Layered Passionfruit and Mango Meringue

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This dessert is a play on the classic pavlova and the Italian tiramisu. In the Bourke Street Bakery version, meringue sheets replace the savoiardi (lady finger) biscuits of a traditional tiramisu, and are layered with mascarpone and fresh mango slices and passionfruit. The finished product can be served buffet-style and simply scooped out of its dish with a large serving spoon. For a more formal occasion it can be made in a 30 cm (12 inch) spring-form cake tin and carefully cut into portions and served as a plated dessert.

Ingredients

Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 250 g (9 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • teaspoon white vinegar

Mascarpone Filling

  • 2 egg whites
  • 25 g (1 oz) caster (superfine) sugar, for egg whites
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 35 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar, for egg yolks
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 2–3 ripe mangoes,
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) passionfruit pulp

Method

Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F/Gas 1). Line three 30 x 20 cm (12 x 8 inch) baking trays with baking paper.

To make the meringues, put the egg whites into the very clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk the egg whites on high speed until firm peaks form. With the motor still running, slowly pour in the sugar and whisk until shiny, firm peaks form. Use a rubber spatula to fold through the vanilla extract and vinegar. Scoop the meringue onto the three trays and use a palette knife to quickly spread the meringue evenly over each tray. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until just starting to take on some colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays. Run a knife around the edge to release the meringue, turn out and cool.

To make the mascarpone filling, put the egg whites in the very clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. With the motor still running, slowly pour in the sugar for the whites and mix until soft peaks form — be careful not to overmix. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Put the egg yolks and the sugar for the yolks into the cleaned mixing bowl and use the whisk attachment to combine on medium speed. Add the mascarpone and continue mixing for about 30 seconds, or until it becomes quite smooth. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chilled meringue in two batches, being careful not to overwork and knock out all the air.

Peel the mangoes and cut into slices about 5 mm (¼ inch) thick. Place a sheet of the cooked meringue into a 20 x 30 x 6 cm (8 x 12 x 2½ inch) ceramic baking dish, trimming the sheets slightly to fit if needed. Place half of the mascarpone filling over the meringue and spread evenly with a palette knife, making sure you spread it all the way to the edges. Arrange with a single layer of sliced mangoes and half of the passionfruit pulp. Place another meringue sheet on top, spread with the remaining mascarpone and then arrange the remaining mango and passionfruit over the top. Finally, top with the last meringue sheet. Refrigerate for at least 4–6 hours, or until set.

Variation

There are endless combinations of fruits that could be used in this cake. We have also used rhubarb, which has been roasted in the oven with a sprinkling of sugar, as well as fresh peaches, which are fantastic in season. It’s also possible to fold some desiccated coconut or ground almonds through the meringue.