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.
Hands-on time: 1 hour
Baking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Skill level: Needs skill
For the meringue:
200ml aquafaba (drained from 1½ cans of chickpeas)
½ tsp cream of tartar
270g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped
1 tsp xanthum gum
For the coconut pastry cream:
400ml can coconut milk
65g cane sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g vegan butter
50g desiccated coconut, toasted
100ml coconut yoghurt
seeds from 1 passion fruit
For the mango coulis:
1 ripe mango, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tbsp icing sugar
juice of ½ lime
For the filling & topping:
½ pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced
1 ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
seeds from 2 passion fruit
kernels from ½ pomegranate
50g vegan white chocolate
50g coconut flakes, toasted
You will also need:
2 baking sheets lined with baking paper
Large piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle
Step 1 – Heat the oven to 120°C/100°C fan/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.