When it comes to desserts, one of our favourites is the classic Australian pavlova.
The fresh seasonal fruit exploding with colour, laying on a bed of whipped cream, sitting on the perfect cloud of fluffy meringue with a crisp shell that just melts in your mouth when you eat it... it's hard to beat. But what do you do when you are a vegan and can no longer eat cream and eggs? You turn to coconuts and chickpeas of course! The perfect substitutes.
The following recipe will satisfy any pavlova lover and is a go-to dessert for special occasions, dinner parties and entertaining, and family Christmas gatherings. If you're planning an Australia Day or ANZAC Day dessert spread, it's also a wonderful complement to ANZAC biscuits or cookies, and lamingtons.
We recommend having fun and experimenting with different variations of seasonal toppings like figs, apricots, pistachios, pomegranate, mandarins and edible flowers.
420g can unsalted chickpea
1 cup of castor sugar
1tsp of vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste
1tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp cream of tartar
Sweetened Coconut Cream
¼ cup sifted icing sugar
2 x 420g cans organic coconut cream
1tsp vanilla essence or vanilla bean paste
You will need to refrigerate some of your ingredients overnight for the best result and this recipe will take 2 hours and 45 min to make Method:
1. Place the can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight to chill, which will allow the water and cream to separate with the cream rising to the top and hardening. When you take it out or open it be careful not shake the tin.
2. Preheat your oven at 150 degrees. Cut baking paper to fit your 2 trays. Draw a 20cm circle (I like to use a large overturned bowl) in the middle of each piece of baking paper. Turn the baking paper over so as not to get any ink on your meringue, set to the side.
3. Take the tin of chickpea, drain and save the liquid. Put chickpea in airtight container and fridge to use for another recipe. The liquid is aquafaba and will be used to make the meringue. Using your electric mixer, beat the aquafaba with the cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form, this can take 5-10min. Continue to beat while gradually adding your castor sugar one spoon at a time. Add vanilla bean paste and cornflour, mix well. Add xanthan gum last as this will harden your meringue quickly while you are mixing to form a sticky marshmallow texture.
4. Equally distribute meringue between both sheets of baking paper in the centre of the circle. With spatula sculpt meringue until it’s the size of the circle. Bake for 20 min then reduce heat to 120 degrees and bake for a further 1 hour and 45 min. Remove from the oven to cool.
5. While your meringue is cooking cut fruit and put aside in fridge to use on top later. I like to use slightly sour fruit to offset the sweetness of the meringue.
6. Once your meringue has cooled remove coconut cream from fridge and carefully open tin. Scrape the solid cream that has formed on top and put in bowl. Add vanilla and sifted icing sugar then beat gently until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat. Divide cream in half and place a layer on the 1st meringue. Layer some passionfruit on top then place the 2nd meringue on top and use remaining cream for the top layer.
7. Garnish with fruit and mint to taste then serve.