Brown sugar pavlova with banana cream and butterscotch sauce

>> Sunday, February 20, 2011

[HEART] still pumping
[EYES] Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul... - Prov 16:24
[EARS] swishing laundry
[HEAD] You are what you eat? Of course not!
[HANDS] useful 

I like to challenge myself to try something new everyday.

Last week, I allowed someone to pluck my eyebrows. Now one side is thicker than the other. (You can imagine the shock when I looked into the mirror).

The other day, I brushed my teeth with my left-hand. Standing on one leg. Ok, maybe I didn't. Hmmmm.

Last night, I overcame my fear of yeast and finally made a pizza dough from scratch.

Then today, I tried to make a pavlova with minimal sugar. I should've known better.

Because it failed.

Big time.

After over an hour in the oven, there were no signs of a cracking or crunchy looking exterior - the best part of the pav. It is just a huge brown marshmallow blob only just very slightly crisp crusted. My heart sank. Especially after waiting so long for it in the oven.

Sometimes, you just shouldn't try too many new things at once.

The thing is I do like pavlovas (and if you had met me 10 years ago, I'd tell you in my perfect kiwi accent that the pav is New Zealand born and bred!) but I just find them a bit sweet for my liking. Plus, I have been working to reduce my sugar intake lately (sugar addiction is a hard thing to kick I tell ya). So I reduced the amount of sugar to at least a 1/4 of what was stated in the recipe and just sprinkled some dark brown sugar at the end. The result is a pillowy soft/chewy pav. I don't know if it qualifies as a pav actually. Or maybe I just didn't whip up the egg whites long enough to be thick, glossy and smooth.

If anything amazing resulted from this incident, it's the butterscotch sauce that was whipped up in 5 minutes. You have to try it. It is so good, so simple. And when I think of butterscotch, I think of bananas (might be because of banana butterscotch pudding...yummm!). So I just couldn't resist adding some mashed bananas in with the cream.

The resulting dessert is still delicious sans the crisp crust. I'm sure you'll have better luck with this recipe than I have. Or have more sense not to omit so much of the sugar ;)

Butterscotch sauce
Adapted from SmittenKitchen
About 2/3 to 3/4 cup sauce
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons, 2 ounces or 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (about 109 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream (thickened cream)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) flaky sea salt (or 1/4 teaspoon regular salt), plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) vanilla extract, plus more to taste
1. Melt butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cream and salt and whisk until well blended. Bring to a very gentle boil and cook for about five minutes, whisking occasionally.

2. Remove from heat and add one teaspoon of the vanilla extract, stirring to combine and this is where, despite the simplicity of the recipe, you get to feel all “chef-y”. Dip a spoon in the sauce and carefully taste the sauce (without burning your tongue!) to see if you want to add additional pinches or salt or splashes of vanilla. Tweak it to your taste, whisking well after each addition. I ended up using a full teaspoon of flaky salt and the listed amount of vanilla to get a butterscotch sauce with a very loud, impressive butterscotch flavor but the strength of your vanilla and intensity of your salt may vary.

3. Serve cold or warm over vanilla ice cream, roasted pears or pound cake. The sauce will thicken as it cools. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container and reheated in a microwave or small saucepan.


Brown Sugar Pavlova with banana cream and butterscotch sauce
Makes 6 small pavlovas
  • 4 egg whites
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 120g brown sugar
  • 10g cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 400ml thickened cream
  • 2 banana, mashed
  • 2 small punnet blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F). Whisk eggwhites with a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then with motor running, gradually add caster sugar. Whisk until stiff peaks form and mixture is thick and glossy. Add 70g brown sugar, whisk until sugar is incorporated and mixture is glossy. Fold in cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract.

2. Spoon meringue into 6 9cm diameter mound on a baking paper lined oven tray and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off oven and cool completely.

3. Whisk cream and remaining brown sugar together until soft peaks form. Spoon on top of pavlova, top with the mashed banana, blueberries and drizzle with butterscotch sauce.


Anh February 20, 2011 at 9:40 PM  

brown sugar pavlova? what an idea!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart February 20, 2011 at 10:35 PM  

Ever inspiring, you tried to make something new! I admire that. Looks very good to me!

:) Lorraine

Yi @ Yi Reservation February 21, 2011 at 1:33 AM  

Butterscotch sauce on pavlova sounds amazing! I like how you make adjustments and recreate recipes to fit your own liking. And the pictures, just make me want to grab one of these right now!

Jeannie February 21, 2011 at 2:51 AM  

Looks lovely to me! I bet I would like this too because of reduction in sugar! I tend to reduce sugar in cakes recipes too to make myself feel less guilty!

OohLookBel February 21, 2011 at 9:29 AM  

Of course, you know there's no such thing as a bad pavlova - all you need to do to correct one is to smother it in whipped cream. Your brown sugar version looks delectable!

j3ss kitch3n February 21, 2011 at 12:53 PM  

this is so beautiful Viv!!! divine!

Julie February 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM  

o m g
o m g


there better be a piece for me on wednesday!

Helen (Grab Your Fork) February 21, 2011 at 10:03 PM  

Kudos to you for trying something new every day. I do think that baking can be a little tricky when fiddling with ingredients, but I'm going to have to try brushing my teeth with my right hand tonight. lol.

sugarpuffi February 22, 2011 at 3:05 AM  

u make a failed pavlova look good. haha! and u can just pluck the fat brow thinner :)

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen February 22, 2011 at 11:16 AM  

Well, it looks perfect to me! Absolutely beautiful!

Zoe February 22, 2011 at 12:26 PM  

Failed pavlova? Still look good to me. Maybe it's butterscotch sauce...yum.

Saw your comments on my bread making blog. I didn't buy the Ikon breadmaker but just the basic one. I'm still trying to work out the gelatinzation method of making bread with the breadmaker. so far still trying...yet to be successful. I will try to bake a wholemeal bread soon and will let you know the outcome.

Got to try brushing my teeth with my left hand...LOL

Lisa @ Tarte du Jour February 22, 2011 at 12:59 PM  

Your pavlova looks stunning and I'm sure it tasted didn't fail at all! Job well done indeed!

a meandering mango February 23, 2011 at 5:16 PM  

So perfectly indulgent - I love pavlovas and this sounds so delicious! I also don't like my dessert too sweet - thanks!

Maria February 23, 2011 at 8:08 PM  

Looks delicious! Love that you've used brown sugar, I can't go back to normal sugar anymore, I love the flavour of brown so much better :-)

jenius February 23, 2011 at 10:02 PM  

LOL @ the plucked eyebrows!

Love that you try to do something new everyday, and what I love even more are pavlovas. I've been cutting down my sugar intake too (along with a heap of other things) but I think if you're having dessert, you might as well go all the way and portion control it!

Forager @ The Gourmet Forager February 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM  

I love the passion for trying new things! Shame they don't always work out like we hope. But your brown sugar pavlova looks delicious! Saw one just yesterday, with blueberries and figs on top. Surely this is a sign I should be getting some of this into my belly!

Mandi November 15, 2011 at 10:24 AM  

The ones who never fail are the ones who never try.... although I don't think you faild here... it looks very delicious!

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