This vegan pavlova is one of the most gorgeous desserts I've ever made or eaten. I've always had a thing for pavlova, though. It's one of those simple beautiful desserts that despite being really easy to prepare has kind of a wow factor (in my opinion) You'll find all kinds of flavour variations out there...but I dare say this particular one might be at the top of my list. The vegan meringue and coco whip cream were quite sweet, so I wanted to offset that with my garnish. Raspberries, local Prince Edward Island Sour Cherries, and Lemon Zest brought balance to the flavour profile I was hoping for. Crisp marshmallow-y base topped with irresistible creamy cocowhip and bright bursts of summer fruit.
Now if you aren't familiar with meringues or vegan meringues I'll quickly break it down. Meringues are typically made with egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks with some kind of stabilizer, either cream of tartar or white vinegar, then sweetened and baked in the oven at a low temperature.
Vegan meringues on the other hand are one of the strangest things I've ever encountered. You follow pretty much the exact same process, except instead of egg whites you use something called acquafaba. Acqua what now?! I know. I hear you. Acquafaba is the liquid that remains after cooking chickpeas. (or other pulses) You can cook the chickpeas yourself or you can do what I did, and strain a can of chickpeas, reserving the liquid. This stuff whips up just like egg whites, and then bakes into beautiful crisp meringues with marshmallow-y center. Once whipped, you can also fold it into other baking creations as you would egg whites, I have yet to try this though.
It took me a couple tries to get these meringues to turn out, mainly because I didn't do any research before starting, I just went at it, like I always do. I'm sure I learn more this way at least. I read one recipe that said to bake these at 300F. Well don't do that, because then they just turn into a puddle at the bottom of your oven. Then I looked a little further and found another page warning of this exact thing. Don't trust everything you read on the internet I guess. Anyway I put my oven as low as it would go. About 175F. I ended up throwing my bigger meringues (that were still a bit soft after 5 hours in the oven) in my dehydrator while I went to work to finish drying out, and that worked great.
Recipe: Vegan Meringues
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