Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Famous Aquafaba meringue makes a good Vegan 'Pavlova'


First a confession: I am not a fan of Pavlovas, not at all. But I love meringues, and ever since I have heard of the aquafaba meringue, or meringue made with the water from a can of chickpeas (very popular in Italian blogs, and not necessarily Vegan blogs, everyone is making it!) I couldn't stop thinking about it! 

"Vegan baker Goose Wohlt coined the term aquafaba ("bean liquid") to describe the liquid, which French chef Joël Roessel discovered could be used in recipes much like egg whites."
Source; Wikipedia

 Well, what a success!! Basically all you need to do is to drain a can of chickpeas, keep the liquid and then beat it. Don't do it by hand though, unless you have strong harms, it takes longer that egg whites. But wow doesn't it peak! And white and fluffy too! I got quite emotional seeing it, like a wonderful chemistry experiment.

After beating for 3-5minutes
After 7-8 minutes
After adding sugar and cornflour
Taaa-daaa!
But what to make first?  I was tempted to make an Italian meringue, but didn't want to add hot syrup to my new discovery, in case the magic stopped! No, I decided, I'll do that next time and stick to a easy icing sugar meringue.

There are plenty of recipes online to chose from, and then I saw one for a Vegan Pavlova, Pavlova of course being a loose term overseas, but there you go Kiwis, karma for having far too loosely reinterpreted too many Italian (and other nations) traditional recipes! This particular recipe was my top choice and had nice photos, but looked like a tree-layer meringue to me. Also I changed a couple of ingredients and quantities, and recorded:


Ingredients

Base
1 Can of chickpeas (just the brine - i.e. water, which already has salt)
250 g icing sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp white vinegar
a few drops of vanilla essence

Topping
1 can coconut cream
1 tsp golden syrup
a few drops of vanilla essence
Green and gold kiwi fruit and strawberries (out of season, but I saw two punnets for $7 and wanted them for the photo!)


Beat the brine first, then when it is nice and peaky add the sugar, one tbsp at the time, and the cornflour. Add the vinegar and vanilla at the end and beat some more.



Not confident enough to try a single Pavlova I made two disks, plus some little ones to see how they baked. I had the oven on first very hot, and the at about 75°C fan for about three hours, actually more, it seemed to take forever! In the meantime I also whipped some coconut cream (Vegan Pavlova, remember?), I find that the Family Choice coconut cream has the thickest cream of all, in fact so thick that you don't need to refrigerate the can first, and can use the liquid a the bottom of the can to thin it down. I added a tsp of golden syrup (Maple syrup is good too) and a few drops of vanilla, and then set the cream aside in the fridge.

Coconut cream
 I didn't end up assembling the 'Pavlova' until the day after, but the meringue was still good and the cream nice and stiff. I only put fruit in between the two layers, and reserved the cream only for the top. Possibly the disks were too large and they cracked a little, the smaller meringues looked great and made me plan for macaroons.  



The taste

Ok, I don't like Pavlova… but I loved this one!!!! Wowowowow! My daughter loves Pavlova, yet she found this version to be better, and my husband liked it and thought that it was less sweet that regular Pavlova (I can hardly believe it, with 250g of icing sugar??? Really? I was already planning to experiment with less sugar….). Also the texture, no, not a crunchy meringue all way through, but a soft marshmelloy centre, and even if it was in two disks it still tasted more like a Pavlova than a meringue cake.
But there will be more experiments, for sure!

 Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

6 comments:

  1. What amazing recipe Alessandra.!
    Usually I don"t buy chickpeas can
    (I use dry chickpeas) but I love to try this.
    Maria esperanza you know is vegetarian and would love this.
    How are all of you?
    Always I reminder the happy time when you were here:)
    Baci!
    I learned some italian lol
    Un abbraccio cara

    ReplyDelete
  2. What amazing recipe Alessandra.!
    Usually I don"t buy chickpeas can
    (I use dry chickpeas) but I love to try this.
    Maria esperanza you know is vegetarian and would love this.
    How are all of you?
    Always I reminder the happy time when you were here:)
    Baci!
    I learned some italian lol
    Un abbraccio cara

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a nice recipe, for someone wanting to avoid eggs, Alessandra! Thanks for providing all the details for preparation.

    One question. Is the Aquafab meringue that is not vegan?
    "I have heard of the aquafaba meringue, or meringue made with the water from a can of chickpeas (very popular in Italian blogs, and not necessarily Vegan!) "

    Thank you.
    Have a Beautiful Day!
    Peace :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi GreenComotion, as long as the canned chickpeas do not contain any animal products, and you don't add other animal products to the recipe (i.e. use coconut cream instead of dairy cream) the recipe is vegan.

      Delete
  4. ESAS FRUTILLAS Y ESE MERENGUE....
    UNA TENTACION.
    SALUDITOS

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great idea, I'll have to try it. I used chickpeas in a chocolate brownie recipe recently, worked a treat!

    ReplyDelete

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