meringue in the oven until the oven has cooled completely, with the door shut tight.
- For the caramelised pineapples, slice off the pineapple skin and remove the pineapple eyes. Discard the fibrous core and dice the fruit into smaller 2cm pieces.
- Transfer the fruit into a bowl and toss in sugar until well coated.
- Caramelise pineapples on a frying pan on medium heat. Let the fruit brown on both sides. Remove from heat and transfer into a clean bowl. Set aside.
- For the mangoes, cut the fruit in half and remove the seed.
- Cut the flesh in a grid-like pattern without cutting through the mango skin.
- Carefully, using a spoon or a knife detach the flesh from the skin and scoop the cubes out.
- Time to assemble! Using a long palette knife, gently transfer the pavlova onto your serving dish. It’s ok if accidents happen because the mascarpone cream will glue any cracked circles back into place and no one will be able to tell!
- Remove the mascarpone whipped cream and transfer into a piping bag. Pipe onto the “bowls” of the pavlova, making small swirls and covering any cracks.
- Once done, top the pavlova with mangoes and caramelised pineapples. Dollop some dragonfruit compote and decorate it with dehydrated starfruit slices.