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Toasted Coconut Pavlovas

Dianna Muscari
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 40 mins
Course Dessert

Ingredients
  

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes lightly toasted
  • Special Equipment: Piping Bag open star tip, parchment paper or silicone baking mat

For Coconut Custard filling:

  • Click the link above the recipe.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Whisk for about 1-2 minutes until it starts to become frothy, then gradually stream in 2/3 cup sugar. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes shiny and thick, about 2-3 more minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and coconut extract, and beat well.
  • Stop the mixer and remove the whisk attachment. Dip it into the meringue and pull it out straight up, then turn it over so the meringue forms a "peak". If it holds its shape {"stiff peaks"}, its ready. If not, continue to whisk and test every so often until it does.
  • Sprinkle in the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, and carefully fold it in to the meringue as not to deflate all the fantastic whisking you've done.
  • Fit a piping bag with an open star tip. Fill the bag with meringue. Pipe about 2 inch swirls {like you are frosting a cupcake, except flat} as the "floor" of your cup, then pipe a "wall" on top of the base. This cup will help hold the custard filling later on.
  • Sprinkle the meringues with toasted coconut flakes, if desired. Bake the meringues for 2 hours. They should be dry and crisp, but check to make sure they are not browning. For truly crisp & set meringues, turn off the oven and allow them to sit for 3 to 4 more hours, undisturbed {or even overnight}.* NOTE:If all this talk of piping bags and star tips intimidates you, skip it! You can scoop a dollop of meringue onto the parchment or silicone and make a "well" in the center using a spoon. This will make for a more rustic presentation, but it will still work just as well & be just as delicious! Never pass up a recipe just because it might not turn out looking perfect.
  • Make Custard: Set a small heatproof bowl and a fine mesh sieve nearby.
  • In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  • Slowly add milk, whisking continually, until the mixture is smooth {make sure there are no lumps}. Whisk in the coconut milk, egg yolks, and coconut extract.
  • Over medium heat, whisk the mixture constantly until it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. {Note: This will happen VERY suddenly. Don't step away for even a second! It will go from pretty liquidy to a thick pudding-like texture quickly. Just keep whisking.}
  • Once the mixture is thickened {again, it will happen all of a sudden}, remove it from the heat and continue to whisk, whisk, whisk until smooth. Reduce the heat to low, and whisk over low heat for about a minute. {Have I said "whisk" enough times yet?}
  • Remove from heat and scrape into the mesh sieve, set over the heatproof bowl. Using the whisk or a spatula, press the custard through the sieve to ensure that there are no lumps. You should have a gorgeously silky custard.
  • Cover the custard with plastic wrap, with the plastic wrap directly touching the top of the custard so it does not form a skin. Refrigerate until cool. {Make sure to lick the spatula. Mmmm.}
  • Assemble pavlovas: The custard will have solidified a bit if it's fully cooled. Whisk it vigorously to make it as smooth as possible. Fill each meringue "cup" with about a tablespoon of custard. {I put it in a zip top plastic bag & snip the tip for easy filling.} You will have leftover custard to enjoy as you please.
  • Drizzle with melted chocolate {or caramel, even. Holy cow, I have to go try that immediately.} and sprinkle with toasted coconut if desired. Stand back and look at this work of art before devouring!

Notes

*A little coconut extract goes a long way in my opinion, so don't overdo it.
Meringue recipe adapted from Food Network
Coconut Custard recipe adapted from Martha Stewart .