Pavlova cake is named after the Russian Ballerina, Anna Pavlova, from her time touring in Australia and New Zealand. Supposably, a chef at the Wellington hotel created the cake for the dancer, claiming it reminded him of her tutu!! Because I adore ballet, and adore meringue, it only seemed logical we try to veganize this classic dessert. Traditional Pavlova is made with egg white meringue that is marshmalllowy inside. In this vegan version we use sweet, whipped, aquafaba to replace the eggs and made a drier meringue to help hold its shape. The result is a perfectly, light, delicate meringue cake, filled with sweet lemon tofu ricotta and fresh berries. This cake requires patients as it takes a long time to bake and dry out. I promise its worth every minute it takes. This vegan Pavlova makes for the most impressively beautiful, light, and delicious dessert and will surely impress anyone who tries it!
Liquid from 1 can of chickpeas
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
3-4 cups mixed berries, strawberries, blueberries, black berries, or raspberries
Fresh mint for garnish
LEMON RICOTTA :
1 block extra firm tofu
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup maple syrup, or a few tablespoons agave
Preheat oven to 275 degrees
Add chickpea liquid, powdered sugar, cream of tarter, vinegar, and tapioca starch to a stand mixer, and mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes or until a very stiff meringue has formed. If you need to use a hand electric mixer, add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix by hand until a stiff meringue has formed, don’t give up. It takes a while but will come together.
Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering in parchment paper. Draw an 8 inch circle on each sheet of parchment then flip the sheet over. Divide the meringue between the 2 circle. Spread the meringue evenly to fit the circles using the back of a spoon.
Bake the Pavlova for 2 1/2- 3 hours or until you can insert a tooth pick or cake tester into the center and the meringues are dry. Remove from the oven to cool completely. (ours took 3 hours but bake times will vary depending on ovens)
Add the tofu, lemon and maple syrup to a food processor or high speed blender, and process until completely smooth.
Divide the tofu ricotta in half. Lightly spread half of the ricotta over one of the meringues. Thinly slice some strawberries and evenly spread them over the ricotta. You can add some tother berries as well, just nestle them into the ricotta.
Place the second meringue on top of the first. Add the other half of the ricotta to the center of the meringue and spread it out a little. Pile up the remaining fruit on top of the ricotta. Garnish with mint.
Serve immediately. The liquid from the ricotta and fruit will eventually break down the meringues. If you wish to bake the meringues and serve later, store them in an airtight container and add ricotta and fruit when ready to serve. Any moisture in the air will cause the meringues to get sticky and they will no longer be dry and flakey, the way you want them to be. Storing them in an airtight container is essential!
Slice to serve.
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