Prue Leith’s Vegan Tropical Pavlova

The notion of a vegan meringue can be quite daunting, but with the water from a can or two of chickpeas (known as aquafaba), which behaves just like egg white when whisked, egg-free meringue is perfectly achievable.

Serves: 6–8
Difficulty: Needs skill
Hands-On Time: 1 hr
Baking Time: 1 hr 15 mins
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  • Ingredients
  • Method
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Step 1
Heat the oven to 120°C/100°C fan/250°F/Gas ½. Draw a 20cm circle on each sheet of baking paper on each baking tray and turn the paper over, so the pencil or ink is underneath. 

Step 2
To make the meringue, pour the aquafaba into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Add the cream of tartar and whisk on medium speed for 3–5 minutes, until foaming. Increase the speed to high and whisk for 5–10 minutes to stiff peaks.

Step 3
Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between each addition to a stiff meringue. Add the vanilla seeds and sift the xanthum gum over the meringue. Whisk for a further 30 seconds. 

Step 4
Spoon the mixture into the large piping bag fitted with the large star nozzle and pipe 2 circles of meringue with a decorative edge, using the 20cm circles you’ve drawn on the baking paper as guides. 

Step 5
Bake the meringue circles for 1 hour 15 minutes, until crisp and dry. Remove from the oven and leave on the trays to cool. 

Step 6
For the coconut pastry cream, pour three quarters of the coconut milk into a medium pan with the sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Place over a low heat and bring slowly to the boil.  

Step 7
Mix the cornflour with the remaining coconut milk until smooth, then add it to the pan. Cook over a medium heat, whisking continuously, for 5–6 minutes, until thickened.  

Step 8
Remove the coconut mixture from the heat and stir in the vegan butter and toasted desiccated coconut. Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool, then chill until set.  

Step 9
For the mango coulis, tip the mango into the bowl of a food processor with the icing sugar and lime juice and blitz until smooth. Pour into a serving jug.    

Step 10
Melt the white chocolate for the decoration in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water. Carefully turn over the 2 cooled meringue shells and peel off the baking paper. Gently paint the white chocolate over the base of each meringue and chill to set.

Step 11
Finish the coconut pastry cream. Beat the coconut yoghurt and the passion fruit seeds into the set pastry cream until combined. 

Step 12
Place one of the meringue shells on a cake stand and spread over half of the pastry cream. Top with the half of the prepared fruit (you don’t need to combine the fruit first, just arrange the filling fruit by fruit) and half the coconut flakes.

Step 13
Carefully place the other meringue shell on top and spread over the remaining pastry cream. Top with the remaining prepared fruit and coconut flakes. Serve immediately with the mango coulis.