I am now officially feeling festive my local town had there Christmas Gala on Friday night, so I took the kids along and am a little poorer as a consequence! Candy floss, hot roasted chestnuts, warm mince pies and a number of trashy rides! I did however manage a cheeky mulled wine and the kids even got to stroke the reindeer….Happy days.
As we got the Christmas tree ready to decorate yesterday afternoon (yes I know its early but I am away next weekend) we had an epic fail the Christmas lights no longer seem to work, so it’s a dash to the shops after work tonight as I cannot bear to look at the naked tree standing in the corner!!
We did however have a terrific pavlova over the weekend and I think that it would make a fantastic sweet treat over the festive period…. who doesn’t love chewy meringue?? This would be great for anybody who is not a fan of Christmas pud, it has sweet spiced figs and delicious warming ginger cream and would makes a great centrepiece.
4 large free range eggs
200g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp. cornflour
Pinch of Sea salt
400ml double cream
1 tbsp. stem ginger
1 ball of stem ginger, finely chopped
For the spiced figs
1 knob of butter
1 tbsp. demerara sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. stem ginger syrup
2 star anise
½ orange, zest and juice
to serve- toasted flaked almonds
1.Start by making the meringue, separate the egg whites into a large bowl and whisk until they form stiff peaks, then add the sugar a little at a time until it is completely incorporated, add the salt and cornflour and continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy.
2. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper onto a large baking tray and spread the meringue out to the size of an A4 sheet of paper and try to make the sides taller than the middle which should have a slight dip. Bake in a low oven 130⁰C/ gas ½ for 1 ½ hours until crisp, turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool overnight in the oven.
3. To make the spiced figs pre-heat the oven to 180⁰c/ Gas 8. Slice the figs into quarters. Butter a ovenproof dish generously, and place the figs into the dish. Sprinkle the sugar and ground cinnamon over the figs and drizzle over the stem ginger syrup. Place the star anise in between the figs then squeeze over the juice of half the orange. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the figs have softened and the juice is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
4. To make the ginger cream, beat the double cream until it forms soft peaks, add the mascarpone, steam ginger syrup and chopped steam ginger and stir it through. Chill until you are ready to assemble.
5. Carefully remove the Pavlova from the greaseproof paper onto a suitable serving dish. Pile the cream and spread it over the Pavlova. Arrange the figs over the top and drizzle any juice from the figs, finish with a scattering of orange zest and a few flaked almonds.
Eat and enjoy 🙂
Serves 6-8 people.