AQUAFABA IS THE COOLEST THING, EVER! Sorry. All caps were necessary.
Remember last week when I shared these cookies that used aquafaba, but didn’t really get a chance to talk about how cool this shit is? This is a much better recipe to show off it’s amazing powers anyway 🙂
Let me just say…I had done extensive reading about how amazing aquafaba is, and seen pictures, but you just can’t fully grasp it until you see for yourself.
That is a 100% vegan meringue. It looks just as glossy, stiff, and gorgeous as a traditional meringue made with eggs, and tastes the same, too.
As a recap, aquafaba literally transaltes to bean water. It is the liquid found in cans of beans, or the liquid leftover from cooking your own beans. It sounds like a super weird thing to use in baking, but no, your products will not taste like chickpeas or white beans.
Here’s a bit of info snatched from the very informative official aquafaba webpage:
Aquafaba is unique among egg replacers in that it captures some but not all of the characteristics of both egg white and yolk. It can be used as a thickener, binder, emulsifier, foaming agent, and more. Unlike protein isolates and starch-based egg replacers, this broad spectrum allows aquafaba to be used in applications where its superior organoleptic properties are needed, and where traditional albumen falls short.
Aquafaba is still a rather new discovery, and people are still figuring out everything it can do. This is amazingly fascinating to me!
Anyway, I used aquafaba in my cookies last week to help bind them, but here I used it to make a lavender meringue for a pretty pavlova.
When I went to the grocery store the other day, there was an abundance of fresh, local berries, and I had to have all of them, lol. I thought showcasing them on a stark white pavlova would be perfect (plus I got to use aquafaba again!).
I added a bit of lavender into the meringue base because I adore lavender paired with berries. The berries I use were tayberries, golden raspberries, and red and white currants.
The cream you see on top is simple coconut cream whipped up with a touch of sweetness and some more lavender, and it’s divine.
Seriously though…can you believe this is vegan?? I made it and I still can’t, haha! And it tastes freaking incredible! The meringue is crunchy throughout, and gets a bit chewy mixed with the cream and fruit, just like a pavlova should!
But real quick…how the hell do you serve a pavlova? I mean individual ones are easy… but is this something that is just destined to look sloppy in the most beautiful way? I think I may be able to live with that.
for the meringue:
- 2/3 cup aquafaba (from a 15 oz. can of chickpeas that have been refrigerated overnight)
- 2/3 cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 tsp lavender
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp white vinegar
for the toppings:
- 15 oz. can coconut cream, refrigerated overnight
- 1 tbsp confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp lavender
- 1 pint tayberries
- 1 pint golden raspberries
- 1/2 pint red currants
- 1/2 pint white currants
for the meringue:
- Chill your mixer bowl in the freezer for ten minutes. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the aquafaba to the chilled bowl and fit your mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium high until the aquafaba turns white in color. Turn the mixer speed to high. Add in the sugar, a spoon full at a time, the salt, and the xantham gum. Beat to stiff peaks (you won't believe this, omg), then add in the vanilla, lavender, and vinegar, and beat to combine.
- Using a silicone spatula, spread the meringue into two 8-10 inch circles on the baking sheet. Bake for 3 hours, or until the meringue feels quite hard to the touch. Allow to cool completely.
for the toppings:
- Scoop the solid white cream part out of the chilled coconut cream can, stopping at the liquid. Add it to a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat for a minute or so on high, then add in the sugar, lavender, and vanilla, and beat to stiff peaks.
- Spread half of the coconut whip on the top of the first pavlova, and top with a layer of berries. Set the other pavlova on top, and top with the remaining coconut whip, and berries.
recipe semi-adapted from here