Light, airy and slightly chewy mini vegan pavlovas. They’re made with AQUAFABA resulting in perfect desserts for special occasions.
These mini vegan pavlovas are perfect puddings topped with a light whipped cream and subtle rose-infused mixed berries. They’re relatively straightforward to make and below I share a handful of tips and advice for getting the best results.
Don’t have time to read it now? PIN it for later or bookmark this page
What is AQUAFABA?
Aquafaba is one of the most exciting foodie hypes of recent times. Even though it has existed for years and years, new cooking applications for it are being discovered all the time.
The name simply means the starchy water you drain from cooked pulses, but most commonly chickpeas. It contains proteins from the pulses and can be used in place of egg white in numerous recipes.
Not only can it make AMAZING vegan meringue, but this food swap saves tonnes of eggs and gives hens some time off. Fingers crossed there comes a day when they no longer need to work. This means a lot for barn and caged hens and those living in a free-range community who don’t get the chance to roam free.
While Aquafaba is easy to use, sometimes you can run into difficulties when it comes to meringue so I’m going to share a few tips below.
TOP TIPS for making mini vegan pavlovas:
You wouldn’t believe humble chickpea juice would create glorious little puds like these, but it’s honestly amazing.
I’m always star-struck every time I use it – it’s magic!
I’ve used aquafaba before for making my swiss meringue buttercream, and I love it, so I thought why not make some fruity mini vegan pavlovas for Christmas?!
Here’s a handful of my best tips and advice:
The consistency of Aquafaba is important. The basic rule of thumb is that it should mimic the viscosity of egg white. The liquid drained from good-quality canned or jarred chickpeas is excellent and should fit the bill.
Otherwise, you can buy Aquafaba in the supermarkets. For this recipe, I used OGGS Aquafaba which can be found in the following supermarkets:
Using a stand mixer:
Feel free to use a hand whisk, but only if you’re ready for a good arm workout!
Aquafaba takes much longer than egg whites to whisk which is why I highly recommend using a stand mixer, as you can leave it to do its job and there is minimal effort on your part.
I invested in a Kenwood Stand Mixer – honestly, one of the best kitchen buys of my life. It makes baking so much easier.
Stabilise the mixture:
Cream of tartar works so well for stabilisation and it’s exactly what you’d use in traditional recipes.
Start off mixing the meringue on a medium speed until it forms soft peaks. At this point, you can add your cream of tartar and continue whipping with slow additions of sugar until stiff glossy peaks are formed.
Starting slow encourages a good structure, as it creates smaller air bubbles in the mixture and prevents the risk of your meringue collapsing later. If you whisk on high speed, you may over-whisk it and create larger air bubbles which don’t hold up too well under heat!
Choice of sugar:
Lots of meringue recipes use caster sugar, but I personally find icing sugar works best with aquafaba in vegan meringue.
How do you know the meringue mix is ready?
- Firstly, as it whisks, you’ll notice the meringue mix starting to gather in the centre.
- Second, if you stick your whisk into the mix and hold it up the meringue peak should stick straight up without moving.
Use non-stick baking parchment (NOT greaseproof):
They aren’t the same and it’s good to know the difference so you can choose the right one for cooking.
Non-stick baking parchment has a silicone coating which prevents food from sticking to tins and the paper itself.
In contrast, the greaseproof paper doesn’t have the silicone lining, but as the name suggests, it’s grease-resistant and is often used to line tins. However, you must grease it on both sides; otherwise, it will stick to bakeware and food!
For this recipe, I advise using non-stick baking parchment. The meringues should easily peel away once they’re cooked and cooled.
DON’T OPEN THE OVEN:
Bake the meringue at 110C for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Please resist from opening the oven during this time as you want to ensure a consistent temperature throughout.
Storytime: I have temperature dials on my oven which you turn and one time, ten minutes before the end of my meringues cooking, it got knocked up to 200C by accident – ABSOLUTE DISASTER. So, the next time, I used some tape to stick the dial in place so it wouldn’t budge (nightmare!) I suppose this can easily happen when there are lots of people around, especially children.
Let them cool off with the oven:
Once cooked, turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to cool for at least another hour. If you take them out and they cool too quickly, it can affect their structure so it’s best to allow them to cool with the oven itself.
How to store your mini vegan pavlovas?
The great thing about these is that you can make them ahead of Christmas!
Store them in an airtight container, and if it’s even vaguely hot or humid where you are, put them in the fridge.
Remember the sugar is the main structure to the meringues, so we don’t want them melting/collapsing in heat!
How to serve these Christmas mini pavlovas?
You will love these. They are:
- Slightly chewy
- Perfectly sweet
I have served them with whipped dairy-free cream along with rose-infused mixed berries but feel free to mix this up according to the season. I have used the following brands:
- Elmlea Plant double cream – unbelievable. Whips up a treat and does a good job of holding its shape
- Nielsen-Massey Rose Water – rose water sounds so pretentious doesn’t it? Haaa, but it’s really lovely in baking – it smells great and adds a lovely flavour dynamic to the berries for this.
This recipe has featured as part of my Instagram IGTV recipe series, Vegan In Lockdown: Christmas Special. You can watch the series over on Instagram – I release a new episode every week on Monday and Wednesday (6 pm BST) in the lead up to Christmas 2020.
I hope you enjoy my Christmas mini vegan pavlovas. I’d love it if you could leave me some feedback and a cheeky follow on social.
If you’re already planning your vegan Christmas or need some ideas for a vegan roast dinner, then check out these recipes of mine:
- Beet Bruschetta with Sweet Zest & Peppery Infusions
- ‘MEATY’ Vegan Mushroom Wellington
- Tasty Roasted Veg: Learn How to Make Gorgeous Roasties and Maple Parsnips
- Colourful & Festive Christmas Salad Starter with Maple Tahini Dressing
- EASY 20-Minute No Pigs in Blankets
Much love, G x
- 100ml aquafaba
- 100g icing sugar
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla
- 1 pot of elmlea plant double cream
- 200g fresh raspberries
- 200g defrosted mixed berries
- ½ tbsp Nielsen-Massey rose water
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- The first thing you need to do is preheat your oven to 110C. Meringues are always cooked on low heat.
- Next, add your chickpea juice (a.k.a AQUAFABA) to you stand mixer and start whisking it on a medium speed until it starts to form soft peaks. Starting on a medium speed avoids over-whisking and encourages a good structure (with smaller air bubbles) meaning your meringues will less likely collapse later.
- Meanwhile, you can line a large baking tray with a sheet of non-stick baking parchment.
- Once soft peaks start to appear, scrape down the sides and add in your cream of tartar.
Then, while the mixer is running, add the icing sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and continue whisking on high speed until stiff peaks form, the meringue is glossy and completely smooth, and the sugar is fully dissolved. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times to ensure you get all the sugar into the mix.
- Be patient with it, it takes quite a while for it to form stiff peaks, but it always does. Add your vanilla essence and give it one final whisk on high speed.
- Two ways you know your meringue mix is ready: Firstly, as it whisks, you’ll notice the meringue mix starting to gather in the centre. Second, if you stick your whisk into the mix and hold it up the meringue peak should stick straight up without moving.
- Spoon six mounds of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, ensuring they’re evenly spaced out, and use the back of the spoon to shape them into mini nests.
- Place them on the middle shelf of the oven and bake them for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 110C without opening the oven.
- Once cooked, turn off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven to cool for at least another hour. If you take them out and they cool too quickly, it can affect their structure so it’s best to allow them to cool with the oven.
- While the meringue is in the oven, we’re going to prepare the berry compote for on top. Combine the fresh raspberries with defrosted mixed berries and mix in two tablespoons of icing sugar until it's dissolved. Mix in half a tablespoon of rose water and place that to one side to allow the flavours to infuse for at least 30 minutes.
- You can also use this time to whip the dairy-free double cream until it holds its shape.
Assemble the meringues:
- Once the meringues are cooked and cooled, carefully remove them from the baking parchment. They should peel off the paper easily.
- Top each meringue with two spoons of whipped cream. Followed by one spoonful of rose-infused mixed berry on each. Be careful not to overload them otherwise they’ll get messy. Feel free to get festive with edible glitter.
- If you have any leftover toppings, you can always serve extra on the side for guests to serve themselves.
- There you yourself a delicious Christmas dessert. Enjoy!