First make the meringues. Heat oven to
140C/120C fan/gas 1. Line a baking sheet
with baking paper. Using a pestle and
mortar or spice grinder, finely grind the
cardamom seeds, clove, allspice and
cinnamon together. Whisk the egg white
until stiff peaks form, then gradually
whisk in the sugar, a tbsp at a time, until
you have a stiff, shiny mixture. Fold in the
cornflour, vinegar, vanilla, spice mix and
Divide the mixture into 2 on the
prepared baking sheet and use the back
of a spoon to make a slight hollow in the
centre of each. Bake for 50 mins until
crisp, then turn off the heat and leave the
meringues cooling in the oven for 30
mins. Finish cooling on a wire rack. If
making ahead, store in an airtight
container for up to 3 days or freeze
for up to 1 month.
For the figs, put all the ingredients
(except the figs) in a saucepan and bring
to the boil. Remove from the heat and
leave to infuse for 30 mins. Reheat the
liquid, pour over the figs, then leave
overnight or at least until cool. Drain the
figs, reserving the liquid, then thickly
slice each into 2-3 pieces.
To make the sauce, put 125ml of the
reserved fig liquid and sugar in a pan.
Stir over a low heat until the sugar has
dissolved, then whisk in the cocoa and
chocolate. The mixture will thicken as
the chocolate melts. Allow the sauce to
cool to room temperature.
To assemble, spoon a little crème
fraîche onto each Pavlova, top with the
fig slices and drizzle with chocolate
sauce. Serve extra sauce on the side.