12 November 2013

Pear Belle Helene Pavlova

Well not quite pear belle helene & not quite pavlova, but some sort of deliciousness in between.  I am more of meringue person so like my pav a little chewy & crunchy & little less marshmallowy, so my pavs tend a little towards a giant meringue! 

The favourite dessert of last summer was this brown sugar pavlova with whipped cream, raspberries & salted caramel sauce.  Mound everything on top & let everyone just tuck in & help themselves...it went down a treat.

I wanted a little variation, but still a craving for some salted caramel & came up with this pear, chocolate & caramel concoction. Pear Belle Helene, or Poire Belle Helene if we are being all French, is traditionally pears poached in sugar syrup & served with vanilla ice cream & chocolate syrup so I have taken a few liberties...it was the pears & chocolate that inspired this dessert. They may not be quite the classic beautiful pears but they were very, very good!

Pear Belle Helene Pavlova

Makes one large pavlova & 8 dinner guest & neighbours scoffed the lot!


6 egg whites at room temperature
380g 13oz raw sugar
4 tsp corn flour
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
750 ml cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 pear, cored & sliced
125g Whittaker’s Dark Ghana or other dark, bitter chocolate, melted

For the salted caramel sauce*

75 g / 3 oz unsalted butter
50 g / 2 oz soft light brown sugar
50 g / 2 oz caster sugar
50 gram 2 oz golden syrup
125 ml / 4.39 fl oz double cream
1 tsp good quality salt (not table salt)

*Severe Warning: This sauce is highly addictive after just one hit!


Pre heat your oven to 140C (no fan bake) / 275F & line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer & beat until you have stiff peaks & then gradually add the sugar.  Keep beating until the sugar is completely dissolved.  To check just rub a little meringue between your fingers. If you can still feel grains, beat a little longer until it feels completely smooth.

Add the corn flour*, vinegar & vanilla & beat on low until all incorporated in to the meringue.

*If like me you like something that is somewhere between a pavlova & a meringue reduce the cornflour; I added 3 teaspoons.
Not quite smooth enough…keep beating!

Now this is a rustic pavlova; so gently turn out the meringue on to the baking tray & make a rough rectangle with swirls & peaks & troughs...all the better for holding all those lovely toppings.  Place in the oven & cook for one hour.*  Allow the meringue to cool completely before assembling & serving.

While the pavlova is cooking make the salted caramel sauce.  Place the butter, sugars, syrup & butter in a small saucepan over a medium low heat to melt.  Once melted simmer gently for 3 minutes, stirring now & again.

Add the cream & half a teaspoon of salt & stir again.  Taste, carefully as it will be hot! Add more salt if need be & cook gently for another minute.  Et voilà,  that is it.  In a matter of moments you will have what is  the most addictive sauce. I find if left on the stove top it is almost impossible not to just have a little taste every time I walk by.

*Again if like me you prefer a slightly “failed” pav with a little more crunch & a little more chew & little less marshmallowy just cook for a little longer, 5-10 minutes more.

To assemble place the pavlova on a large platter or board, mound on top the whipped cream, scatter over the pears, drizzle generously with the salted caramel sauce & the melted chocolate.  Take to the table & let everyone dive in & help themselves.

Chewy crunchy meringue, whipped cream, salted caramel & bittersweet chocolate....need I say more?  Thought not 😊

This is also my entry for this month’s Sweet NZ being hosted by me 😊 All details here if you have some sweet treats!

If you like this you might like this Brown Sugar Pavlova with Raspberries & Salted Caramel Sauce

Three years ago M&M's Green Coleslaw



Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...