Granted it’s not the prettiest looking dessert but I can’t think of a more delicious combination than caramel, cream and bananas. Banoffee is normally served as a pie but it also makes a wonderful topping for pavlova, in fact I almost prefer it as it’s somewhat lighter and not as sweet. This is a very easy dessert to pull together but the pavlova does need to be made a good few hours in advance so as it has time to cool down properly in the oven. I normally make it the day before and just leave the pavlova in the cooled oven overnight and only take it out when I am ready to assemble the topping which should really only be done an hour or two before serving. Keeping your pavlova in the cooling oven is also the safest way to ensure it doesn’t get soft and sticky on hot humid days. If you’re able to buy cans of pre-cooked condensed milk (which is sometimes labeled as caramel filling or topping) also saves a lot of time. Nestle make these in Australia and they’re available in most supermarkets. You can boil your own cans of condensed milk but it takes a while and a close eye needs to be kept on them to avoid a messy disaster if they explode.
Ingredients – Serves 6-8
7 egg whites at room temperature
225g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
400g tin of prepared caramel (made from condensed milk)
3 bananas, peeled and sliced
300ml whipping cream
2 tablespoons grated dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180C. Cover a baking sheet with nonstick baking paper. Whisk the egg whites until they are just stiff. Gradually add the sugar, a little at a time, whisking well after each addition. Continue until all the sugar is incorporated. Whisk for another 1-2 minutes until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Whisk in the cornflour. Spoon the mixture into a circle on the baking paper, making a slight dip in the middle. Place the baking sheet in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 130C and cook for 1½ hours.
Turn the oven off and leave the meringue inside until the oven is cool. Peel the pavlova off the baking paper and place onto a serving plate. Beat the caramel to soften it and then spread over the pavlova, spooning some over the sides. Top with the slices of banana. Whisk the double cream until soft peaks form and then spoon over the bananas. Finish off with a sprinkling of grated chocolate.