How to make brown sugar pavlova with figs and a boozy sauce

A pavlova is almost as Australian as Vegemite.  They are also ridiculously easy to make and even if you do have a pavlova disaster there is a multitude of sins that can be hidden under lashings of whipped cream and piles of fruit.  The key to a good pavlova is not over-whipping the egg whites and leaving your pav in the oven after it has cooked in order for it to cool down fully.

The finished pavlova – complete with boozy sauce

In a classic case of do as I say and not as I do, I was impatient and pulled this one out of the oven too early and so it has got a few cracks in it.  Of course, once I had topped it with lovely ripe figs, berries and a boozy rum sauce no-one was complaining too much.  I whipped this one up for dinner at my friends Pete and Thea’s house.  The four of us only managed to get halfway through but Pete informed me that it was equally good the next day.  The boozy sauce in particular only gets better and it is worthwhile making extra just to have with ice-cream.

Whipping the egg whites

Ingredients

6 eggwhites
¼ tsp  cream of tartar
250gm raw caster sugar
40gm brown sugar
Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
35gm cornflour
3 tsp  white vinegar
3 figs, quartered
12 strawberries, halved
500gm thick cream
Boozy sauce
330gm raw caster sugar
70 ml golden rum

Pavlova ready to go in the oven

1.  Preheat oven to 120c. Whisk eggwhite, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until stiff peaks form (4-5 mins). You can also do this by hand but it will take considerable arm power and a lot longer.  Trust me, I have tried.

2.  Whisking continuously, gradually add sugars, a tablespoon at a time, until stiff and glossy (4-5 mins), then whisk in vanilla seeds and fold in cornflour and vinegar.

3.  Using a spatula form the mixture into a circle on an oven tray lined with baking paper.  Try and make a dip in the centre so it is easier to top with cream.

4.  Bake until crisp and dry (1½-2 hours), then turn off oven and cool completely with door ajar.

5.  Meanwhile, for the boozy sauce, stir sugar and 180ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, cook until dark caramel (5-6 mins), then remove from heat and carefully add 100ml water (be careful as hot caramel will spit) and rum. Refrigerate until required (it will keep for a week).

6.  Just before serving whip the cream until stiff peaks form (3 mins) and top pavlova with the cream and fruit.  Drizzle with some of the boozy sauce and serve the rest on the side.

Serves 10.

Posted by: on April 7th, 2012     8 Comments »

Category: Recipe - Sweet Treat
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8 Comments on “How to make brown sugar pavlova with figs and a boozy sauce”

  1. Sarah, Maison Cupcake said at 1:41 pm on April 7th, 2012:

    You had me at the word “boozy”! Love a nice big pavlova, I don’t think I’ve seen one with figs on before.

  2. Anonymous said at 8:19 pm on April 7th, 2012:

    5. Meanwhile, for the boozy sauce, stir sugar and 180ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, cook until dark caramel (5-6 mins), then remove from heat and carefully add 100ml water (be careful as hot caramel will spit). Refrigerate until required (it will keep for a week).

    What do I do with the booze? (or do I just drink it?) ;)

  3. cara waters said at 10:21 pm on April 7th, 2012:

    Figs are in season over here at the moment so I am using them a lot. I guess you are nearly up to berry time in the UK?

  4. cara waters said at 10:22 pm on April 7th, 2012:

    Oh dear! Those two crucial words “add rum” have now being included. I do agree that a swig or so of rum when making the recipe would be an added bonus though!

  5. msihua said at 4:06 am on April 8th, 2012:

    Arrghh so pretty!!!I have a confession, I’m not a pav fan.. too much sugar! *gasp* if ever that could be such a thing!

  6. Helen T said at 8:56 pm on April 8th, 2012:

    I love a pavlova, and with fruit as well then it’s just a perfect dessert. And now there’s an option of a boozy sauce? Heaven!

  7. cara waters said at 4:39 am on April 9th, 2012:

    MsIHua – Very unAustralian of you! Perhaps this version could tempt you around…

    Helen T – Booze does make everything just that little bit better

  8. Kate eat-drink-dream said at 9:47 pm on April 9th, 2012:

    Oh wow! Been wanting to try my hand at a pav for ages, just looking out for the right recipe – this one’s bookmarked – thanks!


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