This pink aquafaba pavlova is stunning, delicious and perfect for Valentine's Day. It's also completely vegan and uses only natural colourings to give it that gorgeous pink shade.
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If you're looking for a vegan dessert to make this Valentine's Day to wow your significant other or just to enjoy yourself then look no further.
My aquafaba pavlova recipe is (if I do say so myself) absolutely incredible and it looks stunning as well. Not to mention the fact that you've gone to the trouble to seek out and make a vegan pavlova recipe for your loved one.
What is aquafaba?
Have you baked with aquafaba yet? If you're wondering "what is aquafaba?" then let me tell you that - if you're a vegan - it's about to change your life. Well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration but it really is an incredible ingredient.
Aquafaba is the liquid that a tin of beans sits in. It works amazingly in place of eggs in many recipes. The most common type of aquafaba used in baking is that from a tin of chickpeas but I have subbed other white bean aquafaba on occasion and also used black bean aquafaba to make these vegan salted caramel brownies.
After more aquafaba ideas? Check out these 20 recipes.
Is it possible to make vegan meringue?
Last summer I was amazed when I tried vegan macarons for the first time
These were made with aquafaba and there was absolutely no taste difference between the vegan ones and those made with eggs.
So experimenting with using aquafaba to make vegan meringues has been at the top of my list of things to do for ages.
But somehow it didn't feel right doing this on my healthy kids food blog Sneaky Veg. Now I've taken the plunge and started a brand new vegan blog it seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment. And with Valentine's Day coming up it was as if all the stars were aligned.
A few things to mention when making vegan meringue:
- I would recommend using a high powered electric whisk for this aquafaba pavlova. I have a Sage Scraper Mixer*.
- the pink colour comes from beetroot powder. You can leave this out if you want a white meringue, all other quantities remain the same
- make sure that your chickpeas are in unsalted water - salty meringue isn't going to taste right
- and finally, berries are not in season here in the UK at the moment so I used frozen berries. If there's going to be a little while between assembling the pavlova and serving you could put them on frozen but if you're serving immediately you'll need to allow them to defrost first.
If you look through the comments below you will see that some people have had trouble making this aquafaba pavlova. As with all baking there are so many variables that affect things - the accuracy of your oven, the exact ingredients you use - even altitude is said to affect meringues. If you live in a high altitude area your meringue is more likely to deflate.
I've tried to put together as much advice here as possible so that you can avoid your meringues not working. Please let me know how you get on in the comments below.
- Use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. While you can make your own by using the liquid from chickpeas or other pulses you have cooked yourself I have only tested this recipe using canned aquafaba. Homemade aquafaba may not be thick enough.
- Your aquafaba should be cold. If possible leave it in the fridge overnight. If it feels watery you may want to reduce it in a saucepan until it thickens. You will need to do this the day before, cool it and store overnight in the fridge.
- Be sure to use unsalted chickpeas.
- Different brands can vary. Your aquafaba should look thick and gloopy. If you think it is too runny reduce it by heating it in a small saucepan until it thickens. Allow to cool completely before proceeding with the recipe.
- Use an electric stand mixer to beat your aquafaba. This will do a much better job that you can do by hand. You could also use a handheld mixer - but I haven’t tested it with one.
- Make sure that your aquafaba has whisked into stiff peaks before proceeding - it should be spoonable and not runny.
- Once you have whipped your aquafaba proceed with the recipe and get it in the oven asap as it doesn’t hold its shape for as long as egg whites.
- I use white wine vinegar or cider vinegar to help firm up my aquafaba meringue. Lemon juice or cream of tartar can also be used but I get best results with vinegar.
- Use caster sugar (not granulated) for this recipe. This is sometimes called superfine sugar.
- Make sure your mixing bowl is completely spotless. Any kind of fat or grease can cause problems with meringue. To be completely sure wipe it down with a little vinegar on a bit of kitchen towel before starting.
You may find this guide to aquafaba useful.
Pin vegan pink aquafaba pavlova for later
How to make vegan aquafaba pavolva
If you have made this recipe and loved it please consider leaving a comment and rating below.
Please read the troubleshooting section above if you are making this recipe for the first time. I have increased the cooking time after reader feedback - however, all ovens vary so check yours after 1 hours 30 minutes.
Vegan pink aquafaba pavlova
For the pavlova
- 120 ml aquafaba, chilled liquid from 1 tin of chickpeas - check that it’s unsalted
- 225 g caster sugar
- ½ tbsp beetroot powder optional
- 1.5 tsp white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
For the topping
- 800 g tinned coconut milk left in the fridge overnight 2 standard tins
- 200 g mixed berries fresh or frozen and defrosted
To make the meringue (please read the troubleshooting section first)
- Preheat the oven to 130°C(fan)/150°C/gas mark 2.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and draw a 23cm circle on it - the easiest way to do this to draw around a cake tin.
- Whisk 120ml aquafaba in spotlessly clean mixing bowl with an electric mixer 10 minutes until stiff - for best results use a stand mixer. Ensure that your aquafaba has formed stiff peaks - it should be spoonable and not runny at all.
- Continue whisking for a further five minutes adding 225g caster sugar a spoonful at a time.
- Whisk in ½ tbsp beetroot powder and finally 1.5 tsp white wine vinegar.
- Spread the meringue on top of your circle on the baking paper, making the sides slightly higher than the middle.
- Place in the oven and reduce the heat to 120°C(fan)/140°C/gas mark 1.
- Bake for 2 hours until firm on top.
- Turn the oven off and leave your pavlova in the oven until completely cool. I usually leave mine overnight. Don't skip this step - it's an important part of the process.
To make the filling
- When ready to serve take 2 x 400g tins of coconut milk out of the fridge and scrape out the solid white part, leaving the clear liquid behind. You should have something like 350g of solid white coconut milk - but don’t worry if it’s slightly out. Whisk for 3-4 minutes at high speed with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and well combined.
- Transfer your meringue base to a serving dish, spread over the coconut cream and cover with 200g berries. Serve as soon as possible and store any leftovers in the fridge.
- You will get better results if your aquafaba is cold.
- The consistency of aquafaba varies from can to can. If yours feels watery you may wish to reduce it in a saucepan until it starts to thicken. Allow to cool then store overnight in the fridge.
This recipe is part of a Free From Valentine's Day recipes series. Here are the other recipes:
- Healthy homemade chocolate waffles by Eva at The Healthy Tart
- The best gluten free shortbread by Vicki at The Free From Fairy
- Chocolate layer cakes by Kate at Gluten Free Alchemist
- Decadent chocolate roulade with coconut cream by Laura at Dairy Free Kids
- Creamy vegan tiramisu by Midge at Peachicks Bakery
- Valentine's vegan biscuits by Emma at Free From Farmhouse
- Raspberry and coconut dark chocolate hearts by Nova at Cherished by Me
- His and hers vegan Valentine parfaits Jo at Modern Food Stories
- Allergy free Valentine's biscuits by Lauren at Dilan and Me
- Gluten free tiramisu by Mel at Le Coin de Mel
- Chocolate coconut truffles by Jenna at A Balanced Belly
- Vegan chocolate truffles by Nathalie at The Intolerant Gourmand
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