Passionfruit and Raspberry Chinchillas
As part of my participation in the Great Australian Pavlova Blog Hop this weekend, I wanted to share a second recipe, something a little bit different to the usual pavlova. These 'chinchillas', or marshmallow meringue souffles with passionfruit are really quick and easy to make, and they taste so light and lovely. Well, actually, they are quite exquisite, especially on day two!
I have to tell you that I eyed off (and quite honestly, drooled over) the recipe in Steven Wheeler's 20-Minute Cookbook for almost a half lifetime before trying it. When I finally did, I was so pleasantly surprised! Why hadn't I made it sooner? Well, I suppose I was simply busy road testing and attempting to perfect pavlova, tiramisu, strudel, ice cream, choux pastry and so on. So many recipes, so little time!
The original recipe suggested that custard (store bought, yuk, or home made), be poured around the base of the chinchillas. However, the meringue is so beautifully marshmallowy and the passionfruit so flavoursome, I don't feel that the custard is necessary and have omitted it from my adaptation. Fresh raspberries atop the chinchillas, with just a light dusting of icing sugar, are the perfect finish.
Passionfruit and meringue go so well together. And speaking of passionfruit, isn't nature a curious thing! The mystically beautiful flowers of the passionfruit vine transform into such an odd-looking fruit with a firm shell and leathery skin. And yet, inside the pith and lining is a mouthful of sweet and fragrant pulp, tangy juice and that mass of crunchy edible seeds. When you are buying passionfruit, choose fruit that is heavy for its size with a smooth deep purple, yellow or red skin (depending on the variety). Avoid any that are excessively wrinkled, blemished or dry-looking. Store passionfruit in an airtight container in the refrigerator. And here's a money-saving hint, for year-round supplies, buy passionfruit in season and snap freeze the pulp in ice-cube trays and store cubes in plastic bags. Cubes of frozen passionfruit pulp also make a yummy addition to fruit punch or juice!
PASSIONFRUIT AND RASPBERRY CHINCHILLAS
1 tablespoon butter, softened
5 egg whites
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 punnets raspberries
icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease four 300ml ramekins with soft butter. Make sure you give the dishes a good coating of butter. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until all incorporated. Slice the passionfruit in half and spoon out the seeds and juice. Add the passionfruit to the meringue and carefully fold through. Spoon the mixture equally into the four greased ramekins. Stand them in a baking dish and half fill the dish with boiling water. Bake in the preheated oven for ten minutes. Turn out the chinchillas upside down onto each serving plate. Top with raspberries and dust lightly with icing sugar. Serve immediately. Serves four. Note: the chinchillas can also be served cold, in which case cover each ramekin with cling film and store in the refrigerator. Top with the raspberries and icing sugar just before serving.
Recipe adapted from a recipe in The 20-Minute Coobook by Steven Wheeler (Reed)
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.