Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Brown sugar pavlova with banana & rum syrup

Searching through my fridge for rogue vegetables or jars of sauces past their use by date, I found my bowl of 12 egg whites left over from the Kaffir lime & coconut tart.

As a week has passed I thought it best to use them up as quickly as possible. My first thought ran to pavlova (possibly due to being an Australian - also a quintessential Kiwi dish). I have had my fair share of pavlovas, which I find incredibly delicious; in fact I imagine that if clouds were edible they'd taste just like a pavlova. Despite all my years of devouring, I have myself, never actually made one.
This excited me, I'm not sure if that is sad, being excited by whipping eggs, but hey, it put a smile on my face. I wanted my first pavlova to be a little different, like me; so I started flipping through one of my Gourmet Traveler magazines and I struck gold and found an almost Caribbean twist on the pav, using bananas, rum and brown sugar.

I must say, whilst I was whipping my eggs, watching them grow and gloss over, and then smearing them onto the baking tray, I was really enjoying myself. In fact, I think I had the most fun ever making this pavlova, let's hope it tastes as fun as it was to make.

Brown sugar pavlova with banana & rum syrup
from Australian Gourmet Traveller March 2009

4 egg whites
150gm caster sugar
120gm brown sugar
10gm cornflour
1tsp white vinegar
1tsp vanilla paste
400ml thickened cream
sliced bananas and passionfruit pulp to serve
Rum syrup
125gm caster sugar
90gm brown sugar
1tbsp lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 banana, coarsely chopped
20ml golden rum

Preheat oven to 150c. Whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then add sugar gradually and whisk until firm peaks form and mixture is thick and glossy.
Add 70g brown sugar, whisk until glossy. Fold in cornflour, vinegar, and vanilla bean paste.
Spoon meringue onto an 18cm diameter mound on a baking paper-lined tray and bake for 2 hours. Turn off oven and cool completely to cool pavlova.

Meanwhile, for syrup combine sugars, lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds, banana and 130ml water in a small saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook until syrupy, remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add rum and stir, then strain and cool.

Whisk cream and remaining brown sugar together until soft peaks form. Spoon on top of pavlova, top with sliced banana, passion fruit pulp and drizzle with rum syrup.

ease: 4/5. A few components.
prep time: 20mins.
cooking time: 2hours cooking and 1hour cooling in oven.
total: 3 hours & 20mins.

taste: 4/5. I accidentally left this in the oven for 1hour and a half so the meringue cooked all the way through, no mushy inside. I also forgot to add the rum to the vanilla syrup, despite this everyone loved it. The pavlova and cream have hints of caramel and vanilla whilst the creamy banana complements the flavours well, the sharp, tangy passion fruit helps to cut through all of the decadent rich flavours. Really delicious and looks great too.

would I make it again: Yes - great for company.


  1. That looks delicious! And there is something quite exciting about whipping eggs and watching them transform to white fluffy goodness isn't there?

  2. OMG, that looks so scrumptious! A beautiful dessert!



  3. Gorgeous photos- especially that first one.

    I've never gotten around to making pavlova before, but maybe I will now.

    Thanks for sharing!


  4. I LOVE brown sugar meringue, this looks wonderful!!!

  5. Gorgeous! Pavs are one of my family's most often requested desserts. Yours looks stunning; I have never done one with brown sugar before. I will surely try this once local fruit is in season. Well done!

  6. This is absolutely gorgeous - I love your photos!
    I have yet to make such a beautiful pavlova!

  7. WOw that looks so good!! I love the combination of flavors! Your presentation is superb!

  8. I love any dessert with bananas but this one is incredible!

  9. this looks amazing. pav is one of my fav things in the whole world.

    i like your pale yellow mixer. great colour.

  10. WOW! This looks amazing, I love your blog, the photos look so professional you are inspiring me to cook!

  11. This looks amazing! I first tried a brown sugar pavlova a few weeks ago and thought I must make one so I searched and I'm so glad I found this! :)

  12. This is probably one of my favourite desserts - and a great twist on a traditional pavlova, I honeslty don't think I'll make any other.

    Lorraine - Thanks for the tip about a shorter baking period to get more of that yummy, stickyness.

  13. I told you - I just love pavlovas. They're so feminine and elegant and luxurious... They are the best simply with a spread of whipped cream and some fresh berries and raspberries, but your version is so much inviting. Rum syrup?? Yum, I love rum :) It has to be wonderful with passion fruit!
    (Sorry for all these comments but I love so much saying what I think about something I like :) )