A pavlova that's just like eating clouds

Last updated 12:36 31/01/2014
Pavlova

LIGHT, YET UNDEIABLY TASTY: Pavlova with vanilla grilled peaches and salted bourbon caramel.

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A meal should never just be about the main course. Dessert, and the classic pavlova no less, needs its time in the sun.

I love the mystery of pavlova - the light crust, the mouth cloying centre, the potential toppings, and the idea that, in a way, I'm eating clouds. 

As far as desserts go, this one is completely irresistible, floating on a serving dish, bulging with glistening fruit, and oozing some get-me-a-plate-immediately bourbon caramel.

The grilled peach element is your nod to all things BBQ come Australia day and I promise you'll be a firm favourite if

PAVLOVA WITH VANILLA GRILLED PEACHES AND SALTED BOURBON CARAMEL

NEED TO KNOW

Main ingredient Eggs
Type of dish Pudding
Course Dessert
Cooking time 2+
Serves/makes 6-8
Special options Gluten-free

Pavlova
10 eggwhites
525g caster sugar
3 tsp cornflour
3 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 -6 ripe peaches halved, pitted
melted butter for brushing
Vanilla Cream
1L pouring cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Salted Bourbon caramel
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup brown sugar
dollop of butter
½ cup cream
2 tbsp good quality bourbon
Generous pinch sea salt flakes

1. Preheat oven to 200C.

2. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch salt in an electric mixer on medium speed and beat until soft peaks form (2 minutes). Add one-third of sugar and whisk to combine, then gradually add remaining sugar and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form (2-3 minutes).

3. Fold through cornflour, vinegar and vanilla, then form into a 24cm-diameter round with edges slightly higher than centre on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

4. Reduce oven to 160C and bake pavlova until lightly browned on the outside and cooked on the inside (35 - 40 minutes), turn oven off and stand in oven for 10 minutes, then remove and cool to room temperature (1 hour).

5. For vanilla cream, whisk cream, sugar and vanilla to stiff peaks in a bowl.

6. For the bourbon caramel add the sugars and a dollop of butter to a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a rapid simmer and swirl until the sugars have dissolved. Without stirring let simmer until the colour changes to a nutty brown, about five minutes.

7. Remove from the heat and add the bourbon and cream, stirring quickly as the mixture will bubble. Add a generous pinch of sea salt flakes, or to taste, and set aside until serving.

8. Just before serving preheat a grill over high heat until smoking. Brush cut-side of peaches with melted butter and grill, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes each side). Remove and allow to cool.

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9. While the peaches are cooling, place the pavlova on a serving plate. Spoon the vanilla cream into the centre of the pavlova.

10. Heap the grilled peaches over the vanilla cream and drizzle over the bourbon caramel.

11. Serve immediately.

- Daily Life

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