Would you believe me if I said this mini pavlova has no egg in it?! (I understand if you wouldn’t, because aren’t eggs the main ingredient in a pav?!). Well, I’m telling ya, it doesn’t – they’re egg-free and vegan!
This recipe is one of the many Christmas recipes in the Dec/Jan issue of NADIA magazine for people with special dietary requirements, because I don’t want anyone to miss out on the yum-ness of Christmas! The way to make these pavlovas vegan is with the use of aquafaba, aka chickpea water! It whips up just like egg whites, crazy enough.
Whipped coconut cream
- coconut cream 2 x 400ml (must have no emulsifiers, eg.. Ceres Organics or Roar)
- icing sugar 3 tablespoons
- vanilla essence or extract 1 teaspoon
Mini vegan pavlovas
- chickpeas 400g can
- cornflour 3 tablespoons
- caster sugar 1 cup
- fresh berries or sliced stone fruit (e.g. strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines etc)
- passion fruit sauce
- mint tips
- Pour coconut cream into a container or jug and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. After chilling for several hours the coconut cream separates with the thickest part settling on the top (this is what you’ll use to make the whipped coconut cream).
- Drain the chickpeas, reserving the chickpea water (save the chickpeas in a container for another use – hummus anyone?). Chill the chickpea water (called aquafaba) in the fridge for at least 2 hours until cold.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line two large baking trays with baking paper. Sieve 1 Tbsp of cornflour evenly over each lined tray (this will help prevent the pavlovas from sticking).
- Pour chickpea water into a large mixing bowl and, using electric beaters, beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes or until soft peaks form, just like meringue. Add caster sugar, about 2 Tbsp at a time, beating constantly for about 8-10 minutes or until sugar has completely dissolved and you have thick, glossy meringue – amazing huh?! Briefly fold through remaining 1 Tbsp cornflour.
- Dollop large spoonfuls of meringue onto trays, six on each, piling them high and keeping them at least 5-6cm apart as they will spread. Bake in oven for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 130°C and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until the outside of the meringues is dry, firm and crisp. Turn off oven and leave (without opening the door) for at least a few hours or overnight until meringues have completely cooled. Try not to open the oven at any time during cooking.
- To whip coconut cream, scoop off the creamy part (leaving behind the coconut water) and place in a mixing bowl. Use electric beaters to whip to firm peaks (this will take 2-3 minutes) then fold through icing sugar and vanilla. (Or for a shortcut just add the sugar and vanilla to coconut yoghurt instead.)
- To serve, spread pavlovas with whipped coconut cream (or coconut yoghurt) and decorate with fruit, passionfruit sauce and fresh mint.
- Aquafaba is ‘bean water’, the starchy, protein-containing water that results from cooking beans or legumes in water.
- These egg white-free pavlovas look and taste just like meringue – you’ll be amazed!
- Make sure you start at least 1 day ahead to allow time for both the coconut cream and aquafaba (chickpea water) to chill enough.
- To avoid the temptation to open the oven too soon, make pavs in the evening and leave in oven overnight to cool completely and dry out.
- For a quicker – but equally good – version, top the pavlovas with coconut yoghurt (mixed with icing sugar and vanilla) instead of the whipped coconut cream.