Tropical splice pavlova

Photo: by Nikki To (courtesy Hardie Grant Books)

Mango, pineapple, coconut and lime – this is a dessert that screams summer. Plus it’s one that everyone at your Christmas table can partake in, from those who are vegan to those who steering clear of gluten.

“It’s absolutely true that Australians stole pavlova from our New Zealand neighbours and made it our own,” says Shannon Martinez in her new book, Vegan with Bite. “But regardless of where it came from, it isn’t an Australian Christmas without one. If you like piña coladas, this one is for you.”


Serves 6

Ingredients

Non-stick cooking spray

2 mangoes, flesh sliced into ribbons

Pulp from 4 large passionfruit

1/4 pineapple, peeled and very thinly sliced

Mint leaves (optional)

Coconut flakes, to garnish (optional)

Meringue

250 ml (1 cup) aquafaba (the liquid drained from a tin of chickpeas), chilled in the freezer for 1 hour

230 g (1 cup) caster sugar

3 tsp vanilla paste or extract

1½ tsp xanthan gum

3/4 tsp cream of tartar

Lime and coconut whip

1 × 400 ml tin coconut cream, well chilled (see Note)

40 g (1/3 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar

1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

Finely grated zest of 1 lime

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 130°C. Spray a baking tray with non-stick cooking spray and line with baking paper. This will help keep the paper in place when you spoon on the meringue mixture.

2. To make the meringue, pour the chilled aquafaba into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk. Add a pinch of salt and beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Reduce the speed to medium and gradually add the sugar. Once all the sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla, xanthan gum and cream of tartar, then continue beating until you have stiff peaks.

3. Scoop the meringue onto the prepared tray and, using a spatula, shape into a circle about 10 cm high. Bake for 2½ hours, then turn off the heat and let the meringue cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

4. Meanwhile, make the lime and coconut whip. Take the tin of coconut cream out of the fridge, being careful not to shake it up. Gently open the tin and scoop the solid coconut cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk, leaving behind the coconut water that has separated at the bottom. (Save the water for another use, such as your next curry or smoothie.) Add the icing sugar, vanilla and lime zest and whip until light and fluffy. Store in the fridge until needed.

5. When the meringue has cooled completely, very carefully remove it from the tray and put it on a serving platter. Cover the top with a big pile of the coconut whip, then decorate with the mango, passionfruit, pineapple and mint and coconut (if using). Eat immediately.

Note

It’s important to use top-quality coconut cream made with only coconut extract and water (90% coconut extract content or more works the best). If you can plan ahead, chill it in the fridge for at least 24 hours before making the pavlova.

This is an edited extract from Vegan with Bite by Shannon Martinez, published by Hardie Grant Books (RRP $34.99) and available where all good books are sold.

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