Every dessert brings with it a creator and perhaps even a reason: some conjured in a place of opulence, some bearing humble beginnings;some delicate and dainty, some donning a rustic attire. What is undeniable, is the presence of a story. Much like that, my attempts carry their own little stories: some born out of beginner’s luck , some after a persistent endeavor but each one satiating the boundless curiosities of the mind and the belly.
In early 2017, the sweet journey began with three failed and one successful attempt of a Tarte Tatin from France, Oui! (it hopes to make its way into this blog soon). After presumably gobbling apples in their finest form aka warm and seductively caramelised, I forayed into Scotland and conjured the Cranachan. This concoction bubbled with rouge hued raspberries, the oats and fresh cream lending it a certain decadence. The United Kingdom fetched me a gooey indulgence: The Sticky Toffee Pudding with a learning that dates, coffee and toffee sauce is an inarguable recipe for happiness.And then I hopped east, far east….
I’ve constantly evaded from whipping up the Pavlova owing to its primary ingredient being egg whites. However, some brilliant minds devised a solution that lies concealed in a humble can of chickpeas. Aquafaba( the liquid in the chickpea can) when whipped behaves exactly like an egg white does, thereby drastically changing the intended ways of the dessert world.
What you see here is a Vegan Pavlova cradling a sweet Praline Cream, fresh blood oranges and a honey- pistachio drizzle and is inspired by the original Pavlova that takes its origin from New Zealand. It’s famed name has been derived after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. For years the neighboring countries claimed the origin for this feather light treat. At long last, the kind people from the Oxford English Dictionary settled a long standing argument that the dessert was invented in New Zealand and therefore, I unquestionably rely on them and attribute this creation to have been inspired from the land of the Kiwis.
Without further ado, let’s move on to the recipe. Might I add, that, a tad bit of patience and a stand/hand mixer remain to be the key ingredients for this melt-in-the-mouth dessert.
The whole recipe isn’t vegan, only the Meringue is but, it is entirely vegetarian.
RECIPE FOR VEGAN PAVLOVA WITH PRALINE CREAM, FRESH FRUITS AND A HONEY-PISTACHIO DRIZZLE
Makes 1 large pavlova(as seen in the picture) or 4 or 6 mini pavlovas
Hand or Stand Mixer
Large Cookie Sheet
For the Praline Cream
1/4 cup of sliced almonds
40 gms granulated sugar
1 tbsp water
100ml heavy cream
200 grams Mascarpone
For the Meringue
3/4th cup of aquafaba(drained from a can of chickpeas, I use the unsalted variety)
1 1/4th cups icing sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
3/4 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Sliced or chopped fresh fruit(I used sliced blood oranges)
3 tbsp honey
1/4 cup chopped pistachios or almonds
To make the Praline Cream
-Preheat the oven to 350F and toast the almonds for 7-8 minutes by spreading them evenly them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
-Place the granulated sugar and water in a thick bottomed saucepan. Let the sugar dissolve, then turn the heat to high and swirl carefully until a caramel colour is seen. Pour this over the almonds. Let the praline cool completely.
-Once cooled, break the praline into shards and place in a mixer/blender and powder until fine. This can be used immediately OR stored in an airtight jar for 3 days.
-To make the Praline Cream, whisk together the heavy cream, praline powder and mascarpone for 1 MINUTE. Do not overmix. If it splits, just add more heavy cream to bring it all together.
-Refrigerate until use.
To make the Vegan Meringue–
-The first step is to reduce the aquafaba. In a small saucepan, place the aquafaba on medium-low heat until it is reduced to 1/2 cup. The liquid will darken slightly as it reduces. Cool completely.
*This can be done the previous day and stored in the refrigerator.
-To make the meringue-
-Preheat oven to 350 F and line 1 cookie sheets with parchment paper
-Using an standmixer, whip the aquafaba on high-speed until it forms stiff peaks.This may take around 5-7 minutes in a stand mixer.
-Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the powdered sugar. Once all the sugar is added, increase the speed to high until you get an even, fluffy mix.This may take around 7 minutes in a stand mixer
-Reduce the speed to low and add the remaining ingredients.
-Scoop the mixture on to the cookie sheet (or 2) lined with parchment paper
-PUT THE PAVLOVA IN THE OVEN AND TURN THE TEMPERATURE DOWN TO 300F IMMEDIATELY.
-Bake for 90 minutes, then turn off the oven.
-Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon and let the pavlova cool completely.
To Assemble-TO BE DONE JUST BEFORE SERVING
-Make the honey-pistachio drizzle by warming the honey on a saucepan and then stir in the pistachios.
-Once the Vegan Meringue has cooled, very gently , place dollops praline cream on the meringueand spread it. Arrange the fruit slices.
-Drain the remaining aquafaba from the chickpea can and store in an airtight box in the refrigerator to use again.
-Recipe for the Praline Cream adapted from Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s ‘Sweet’.
-Recipe for the Vegan Meringue adapted from The Blenderist
Do stop by my Instagram page for more food and baking:)