Moscato Poached Pears
1.Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Mark a 25cm circle on a sheet of baking paper. Turn paper over, place on an oven tray. Line a second tray with baking paper.
2.Combine sugars in a small bowl. Beat egg whites and salt in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft ribbons are starting to form. Reduce speed to medium; add the sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until dissolved between additions. Beat for another 5 minutes or until mixture is firm and glossy.
3.Turn the mixer off; sprinkle in the sifted cornflour, vinegar and extract. Beat on low speed until just combined – this should take no longer than 5 seconds.
4.Spread meringue mixture inside the marked circle on tray; form pavlova into a loose dome shape. Use a palette knife to smooth around the side and flatten the top slightly. Place pavlova in the oven, then immediately reduce the temperature to 120°C (100°C fan-forced). Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until dry to touch. Turn oven off; cool pavlova in the oven with the door closed overnight.
Moscato Poached Pears
5.Stir all ingredients, except the pears, in a large saucepan over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil over high heat; boil for 2 minutes. Add pears – they should be covered with liquid. Cover pears with a round of baking paper. Reduce heat; simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. To test, pierce a pear with a thin knife in the thickest part. Cool pears in the syrup.
6.Stir all ingredients, except soda, in a medium saucepan over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium; boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 minutes or until syrup is a dark golden honey colour (or until the mixture reaches 160°C on a sugar thermometer). Remove pan from heat; immediately stir in sifted soda. The syrup will froth. As soon as the last of the soda dissolves, carefully pour the honeycomb onto the remaining tray; avoid spreading the mixture as it will deflate. Cool at room temperature for about 1 hour. Break honeycomb into chunks.
7.Just before serving, combine mascarpone and cream in a medium bowl. Whisk with a balloon whisk until softly whipped. Spread pavlova with cream mixture. Top with the poached pears and honeycomb.