x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Mango and passion fruit roulade

Traditional meringue recipes often use whipped cream which is packed with fat and calories, but there is a tasty, healthy alternative.

As sweets go, meringue isn't the most sinful ever to find its way on to a dessert trolley. It is, after all, made from egg whites and sugar, which even allows optimists to describe it as fat-free. This doesn't mean that it's an entirely innocent choice, though - when it comes to the filling, calories and cholesterol levels are often given a hefty boost. A pavlova swathed in layers of Chantilly cream (whipped cream, icing sugar and vanilla) might look and taste wonderful, but this comes at a price if you're trying to be healthy.

Be smart with your filling, though, and a meringue-based dessert can be a lovely, sweet treat that is relatively light on calories and fat. To achieve this, you need to throw any ideas about using double cream out the window: Greek yoghurt or fromage frais is the way to go. Be as generous as you like with the fruit: strawberries and raspberries are lovely and summery, while slices of banana and candied ginger lend a wintry edge.

The recipe below offers a nice alternative to the traditional pavlova. It works really well as a dinner party dessert as it's quite easy to prepare, but still looks impressive. Make the meringue ahead of time and then roll it up with the filling just before you are ready to serve.

Mango and passion fruit roulade

5 medium egg whites
170g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp lemon juice
200ml low-fat Greek yoghurt
1 mango
3 passion fruit
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil, for greasing

Heat the oven to 160°C/fan 140/gas 3. Line a baking tray (approximately 35cm x 25cm x 2cm deep) with non-stick parchment paper and oil lightly. Put the egg whites in a dry, very clean bowl. Using an electric whisk, beat the whites to form soft peaks. Gradually add half the caster sugar and continue to whisk for 2 minutes. Mix the corn flour with the remaining sugar and add to the bowl along with the lemon juice. Whisk until the mixture is firm and glossy and resembles shaving foam. Spread the mixture out evenly on the prepared baking tray, place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Lay another piece of greaseproof paper out on a clean surface and dust with the icing sugar. Remove the cooked meringue from the oven, allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then carefully turn out on to the prepared baking sheet. Leave to cool completely. Pour the yoghurt into a fine sieve suspended over a bowl and leave to drain for 1 hour - this stops it from being too watery. Peel, stone and thinly slice the mango. Cut the passion fruit in half, strain the seeds and reserve both the seeds and juice. Mix the yoghurt and passion fruit juice together and spread thickly over the meringue, leaving a border of about 2cm. Top with the mango and passion fruit seeds. Roll the meringue up lengthways into a fat cylinder shape. Transfer to a plate and serve.