Warning: Toasted Coconut Pavlova, accented with homemade mango curd and heaps of tropical fruit, has been known to induce serious vacation vibes.
This Toasted Coconut Pavlova is a dessert I’ve been making for clients for a couple of years now. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to share the recipe here on the blog! Please accept my sincerest apologies for keeping these tropical, pillowy clouds of heaven from you until now.
I think all the tropical fruit I consumed during my recent trip to Costa Rica inspired me to make this recipe again. While I was there I must have eaten my own body weight in coconuts, plantains, pineapples and papayas. And don’t even get me started on the mangoes.
They’re as big as your head, as juicy as all get out, and grow in such plentiful abundance that you cannot help but marvel as you drive by the seemingly endless groves and gawk at the thousands upon thousands of ripened mangoes cluttering the side of the road as they fall from the trees. If you’re a mango fanatic like I am, I’m telling you- get yourself to Costa Rica and go hog wild.
I love what an incredibly light treat pavlovas are. Traditionally they’re topped with whipped cream and served with fresh fruit. For this Toasted Coconut Pavlova I tossed a smidge of unsweetened dried coconut into the meringue mixture, which toasts up so fragrantly when the meringues are baking and gives them an unmistakably coconutty flavor.
I didn’t mess with the fruit component because I think that’s key, but instead of whipped cream I made an easy mango curd to spoon into the middle of the meringue puffs. I’ve made this mango curd before for these Mango Meringue Tarts, but I love how it adds a bright yellow pop to this Toasted Coconut Pavlova. It kind of reminds me of a sunny side up egg!
This recipe makes about six individual pavlovas, but I’ve also made this same recipe into two larger meringues that I stacked on top of each other with a layer of mango curd in the middle, and some more on top for good measure- like a giant meringue cake!
Pavlovas are really quite simple to make, but here are some of my tips to ensure that your pavlovas turn out fluffy and amazing every time:
- It’s the general consensus that fresher, cold egg whites work best when whipping up the meringue mixture (versus older, room temperature egg whites). They’ll typically give you a more stable whip and uniform texture, making it easier to work with overall.
- Although caster sugar is the ideal type of sugar to use because of its superfine texture, you can totally use powdered sugar to make meringues, which is what I used here. Just make sure to sift it before using so you don’t end up with hard clumps of sugar in your meringue. Granulated sugar is fine too, but you may want to give it a quick blitz in the food processor to decrease the size of the granules so that your meringue doesn’t wind up with a gritty texture.
- Make sure your mixing bowl is SUPER clean and SUPER DUPER dry. Any trace of residue or liquid in your bowl can affect the quality of your meringue, such as causing unwanted deflation.
If you make this recipe, please share it on Instagram with the hashtag #LePetitEats- I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see how it turns out!
- For the mango curd:
- 1 large mango or 2 smaller mangos, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons- ¼ cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of the mango
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- Pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup butter
- For the pavlovas:
- 4 large egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut flaked or shredded, plus more for garnish
- Assorted tropical fruit, such as kiwi, mango, papaya and passion fruit
- To make the mango curd, puree the mango, sugar, lime juice and salt in a food processor, scraping down the sides as needed, until a smooth consistency is reached. Add yolks and puree for another 10-15 seconds. Strain mixture through a mesh sieve into a metal bowl, pressing on solids with back of a spatula. Discard solids.
- Set the metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk puree until thickened and a thermometer registers 170°, about 10 minutes. Remove from over saucepan and gradually whisk in butter. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 275°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a large bowl with the cream of tartar at medium speed until frothy. Beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is thick and glossy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then fold in the shredded coconut.
- Spoon or pipe mixture into about six 3 inch circles, making a small well in the middle of each circle with a spoon or spatula.
- Bake the meringues in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, or until crisp and lightly golden but still chewy on the inside. Turn off oven and let meringues cool inside the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Gently place pavlova onto a plate. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of mango curd into the center well. Scoop the pulp and seeds from passion fruit, if using, and spoon over the pavlova. Garnish the cake with fruit slices and coconut flakes