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Nothing says an ‘Australian Christmas’ more than a deliciously fresh pavlova. The perfect Christmas dessert or a Christmas Eve treat to get you into the festive spirit; the pavlova has become a holiday season staple for both friend and family celebrations.
But did you know, traditionally, one of the main ingredients in this refreshing dessert is egg whites? Unfortunately, in this day and age, many of our friends and family have dietary requirements, whether it be vegan, dairy-free or otherwise. So, a classic pavlova recipe doesn’t doesn’t quite cater to our vegan loved ones or other dietary requirements. However, in recent years, the classic pavlova recipe has been revolutionised by switching out egg whites for aquafaba to create light and fluffy meringues. But what is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the remaining liquid mixture found in a can of chickpeas and its composition means it can foam, emulsify, bind, gelatinase and thicken. This is why it is now such a common substitute for egg whites in various vegan recipes.
Become the greatest host or guest this festive season with a delicious dessert able to accommodate a range of dietary requirements, thanks to our vegan pavlova. This is an absolute favourite amongst the team at the Lorna Jane headquarters and is an easy go-to option for Christmas events that your loved ones will adore.
So, let’s jump into it!
400g can of chickpeas
400ml can of coconut cream
1 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
For this vegan pavlova recipe, the prep work should start the night before to ensure you’re not rushing around the kitchen hours before your event! Importantly, the aquafaba and coconut cream (two key ingredients) both need to be chilled for at least 4 hours or overnight before being used.
To prepare the aquafaba, use a can strainer or other straining tool. Begin by opening your can of chickpeas and separating the liquid from the chickpeas. Place this separated mixture in a container and place it in the fridge until cold.
Prepping Coconut Cream
Place the coconut cream in the fridge overnight to cool without turning or shaking the can.
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees
Line two baking trays with baking paper (you can draw 12x 10 cm circles onto the trays as a guide for later if needed)
In a clean bowl, whisk the aquafaba mixture on a high speed until soft glossy peaks begin to form (this can take up to 8 minutes)
Slowly incorporate the caster sugar 1 tbsp at a time until the sugar is completely dissolved
Continue whisking and add in the cornflour until fully incorporated into the meringue mixture
Place your meringue in 10cm round circles on your baking paper (6 circles per. tray) to make a grand total of 10 meringues
Place meringues into the oven and reduce the temperature to 100 degrees
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes (as tempting as it is, be sure not to open the oven door to check on them as this can impact how the meringues rise and cook)
Once baked, turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven as it cools down
The next day using a spatula, carefully transfer the meringues onto the benchtop or a tray to begin assembling the pavlovas (don’t worry if they crack, crumble or break as this can be covered with cream later!)
Place the chilled coconut cream into your mixer and whisk until they form stiff peaks
Once peaks have formed, on a low speed slowly incorporate the maple syrup and vanilla extract into the cream
Using a spoon or piping bag, place the cream mixture onto meringue disks
Decorate with fresh berries, pistachios and any other toppings
Using a sieve, gently top pavlovas with icing sugar to create a snow-like effect
BAKING TIP: To create a fuller-looking pavlova you can layer two meringue discs together. Simply top the first meringue with cream and berries, add the other meringue disk and top with cream and berries again to create an aesthetic layered look.