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Chocolate pavlova with spiced pears and butterscotch sauce

    • Method
    • Notes
    1. Step 1

      Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper and draw an 18cm circle on each sheet.

    2. Step 2

      Sift cocoa, cornflour, cream of tartar and cinnamon into a small bowl, add the chocolate and stir to combine. Set aside.

    3. Step 3

      In a large bowl, whisk eggwhites with electric beaters until frothy. With motor running, slowly add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly and allowing each spoonful to be incorporated before adding the next, until stiff and glossy. Fold in vinegar and chocolate mixture.

    4. Step 4

      Divide meringue among the trays and spread to cover the circles, smoothing the tops. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven to 150°C and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow meringue to cool completely in the oven.

    5. Step 5

      Meanwhile, for the pears, place all the ingredients and 1 1/2 cups (375ml) water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes until pear is tender when pierced with a knife. Transfer pear to a bowl, then return the poaching liquid to medium-high heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds. Strain over the pear and set aside to cool.

    6. Step 6

      For the butterscotch sauce, place all the ingredients in a pan over medium heat and bring to just below boiling point. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes until sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly thickened. Allow to cool.

    7. Step 7

      Place almonds in a frypan over medium heat and sprinkle over the extra 2 teaspoons caster sugar. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden and caramelised. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

    8. Step 8

      To make the mascarpone cream, place mascarpone, cream and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until smooth and combined.

    9. Step 9

      Place 1 meringue on a platter and top with one-third each of the cream, spiced pear and nuts, then drizzle with a little butterscotch sauce and pear syrup. Repeat the layers 2 more times, then sprinkle with extra chopped chocolate, to serve.

    Amaretto is an Italian almond liqueur from selected bottle shops.

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