Aussie flavour


From quintessential Aussie treats such as the classic pavlova or savoury sausage roll, CW food writer Fiona Williams celebrates nearly native flavours and a twist on an old favourite.

Golden crown pavlova

This is an edited extract from Destination Flavour by Adam Liaw, published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $50 and is available in stores nationally.

Serves: 6-8

Prep: 30 mins + 3 hours cooling

Cook: 1.5 hours

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1½ cups (330g) caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornflour
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • ½ tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 150g thick coconut yoghurt
  • Assortment of chopped or sliced golden and yellow fruits to top the pavlova, such as feijoa, yellow nectarine, banana, mango, papaya and passionfruit.
  • 1 cup (220 g) sugar (for the spun sugar)

Heat your oven to 110°C. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time and continue to beat until glossy. About halfway through adding the sugar, stir the cornflour, cream of tartar and salt into the sugar, then continue adding to the egg white mixture. Beat for a further 10 minutes after all the sugar has been added.

Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper and spread the meringue on the baking paper in a rough cake shape. If you keep adding meringue to the centre and pushing it down, the pavlova will form an attractive natural edge. Place in the oven and bake for 90 minutes, then turn off the oven, allowing the pavlova to cool without opening the door for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.

For the spun sugar, place the sugar in a small saucepan with 2 tablespoons cold water and swirl the pan to mix. Place over medium-high heat and swirl occasionally until the mixture forms a dark golden caramel. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Dip two forks into the caramel and draw the forks away. As the mixture cools, it will form long threads as the forks are drawn away; at this point the sugar is ready to be spun. Repeatedly ‘cast’ the sugar over a large metal bowl to form long threads supported by the edges of the bowl. Gather the threads together into a crown shape.

Whip the cream to soft peaks with the vanilla, and then mix the yoghurt through. Dollop the cream and yoghurt mixture onto the pavlova and top with your assortment of fruits. Top with the crown of spun sugar.

Pork and apple sausage rolls

Recipe courtesy of Australian Onions |

Serves: 24

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 55 mins

  • 6 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp black sesame or poppy seeds
  • Tomato or barbecue sauce, to serve

For the filling

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, peeled, coarsely grated
  • 8 slices thick white bread, crusts removed
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, coarsely grated
  • 500g sausage mince
  • 500g pork mince
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 200°C fan forced. Lightly grease two large oven trays.

To make filling, heat oil in a medium frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes or until onion is soft. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, tear the bread into small pieces. Place in a large bowl. Pour over milk. Stand for five minutes. Squeeze and discard excess milk from the bread. Return bread to the bowl. Squeeze and discard the excess moisture from apple. Add apples to the bread and onion, mince, parsley and egg. Season. Use your hands to mix well.

Place pastry sheets on a clean surface. Cut in half crossways. Spoon a heaped ½ cup of filling down the long side of each piece of pastry. Roll up to enclose. Brush tops with egg. Sprinkle with seeds. Cut each roll in half crossways. Place on oven trays, allowing room between each. Bake 50 minutes. Serve with sauce.

Banana bread lamingtons

Recipe courtesy of Australian Bananas |

Serves: 24

Prep: 30 mins

Cook: 35 mins

  • 2⅔ cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 large ripe Cavendish bananas, coarsely mashed
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 cups desiccated coconut

For the chocolate Icing

  • 6 cups icing sugar mixture
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups boiling water

Preheat oven 180°C fan forced. Grease and line a 4cm deep; 18 x 29.5cm (base) slab pan.

Sift flour and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Stir in sugar. Combine banana, butter, eggs and milk in a jug, then pour into flour mixture. Stir gently until just combined. Spoon into pan, smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Lift onto a wire rack to cool completely. Trim the edges then cut into 24 x 4cm squares.

For the chocolate icing, sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a medium bowl. Add the water and stir until smooth. Dip one piece of banana bread at a time into the warm icing to coat. Allow excess to drip back into the bowl. Roll in the coconut. Place onto a tray to set. Repeat with the remaining banana bread, icing and coconut.

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