"Reasons why my meringue preference is for a roll over a classic dome: 1. The crust quotient (CQ) is higher. More crunch balances the soft inside and creamy parts. 2. No shaping surprises with a flat pavlova. The proud dome you shape with meringue can sometimes end up baking into an askew beret! 3. Faster! No slooowww cool down keeping you from putting a slice of pavlova on your plate a minute longer than necessary." – Nat Paull.

Makes A cake for 6–8.

Takes Two hours from start to serve. Or you can bake the meringue sheet the day before and fill the next day.

Keeps Always best served just after rolling. When filled, this will keep refrigerated for 1 day, well covered or in an airtight container. Unfilled, the meringue will hold for up to 3 days, but give it a 10 minute re-crisp in a 140°C (285°F) oven, then cool before filling.

cooking oil spray
300g caster sugar
70g coconut sugar
5g vanilla paste
5g cornflour
5ml white or apple-cider vinegar
2g fine sea salt
225g egg white (from approx 12 eggs)
2g cream of tartar
600g cream (45 per cent milkfat)
1 batch spiced grilled blood plums, chilled

  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C (285°F). Lightly spray a flat and heavy 30cm × 40cm shallow baking tray with cooking oil, then lay a piece of baking paper on the tray, to cover the entire surface. Don’t spray again.
  2. Weigh the caster sugar into a small bowl with a small scoop. Weigh the coconut sugar separately. Next, weigh the vanilla, cornflour vinegar and salt together and stir together, then set aside.
    Coconut sugar impedes getting a stiff meringue structure, so we will add it at the end – when the meringue is strong.
  3. Put the egg white and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on speed 8 (under high) for 3–5 minutes. Once the whites have changed from foamy to stiff and white, start adding the caster sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, over 3 minutes to make a very shiny and rigid meringue.
  4. Turn the mixer off and add the coconut sugar. Slowly turn the mixer on, increasing up to speed 8 (under high) for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add the cornflour/vinegar mixture. Re-whip for 5 seconds. Take the bowl off the mixer and use your fingers to push the meringue off the whisk back into the bowl. Give it a final and thorough mix with a plastic spatula so the colour is a uniform pale malt brown.
    Don’t worry that the meringue has sugary speckles.
  5. Scrape the mix out onto the prepared baking tray. Using an offset spatula, smooth it evenly over the tray, leaving a 1.5 cm border around the edges to allow for some expansion during baking. Bake for 1 hour until the top feels like a crunchy pillow that cracks when gently pressed. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature on the tray, until ready to roll.* Moving it off the tray while it’s hot makes the sheet prone to breaking.
  6. While the meringue cools, whip the cream to billowy soft and cut most of the grilled plum pieces into smaller pieces (four pieces per plum half). Reserve a few slices or whole pieces for the top.
  7. To roll, lay two overlapping pieces of plastic wrap on the work surface to make a sheet slightly larger than the meringue sheet. Carefully flip the meringue sheet off the tray, with the shortest side closest to you, and peel off the baking paper. The meringue should now be crunchy top side down and the underside, now exposed, should feel soft and a little sticky.
  8. Keeping the short side closest to you, evenly spread 400g of the cream over the meringue, but only smooth a light smear over the 2cm strip at the top of the sheet. This will become the seal, so it’s best not to overload it with cream that will ooze out upon rolling. Scatter the grilled plums evenly over the cream (except for the strip along the top). Tear the pieces up a little if they are too big, as big pieces make a lumpy roll.
  9. Take a firm hold of the plastic wrap closest to you and use a repetitive ‘lift and roll’ motion to gradually roll the meringue, until you do a final full roll to reach the end, with the seam underneath. Form a spine of reserved cream then plum pieces. Drizzle the reserved syrup on top.

*Overbaked meringue will be uber-crisp and unbending, threatening to snap. To repair, place the cream and fruit on the sheet and chill for an hour, then roll.

If your meringue is underbaked, bake the meringue sheet for another 20 minutes at 140°C, even if you do this the day after.

If the sheet has cracked irreparably, stack large shards with the cream and fruit in an avant-garde (but totally meant it) way.


Other fruit
Use a similar weight of raspberries or strawberries in place of the plums. The Sumac blackberries are also incredible here!

Toffeed bananas
Are a year round fruity friend … and add fresh passionfruit to bring the zing.

Roasted quinces or toffee figs
Are my autumnal go-to, and coconut is such a bosom buddy to them both. With quince, this roulade is beyond next level.

Spiced grilled blood plums
These plums are another example of Christine Manfield’s (tysm) dessert genius! The grill char imparts a seductive smokiness.

The syrup floods them while warm and they absorb all the honey sweetness and glorious spices and fresh citrus zing. These plums love to be served with chocolate mousse, panna cottas or store-bought gelato. I can’t help falling in love with this recipe every time the syrup sizzles on the fruit.

Makes Approximately 800g fruit and syrup.

Takes 30 minutes. Can be served warm or cool

Keeps Chilled for up to 4 days. Can be frozen after that and defrosts pretty well!


750g blood plums, still firm, not yieldingly ripe (around 8)

30g demerara sugar

Spiced syrup
1 orange
1 lemon
100g caster sugar
40g honey
40g cold water
4 star anise
2 whole allspice berries
few grinds black pepper
1–2 fresh bay leaves (optional)

  1. To start the spiced syrup, peel four wide strips each from the orange and the lemon and place into a small, non-reactive saucepan. Set the fruit aside (you’ll add their juice to the syrup later).
  2. Add the remaining syrup ingredients to the saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium–high heat, stirring at first to loosen the sugar. When it boils, turn it down to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until syrupy like maple syrup. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. While the syrup cools, heat your grill to high (100 per cent). Cut the plums in half, following their natural seam. Twist and pull apart and remove the stone (if it doesn’t prise out easily, cut around it with a small, pointy knife). Place the plums, cut-side up, on a non-reactive, ovenproof, shallow-lipped tray (or line a tray with foil). Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the plums, then grill for 10-12 minutes, until the cut side has blistered and some have a collar of blackened flesh.
  4. If you don’t have a grill, halve the plums, remove the stones and set in a baking tray. Scatter the sugar on the cut sides and caramelise with a blowtorch until dark brown. If the plums are large and still firm, bake for 10-15 minutes in a 180°C oven until they soften but hold their shape.
  5. Remove the plums from the grill. Squeeze the juice from the orange and lemon into the syrup and pour over the plums.
    Adding the juice when the syrup has cooled will retain the fresh acidity. Overheated juice loses vibrancy.
  6. Allow to stand for 30 minutes, turning once in the syrup. Cool to room temperature before using.


Peaches, nectarines

Substitute in any peak-season ripe stone fruit. Exclude apricots from grilling – they need a gentle and less scorching treatment.