|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|
¼ tsp cream of tartar
250gm raw caster sugar
40gm brown sugar
Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
3 tsp white vinegar
3 figs, quartered
12 strawberries, halved
500gm thick cream
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.