Monday, February 18, 2013

Fig & Salted Caramel Meringue Smash

fig & salted caramel meringue smash

The last time I made one of these lists a few months back, I was having an absolutely terrible week and the act of thinking about and writing down the good stuff in life totally helped my mood. This time around I am realising how important it is notice the little things and to be thankful. It's so easy to take this stuff for granted, but the little details are what make life special. It's one of my goals this year to appreciate them more! So here are a few things that I'm loving lately...

• weeknight adventures • yacht club dj's mixtapes • maxi skirts • editing videos • timber chopping boards made by my dad • handwritten lists • playing with the vine app • my new favourite cauliflower salad • polka dot shoes • polka dots in general • vietnamese pho • red lipstick • tea-infused hot chocolate • going for walks • epic salads from room 10 • cardigans • writing in my 365 journal • surprising Stevie with phone calls • the best figs I've ever had!

fig & salted caramel meringue smash

Eton Mess seems to be the dessert of the summer, popping up on restaurant menus all over Sydney, and I'm definitely not complaining! My favourite is the one at Sweethearts with fresh summer berries, but I think this tasty dessert should not just be reserved for summer fruit! I decided to make a more autumnal version with figs stewed with brown sugar, vanilla and dark rum until jam-like, complete with lashings of salted caramel sauce, mascarpone whipped cream and crumbled meringues. Yes, I promise that it tastes as good as it sounds!

I've used store bought mini meringues to save on time, but if you really wanted (or if figs aren't in season where you are) you could use a good quality fig jam instead of stewing fresh figs. I will say that they were the best part though! The caramelly sweetness from the brown sugar was delicious, and you already knew that rum goes perfectly with figs!

fig & salted caramel meringue smash

This dessert can be as dressed up or casual as you like. With words like 'mess' and 'smash' being thrown around, it's not meant to look perfect!! Pile everything onto a large platter if serving this dessert at a casual weekend BBQ, or if you're feeling fancy, layer it up in sundae glasses or jars like I have. Preferably one with clear glass so you can see all of those awesome swirled layers!

fig & salted caramel meringue smash

Fig & Salted Caramel Meringue Smash
Serves 3-4 depending on the size of your serving glasses

Brown Sugar Figs
  • 375g fresh figs, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or half a vanilla bean, seeds scraped)
  • 3 tablespoons rum

Salted Caramel Sauce (you will have some leftover. Why not give these milkshakes a try!)
  • 250ml thickened cream (35% milk fat)
  • 60g salted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To assemble
  • 300ml thickened cream (35% milk fat)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons mascarpone
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or half a vanilla bean, seeds scraped)
  • Storebought mini meringues or pavlova nests, crushed

To make the brown sugar figs, place all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine and allow to cook, stirring occasionally until liquid has turned syrupy and fruit is a jam consistency. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until ready to use. Can be stored in a sterilised jar for up to a month and used like a jam.

To make the caramel sauce, place the cream, butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add salt and stir to combine. Increase heat to high, bring to the boil and cook for 5–7 minutes or until thickened. Set aside and allow to cool.

To assemble the dessert, place cream, mascarpone, caster sugar and vanilla bean paste or seeds into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Alternate layers of mascarpone cream, brown sugar figs, salted caramel sauce and crushed meringues in small jars or glasses, finishing with a layer of figs and meringues on top. Serve soon after assembling as the meringues will soften.

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