Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Figs: Arabian Nights meets Aussie Dessert

5 Feb

When I was a kid Pavlova was not something we really had in our house. Mutti made great German style desserts and she also made a mean fairy cake but things like Pavlova were just not part of her baking repertoire. Pavlova was something I ate at other people’s house, often when they had barbeques. I thought the Pavlova I had at these events was the most wonderful and ingenious thing ever. In hindsight I realise the Pavlova I was eating was store bought, and while I will never be a person who dismisses things just because they are store bought, there is really nothing like a homemade pav. When I was a child eating Pavlova at a barbeque, it wasn’t so much the crispy outer that I longed for, but rather the spongy dense middle, so sweet and velvety. Now when I am making my own Pavlova, I measure it success by the sweet, spongy, sticky middle, I like it to just melt on the tongue

I had stumbled upon various mentions of brown sugar Pavlova and the concept intrigued me. I decided I simply had to make some and Mutti being a woman who has a love of Pavlova that rivals my own was only too happy to assist me in consuming them.

I used a recipe by Bill Granger but I made several small Pavlovas instead of one large one. I find that Pavlova once filled with cream must be eaten immediately and while I would gleefully approach such a challenge and probably conquer it, I know I shouldn’t. This recipe produced a perfectly sticky sweet centre, just like I love

Going for a bit of a twist on the more traditional pav’s, I filled mine with a yoghurt cream and topped it with figs, honey and slivered almonds. It was my middle eastern/north African inspired Australian dessert. No letters please from NZ 😉

The yoghurt I get from the deli or green grocers, it is absolutely to die for,  but you could just substitute a plain greek yoghurt if you can not find the one suggested. You can of course top it with things that are more traditional or just eat it unadorned.

The combination of figs with the yoghurt and almonds creates a dessert that is not overtly sweet but dramatic in appearance.

What is your favourite Pavlova Topping?

Brown Sugar Pavlova with Yoghurt Cream and Figs

Serves 6-8

Yoghurt Cream

  • 3 Tablespoons of honey almond greek yoghurt
  • 100 mls of cream


  • 3 figs
  • Handful of slivered or flaked almonds to garnish
  • Honey for drizzling

1. Using Bill Granger‘s recipe above create the meringue. Then spoon with ladle on to baking tray, smoothing the sides and top. You should be able to get 6-8 small meringues.

2. Bake for 45 mins. Then turn off oven, leave the oven door ajar and allow to cool completely in the oven.

3. Make the yoghurt cream topping by whipping cream until thick but not stiff. Add the cream to yoghurt and combine

4. Take a Pavlova and  crush in the top of the Pavlova in the middle creating a little well for the cream to go in. Spoon yoghurt cream.

5. Place ½ fig sliced on to each Pavlova, top with flaked or slivered almonds and drizzle over honey.

6. Serve immediately.



3 Responses to “Brown Sugar Pavlovas with Figs: Arabian Nights meets Aussie Dessert”

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella 08/02/2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Oooh is it fig season yet? I love fig season! 😀

  2. Mel 14/02/2012 at 10:20 pm #

    I like your take on pav! Better than the traditional NZ one… oops, did I just say that out loud! 😉

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