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Are you looking for the perfect recipe to make a vegan pavlova? Than you're in the right place! This recipe is 100% foolproof, easy to follow and pretty much quick to make.
This pavlova with lemon curd and berries is a real game-changer!
The meringue base is soft and fluffy in the inside and crispy in the outside. The lemon curd is extra creamy and brings in some tanginess and finally the berries give this dessert a touch of freshness. The result is a pavlova that will literally blow your mind!
Be aware that making pavlova can be tricky yet this recipe is 100% foolproof. If you follow the recipe 1 to 1 you'll end up with the best vegan pavlova you've tried in your life (I'm not exaggerating, I swear)!
That said, you have to understand the process and the tricks to make a perfect pavlova so before you jump into the kitchen to make this recipe please read this blog-post carefully.
Is pavlova vegan?
Let's start from the basics. The traditional pavlova is made from egg whites that are slowly whipped and then baked at a low temperature.
Because of the use of egg whites traditional pavlova is not vegan but vegetarian.
How to make vegan pavlova
To make a vegan pavlova we have to replace the key ingredient of the traditional one which is: egg whites.
To replace egg whites we use aquafaba which is the liquid you find in canned chickpeas.
Vegan pavlova ingredients
Now that you know the difference between a traditional pavlova and a vegan pavlova you're probably wondering what ingredients we use to make it.
Let's start from the meringue. To make the vegan meringue base you'll need the following ingredients:
- cream of tartar
- powdered sugar
- xanthan gum
The lemon curd you can either make it or buy it.
Making it is super easy and all you'll need are the following ingredients:
- coconut or soy milk
- powdered sugar
- lemon zest
- lemon juice
- turmeric or saffron powder (for the color)
- vegan butter
Once we have our meringue base and the lemon custard we only need to more things:
- vegan whipped cream
- berries (I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries)
How to substitute ingredients
I already know that some of you will write to ask me how to replace X with Y, so I want to clarify that in this recipe you cannot replace any of the ingredients used to make the meringue.
This is because each ingredient has a very specific purpose, whether it is to give stability to the meringue or to ensure that it whips perfectly.
To better understand why we use these specific ingredients, I will explain below the function of each ingredient in the meringue.
Let's start with aquafaba. Aquafaba, as I explained above, is the liquid in which canned beans are soaked.
It is used to replace egg whites because it has a high level of proteins such as albumins and globulins, the same proteins found in eggs.
These proteins have foaming abilities which make aquafaba the perfect ingredient to replace egg whites in any recipe requiring whipped egg whites.
There is no vegan ingredient other than aquafaba with this characteristics and that's why we cannot replace it.
Cream of tartar
Cream of tartar, also known as potassium acid tartrate, is an acid powder used to loosen the albumins and globulins proteins in aquafaba allowing them to whip up faster and to reach a greater volume.
In the internet I've read a couple of times that it can be substitute with lemon juice. I've tried several times and it always ended up in a flat and chewy pavlova. So STAY AWAY from lemon juice!
To have a pavlova that doesn't collapse during baking, you need to use powdered sugar. This is because powdered sugar melts quickly, creating an even and soft mass.
It is not possible to replace powdered sugar with granulated sugar because granulated sugar does not melt and would cause the pavlova to collapse during baking.
That said, if you don't have powdered sugar at home you can put the granulated sugar in a mixer and blend it until it becomes a powder.
Xanthan gum is natural a food thickener and is the key for success when it comes to get a pavlova that holds it's shape during baking.
Be aware, if you do not use xanthan gum your pavlova will turn into a pancake so please do use it.
Because I read in the internet that it can be substitute with tapioca or arrowroot starch, I tried with both and all I got were flat and chewy pavlovas, so stay away from them.
Cornstarch is used to absorb any humidity/liquid in the pavlova and makes for a crispy outside. It also stabilises the meringue and it prevents it from collapsing during baking.
I read in the internet that it can be substitute with flour. I tried and the result was a gummy and chewy pavlova so, stay away from flour and simply use cornstarch.
Vegan lemon curd
I used lemon curd to fill the pavlova because it adds a touch of tanginess and because it pares perfectly with meringue, whipped cream and berries.
That said you could also use passion fruit curd or vegan custard.
Vegan whipped cream
I used vegan whipped cream to fill the pavlova. In case you cannot find it in your supermarket you can substitute it with this delicious coconut whipped cream.
The result will be delicious!
Step 1: Whip aquafaba until stiff
Let's start making the pavlova, shall we?
Let's begin by putting aquafaba and cream of tartar in a bowl. Using a mixer, we beat the aquafaba until it becomes stiff and fluffy.
This process takes about 7-8 minutes, it's important to incorporate as much air as possible before moving on to the next step.
Once aquafaba has stiff peaks we can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Add in powdered sugar
Once the aquafaba is whipped up we start adding the powdered sugar.
It's crucial to add 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time and to mix for 1 minute before adding the following tablespoon. In this way the sugar will have the necessary time to dissolve.
Do not under any circumstances add the sugar more quickly or the pavlova will collapse during baking.
Once all the sugar has been added continue to mix for another 3-4 minutes until the mass is firm and fluffy (as shown in the photo below).
To know if the meringue mass is ready, lift the mixer out of the bowl. The peaks of the meringue that rise as you lift should stand straight up. If not, keep on mixing.
Step 3: Stir in xanthan gum and cornstarch
Once the meringue mass is firm we add xanthan gum and cornstarch and mix for another minute until combined.
Step 4: Form the pavlova
Once the meringue mass is ready we can form the meringues.
To do this we take a sheet of baking paper the same size as the baking tray, and using a dish with a circumference of 20 cm we draw 2 circles (see photo below).
Then we flip the sheet of baking paper so that the meringues do not come in contact with the paint.
Then using a tablespoon we form two meringues. You can decorate them as you wish, but I prefer to touch the mass as little as possible so that it does not deflate.
Step 5: Bake the vegan pavlova
Once formed the two meringues it's time to bake them.
To do so we place the tray in the middle of the oven and bake them for the first 45 minutes at 120 °C and then one more hour at 100 °C.
Once finished baking, we turn off the oven and let the meringues rest overnight in the closed oven.
Step 6: Fill the pavlova and serve it
The next day, just before serving, we place 1 meringue onto a serving dish and top it with whipped cream, lemon curd and berries.
Then we place the second meringue on top, decor it with more whipped cream, lemon curd and berries and serve it straight away.
Shall I do one layer or two?
As you can see in the photos below, you can serve the pavlova with one layer of meringue or two.
The one with one layer of meringue is easier to cut and serve and it tends to keep it's shape.
The one with two layers of meringue looks more fancy but it's harder to serve as it tends to break as you cut it.
The choice is yours, make the one you prefer, both are absolutely delicious.
Can you make pavlova the day before?
You can definitely make pavlova the day before and leave it to rest into the closed oven.
But you definitely want to fill it with whipped cream and lemon curd just before serving.
How to store pavlova
If you have left over pavlova don't throw it away. Place it in an airtight container and freeze it. It will make an absolutely delicious semifreddo!
I do not recommend storing it in the fridge since the meringue tends to melt once in contact to the filling.
How long will pavlova keep?
Because the meringue layer tends to melt once in contact to the filling is best to eat pavlova straight away.
That said it can be placed in an airtight container and stored in the freezer. You can then serve it as a semifreddo, it will be delicious!
How long will pavlova keep without cream?
You can make the meringue and let it rest in the closed oven for up two 1-2 days.
Just don't add any filling until you are ready to assemble and serve the pavlova.
Why pavlova cracks?
It's totally normal for a pavlova to have some cracks. If you look at my picutures you'll see some as well.
I'd be more concerned if it didn't have cracks since it would mean that you added too much xanthan gum.
Why is my pavlova chewy?
If your pavlova turned out chewy it's either because you added powdered sugar too fast (every tablespoon of sugar has to dissolve before you add the next one) or due to excessive humidity in your kitchen.
Why is my pavlova brown?
Pavlova has to be baked at a low temperature. If your meringues turn out brown it's because your oven is too hot.
Next time try baking it at slightly lower temperature.
Why did my pavlova collapse?
Again, this is due to undissolved sugar in your pavlova.
To make sure that the sugar is dissolved rub a little meringue mixture between your fingers. If you can feel sugar granules, keep whisking until you can't.
Why is my pavlova flat?
The pavlova turns out flat only if not enough air was incorporated into the aquafaba mixture.
Remember: To know if the meringue mass is ready, lift the mixer out of the bowl. The peaks of the meringue that rise as you lift should stand straight up. If not, keep on mixing.
Other desserts you may like
- Vegan chocolate cheesecake with Oreo crust
- Delicious Vegan Biscoff Cheesecake
- Vegan cheesecake with cookie crust
- Vegan pumpkin cheesecake with coconut whipped cream
If you try this recipe….
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