I cannot imagine Christmas in New Zealand without Pavlova dessert. Snowy white crispy meringue shell surrounding a marshmallow center, topped with clouds of whipped coconut cream, mango coulis, and mountains of fruits. Sour fruits such as kiwi and berries are very welcome here. They bring balance and reduce the sweetness.
If you are allergic to eggs or you are vegan it is possible to make this dessert without eggs. And without dairy products. In this recipe, I used whipped coconut cream.
Vegan Pavlova Cooking Secrets:
Aquafaba. What is aquafaba? This word is the common name for the cooking liquid of beans and other legumes like chickpeas. It turns into a foaming agent when whipped for long enough, making it an excellent foam such as egg white. That is perfect for a meringue. You can’t find out the taste of chickpeas. You never find a difference, because taste and texture of meringue are perfect crunchy outside and fluffy inside.
Choose canned chickpeas no salt added. I prefer organic chickpeas from Ceres brand (NZ), It always works great. After many experiments, I came to the conclusion that the chilled aquafaba forms a foam better than room temperature.
Cream of tartar. Tartaric acid, the powdered form of the white crystalline acid that forms on the insides of wine barrels—a natural byproduct of wine fermentation. It stabilizes the aquafaba foam and adds volume. The cream of tartar should be added to the aquafaba just as they begin to become frothy during the beating process.
Sugar. In this recipe, I reduced the amount of sugar. But added cornstarch to stabilize aquafaba foam.
Baking time and temperature. The low temperature and long baking make snow-white meringue. As well meringue will not rise and It`s not gonna be hollow inside.
Meringue Storage. Baking meringue during the rainy weather is particularly challenging. When it’s rainy or humid outside, make sure your meringues are completely dry before taking them out of the oven, pack up any meringues not being eaten right away, and keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Add whipped cream and toppings right before Pavlova being served.
In this recipe, I use light airy and delicious whipped coconut cream. My favorite brand of coconut milk is Trade Aid (Available in New Zealand). Chill it overnight in the fridge. Open the can of chilled coconut milk. Coconut milk is an emulsion of two fluids: coconut cream and coconut water. At cooler temperatures, coconut milk separates into its components, and the cream rises to the top. Scoop it out.
I add xanthan gum to coconut whipped cream, that helps to stabilize it. Xanthan gum is a bacteria-derived product, commonly used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in both food and medicine.
Ingredientsfor 4 Serves
- 1/2 Cup chilled Aquafaba
- 1/3 Cup Icing sugar
- Pinch of Cream of tartar (1/8 Teaspoon)
- 1 Teaspoon Corn Starch
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
For Coconut Whipped Cream:
- 1 Can of chilled coconut milk
- Pinch of Xanthan gum
- 1 Teaspoon of Icing sugar
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 Big ripe Mango, peeled, stone removed
- 2 Kiwifruits, peeled and sliced
- 1 Tbsp Desiccated coconut
- Berries (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, boysenberry) – optional
- Fresh mint leaves and edible flowers (pansy) for garnish
- Preheat fan oven to 100C (210F). Using a pencil, mark out two circles of a small bowl around 18cm across on baking parchment. Place the paper on the tray or two trays pencil marks side down.
- Combine aquafaba and vanilla. Start to whisk using a stand mixer with a stainless steel bowl. The bowl and beaters should be completely clean and dry. The cream of tartar should be added to the aquafaba just as they begin to become frothy during the beating process. Starting with a low, gradually increase the speed and beat till soft peaks. Reduce the speed to slow, whisk in the sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the meringue looks glossy. Whisk in the cornflour. Beat until firm peaks. When the beaters or whisk is lifted out of the aquafaba, the peak will stand erect and not bend over. Usually, all beating process takes about 8 minutes.
- Spread the meringue inside the circle, creating a crater by making the sides a little higher than the middle.
- Put meringues in the oven and bake for 2 – 2,5 hours, then turn off the heat and let them cool completely inside the oven. Store meringues in a cool dry place.
- Coconut whipped cream. Open the can of chilled coconut milk. Scoop coconut cream out and place in the chilled mixer bowl. Usually, it is about 1 cup of coconut cream. Add xanthan gum and beat for 1 minute using a mixer until creamy. Then add vanilla and icing sugar, mix until smooth. Keep coconut whipped cream chilled.
- Serving. Place the mango in a blender, set aside a few pieces for garnish. Blitz mango till smooth. Just before serving place The Pavlova on serving dish and spoon on the cream. Pour over with mango coulis, top with mango and kiwi slices, scatter coconut shreds and berries. Serve immediately!Enjoy!