Meringue, fruit and cream is a firm favourite for dessert in our house and usually takes the form of a pavlova or Eton mess. We all love the combination of cream with crunchy sweet meringue and the tang of fresh fruit. This coconut and pineapple meringue roll takes all those elements and quite literally rolls them into one spectacular dessert, which is surprisingly easy to make.
Hints Tips and Variations
- The meringue can be made up to a day in advance but the dessert is best if it is filled and rolled just before required and no more than a few hours in advance. After this the dessert will still taste great but will lose some of the lovely crispy crunchiness of the meringue, which is part of what makes this dessert so good.
- As this is a special dessert I have added a little rum to the cream as I think it goes well with pineapple and coconut but it can be omitted if preferred.
- The meringue will be puffed up when it comes out of the oven but will sink back on cooling, this is normal. If you are making a meringue roll for the first time it is quite likely that you will think Nah… this is not going to work! How can I roll up a meringue that has such a crisp outside successfully? I know I did the first time I made one. But trust me it works, the meringue cracks but the crackled pattern this makes is part of the charm of this dish.
- You can use other fruit to fill the meringue. For the best flavour choose fruits that are in season as they will be tasting at their best. I have used raspberries, strawberries, peaches and even banana and passionfruit in the past.
- If you are not a fan of coconut you can leave it out and just opt for a plain meringue. Or try adding a few finely chopped pistachios or hazelnuts.
Coconut and Pineapple Meringue Roll
- 5 large egg whites
- 300 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp cornflour (corn starch)
- 50 g desiccated coconut (plus extra to sprinkle)
- 1 tsp coconut extract (optional)
- 1 pineapple
- 450 ml double cream (heavy cream)
- 2 tbsp rum (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 190℃ (180℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 5. Line a 25x38 cm (10x15in) Swiss roll tin with baking parchment so the parchment rises about 2cm (1in) above the sides of the tin.
- Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until standing in soft peaks. Add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time whisking all the time. Continue to whisk until you have a stiff glossy meringue.
- Whisk in the vinegar and cornflour. Sprinkle the coconut, coconut extract, if using, over the surface of the meringue and fold in
- Spoon the meringue into the prepared tin and spread level. Bake for 30 minutes until the meringue is pale golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin. If making the day before cover with a clean tea towel and set aside.
- When ready to assemble. Cut the pineapple into thin wedges. Cut away the peel and the tough centre core and discard. Cut one of the wedges into 10 slices and set aside. Roughly chop the remaining pineapple into small bite size pieces
- Whip the cream and rum together until standing in soft peaks. Take care not to over whip or it will be hard to spread over the meringue.
- Place a sheet of parchment on the work surface and turn out the meringue on top of the parchment. Carefully peel away the lining paper and spread most of the cream over the surface of the meringue, reserving a little for decoration.
- Spread the chopped pineapple evenly over the surface of the cream using the parchment to help you roll up the meringue like a Swiss Roll and transfer to a serving plate, seam side down.
- Spoon or pipe the remaining cream down the centre of the roll and use the reserved pineapple slices. Toast a little extra coconut until golden and sprinkle over the roll. Serve
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