And I found, when I started to get into the recipe, that I could use the same ingredients in a variety of different ways. I was actually able to create two distinctive desserts out of the same group of ingredients.
Dessert number one is a vegan pavlova.
If you’re not Australian you may not know what Pavlova is. Basically, it’s a big meringue that is baked at a low temp for a long time, and the final result is something that is crispy on the outside, but chewy on the inside. They are usually topped with a mixture of curd, whipped cream, and fresh berries, and often served at Christmas.
My vegan version is made, of course, from aquafaba. You simply take a basic aquafaba meringue recipe and instead of piping it into “kisses,” you pipe it into what looks a little like a bird’s nest. This creates the base of the pavlova. You top it with lemon curd, fresh berries, and coconut whip.
Dessert number two is inspired by a non-vegan one I had a few weeks back at a local restaurant, H2 at the Westin Bayshore. It was called a Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess, and it consisted of layers of lemon curd, whipped cream and a blueberry compote, topped with meringues. It was delicious, but I wanted to recreate it and make it vegan.
Here’s the basic recipes to create both:
Here is how to make the meringue. I piped half into “birds nests” to make pavlovas and half into “kisses” for the Eton Mess. You can skip the raspberry powder if you like, but I had some left over from making this recipe, and I liked the idea of raspberry and blueberry together.
Here is how to make the lemon curd.
2/3 cup non-dairy milk
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp corn starch
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup vegan butter
pinch of salt
In a mason jar, combine water, non dairy milk and cornstarch. Screw on the lid and shake well to mix. Pour into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and then cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a whisk until it starts to bubble.
Add the rest of the ingredients, and continue to stir until it thickens and bubbles.You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon, and you can run your finger through it without it running back together.
Here is how to make the coconut whip (or you can be lazy and buy it in a can!).
Here is how to make the blueberry compote:
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
In a smallish saucepan, place all the ingredients over medium heat, and gently bring to a boil. Allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes, until the consistency is jammy. I like to mash mine up with a potato masher, or you can puree it in your blender if you like a smoother consistency. Allow to cool before creating your dessert–it will thicken as it cools.