With most pavs, there's cream and tart fruit to temper the sweetness. Don't get me wrong, this is a magical combination. But sometimes you just want more, you know? You want layers of flavours so the party in your mouth isn't the kind of party where only two people show up. :(
Pavlova with Cinnamon Cream, Roasted Figs, Passionfruit and Pistachio-Saffron Praline
First, make the meringue base:
6 egg whites
300g caster sugar (I used golden caster sugar - I think it gives the meringue better flavour)
A small wedge of lemon
Preheat your oven to 100 degrees celsius.
Rub the lemon wedge around the bowl to eliminate any traces of grease or oil. Set the lemon aside. Whisk the egg whites until white and airy. With the mixer on a medium-high speed, add the sugar bit by bit and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. At the end of the whisking, squeeze about a teaspoon of the lemon juice into the meringue mix. This will help it get that marshmallow-y texture.
Spoon onto a baking parchment-lined baking tray, in the shape of a circle about 20cm wide.
Cook in the oven for about 2 hours. If the meringue starts to brown on top, turn the heat down to 90 degrees, and leave in for 10-15 minutes more. Let it cool completely in the off oven when it's done, and try to wedge the oven door open slightly.
Next, the Pistachio-Saffron Praline:
150g pistachios, shelled
3-4 strands saffron
Juice of half an orange
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan on a medium-low heat, make the caramel. Heat the sugar and orange juice until it has melted and turned golden-brown. Add the saffron strands. Don't stir it! Swish the pan around to mix it a little.
Add the pistachios into the caramel, swish it about to cover the pistachios. Pour out onto a parchment-lined tray. Let it set completely. When cool, blitz it in a food processor or blender until it resembles coarse sand. (Don't do this too long before serving, as it can get very sticky)
Next, the Roasted Figs:
4-5 figs, cut in half lengthwise
a splash of wine or port or other liqeur such as Cointreau
juice and zest of half a lemon
1-2 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet the figs are
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees celsius. Put all the ingredients in a dish together, and toss to mix. Loosely cover with some foil and place in the oven. After about 10 minutes of cooking, remove the foil and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Let cool completely.
Finally, the Cinnamon Cream:
250ml double cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whip the cream till it holds its shape, and then fold in the cinnamon and vanilla extract to combine thoroughly.
Carefully lay the meringue on your serving plate. Dollop the whipped cream on top. Cut open a passionfruit, scooping out the flesh (seeds and all) and drizzle onto the cream. Next, lay the figs on top, spooning over whatever syrupy juices are in the dish. Scatter the praline on top, and you're good to go!