Mini hot toddy pavlovas

Take inspiration from a classic winter cocktail to create these mini pavlovas flavoured with whisky, pear and spices

Serves 2-4
 Vegetarian 

Ingredients

2 egg whites (save the yolks for another recipe)
125g caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
Ĺ tsp vanilla extract
Ĺ tsp white vinegar
1 lemon, zest pared
For the whisky & spice-infused pears
150g caster sugar
150ml whisky
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
2 star anise
2 pears, peeled, cored and quartered
For the salted caramel sauce
100g light brown soft sugar
150ml double cream
25g butter
cinnamon, plus extra to serve
For the honey whipped cream
300ml double cream
3 tbsp dark honey

Method

STEP 1
Heat the oven to 150C/130C fan/ gas 2. Beat the egg whites on low in a large bowl using an electric whisk or using a stand mixer until foamy. Turn up to high and gradually add the sugar, 1 tsp at a time, until you have a stiff, glossy meringue, about 4-5 mins. Whisk in the cornflour, vanilla and vinegar until combined.

STEP 2
Draw two 12cm circles on a sheet of baking parchment using a pencil, then flip it over on a baking sheet. Spoon the meringue over the circle templates and spread to the edges, smoothing the top and sides using a small palette knife (they should be about 2.5cm tall).

STEP 3
Bake for 1 hr 30 mins until crisp, then turn the oven off, open the door so itís slightly ajar, and leave the meringues to dry out and cool completely for at least a few hours, or overnight.

STEP 4
Meanwhile, for the pears, tip 200ml boiling water from the kettle, the sugar, whisky and spices into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cut out a circle of baking parchment that will fit on top of the pan. When the mixture is boiling, add the pears, put the baking parchment disc on top (this will help them cook evenly) and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 mins until the pears are soft. Pour the syrup and pears into a container and leave to cool completely. For a more intense flavour, chill the pears in the syrup overnight, or until needed. Will keep chilled for up to three days.

STEP 5
Put all the ingredients for the caramel sauce in a saucepan with a pinch of salt over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 2 mins until all the sugar has dissolved and you have a light brown sauce. Put a disc of baking parchment on the surface of the sauce (this will stop it from forming a skin) and leave to cool completely.

STEP 6
For the whipped cream, put the cream and honey in a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.

STEP 7
Drain the pears (reserving the syrup, if you like) and roughly chop half. Spoon half the whipped cream over one meringue, then top with the chopped pears. Stack the other meringue on top, then spoon over the remaining whipped cream and quartered pears. Scatter over the pared lemon zest and a pinch of cinnamon. Just before serving, drizzle over the salted caramel sauce. Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.