Stacked Pavlova w/ Durian Coconut Creme, Crispy Yuba & Gula Melaka Caramel

This week, playing with the 'forbidden fruit', also known as the King of fruit - DURIAN! Green & thorny on the outside but soft & creamy flesh on the inside. Commonly found in Asia, this fruit has a strong stench & bitter sweetness taste to it. So often westerners who are strangers to this fruit find it hard to accept, especially the smell of it. 

As the years go by, Asian culture have managed to transform durian into many different form of desserts. e.g. durian puff, durian cake, durian roll etc. This fruit is indeed favorite to many in Asia, especially in SEA.

No doubt, this 'stenchy' fruit is my favorite sin as well. & it's been awhile since I last baked, I've decided to incorporate durian in this recipe! For durian haters, fret not! simply switch the durian to other fruits like passion fruit or mango so as to tweak this recipe to your taste.

A Russian twist off in the SEA way~ Sweetness sin heaven - Durian Coconut Creme in Stacked Pavlova w/ Fried Crispy Yuba (beancurd skin), Black sesame & Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar) Caramel Sauce! - This recipe consist of 4 different components, once you've master it, making other desserts will be real easy as you can then incorporate all these techniques in other sweet recipes! 

INGREDIENTS - 10" D - 1.5 HOURS

Pavlova Base

  • 8 whole egg white
  • 250 g of  icing sugar/caster sugar
  • 4 tbs of corn starch
  • 1 tbs cream of tartar (optional)
  • 2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar

Durian Coconut Creme

  • 3 tbs of fresh durian flesh
  • 250 ml of whipping cream
  • 3 tbs of coconut cream
  • 2 tbs of powdered sugar (taste & adjust)

Gula Melaka Caramel

  • 110g of gula melaka
  • 80g of sugar
  • 70g of butter
  •  130ml of heavy cream

Crispy Yuba

  • 50 g of thin dried yuba
  • oil for deep frying

1 tbs of toasted black sesame for garnishing
icing sugar for dusting

PREPARATIONS

Pavlova Base

In a mixing bowl/standing mixer, start whisking on high till white turns foamy. After which start adding the sugar mixture in 3 separate batches while continue whisking on medium high speed. After the second batch of sugar mixture are in, add in the vinegar and essence. As you whisk, it will start to turn shiny until it reaches close to stiff peak and folds into ribbons easily while still holding its shape.

Carefully transfer the whipped meringue separating it into half on to 2 separate baking sheet, mold it into circular shape of 10" D size. You should have enough meringue to be at least 1 1/2 inches- 2 inches thick to form the light texture on the inside.

Bake on 150C/300F for 45 mins or so till the outer turn hard & crispy. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before assembling.

Durian Coconut Creme

In a mixing bowl/standing mixer, add in all the ingredients and whisk on medium speed till the stage right before stiff peak. Set it in the chiller for at least 15 minutes to firm it up before using it. P/s: Do not over whisk as the creme will separate and turn into butter.

Crispy Yuba

Preheat pot of oil on medium heat, when the temperature reaches 185C/370F, add in yuba layer by layer. It should take less than 5-10 secs for the yuba to crisp up. Set aside till ready to use.

Gula Melaka Caramel Sauce

In a sauce pan, over medium low heat, melt the gula melaka along with white sugar, after the sugar melts, have it continue cooking for a good 5 mins while stirring slowly. Note: Keep a good watch for over heating like smoke, sauce turning black, as you do not want to burn the sugar!

After 5 mins, add in butter, & stir well (be careful might splatter). Have the heavy cream in as well. Cook for about 5-10 minutes while stirring until the caramel starts to thicken. Pour into a jar and have it cool down before storing in the fridge.

Assembling

Lay the base with the 1st layer of pavlova. Spread half of the durian coconut creme on it, followed by a few pieces of fried crispy yuba. Then stack with the second layer of pavlova. Spread the remaining durian coconut creme on it, (add more durian flesh on top the creme if you'd like) garnish with crispy fried yuba, toasted black sesame, dust with icing sugar & pour in the gula melaka caramel to your taste! You're ready to serve!