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ArticleLiving Well

An egg-free pav.

Crispy shell, gooey centre, thick whipped cream and fresh summer fruit, a homemade pavlova is truly a creation of love.

Feb 4, 2021


Words: Mettle & Grace

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Our treasured Australian/New Zealand (we can share, right?!) dessert requires time, planning, a reliable oven and patience.

A pavlova can either be a great success, making you the hero of Christmas, or an epic fail you slam into the trash bin, never to be spoken of again.

For me, the only time I enjoy this high maintenance yet spectacular dessert is at Christmas with my cousins. Christmas is an incredibly loud and chaotic affair in our house, as all the families gather together for our yearly catch-up.

When Uncle Mel and Auntie Val would arrive, voices would lower, anticipation filling the air, as we were eager to see whether Auntie Val had brought her famous homemade pavlova.

Turning the corner to join us in the family room, excitement levels would bubble again seeing her carrying a massive and mouthwatering pav. Auntie Val’s pavs were pure magic: the crispy shell, gooey centre, the thick whipped cream and an abundance of fresh summer fruits.

Since her passing, my Dad has taken on this humble tradition, creating pavs with the same degree of love and flavours — a delicious tribute to a lady we miss dearly.

As allergies and intolerances become increasingly apparent in many families, I thought that it’s essential to recreate Christmas desserts to cater to more people. But please remember, an egg-free pavlova requires the same kind of time, planning, oven and patience as a traditional one.

An aquafaba meringue still creates the incredible textural magic of a traditional pavlova: a crunchy outside cracking through to a soft, marshmallow texture in the centre. Our whipped coconut cream pairs beautifully with lime zest, mint, kiwi fruit, dehydrated pineapple and toasted coconut flakes. However, the whipped aquafaba is so lush and aerated you must commit to the bougie nature and top the pav with a variety of mixed berries, sliced fig and shaved dark chocolate. Leaving until last perhaps our healthiest whipped cream recipe, made with cashews. that I accompany with a chai spiced syrup to be drizzled over the fresh plums and cherries.

Don’t forget to support our local growers and producers. If you’re a pav traditionalist, you have South Gippsland Eggs, Forge Creek Free Range and Gippsland Free Range Eggs. You also have, Gippsland Jersey, Butterfly Factory and Gippsland Dairy, plus many others (we’re spoiled!).

Whipped Cream

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Ingredients

250g Cashews (soaked four hours min.)

2–3 tbsp Maple Syrup

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1–2 tbsp Water

Method

1/ Soak cashews in cold water for a minimum of four hours.

2/ Drain cashews and rinse with cold water, then add to your food processor or blender, along with maple syrup, vanilla extract and one tablespoon of water. Blend on high until smooth. If it feels like there isn’t enough liquid to blend, then add another tablespoon of water. We don’t want to add too much liquid, as we need the cream to be a thick and creamy consistency.

3/ Refrigerate until needed.

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Ingredients

2 x 400g tins Coconut Cream

Maple Syrup (to taste)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1/ Refrigerate coconut cream overnight.

2/ Drain remaining liquid from the cream, then add the solidified cream into the bowl (chilled) of your kitchen mixer. Add two tablespoons of maple syrup to begin with, along with the vanilla extract.

3/ Whisk the mixture until it resembles whipped cream. Do not over whip the cream as it may get warm and collapse.

4/ Refrigerate until needed.

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Ingredients

1 x tin Chickpeas

100g Caster Sugar

50g Golden Syrup

Method

1/ Drain 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, reserving the brine (aquafaba) from the tin. Measure half a cup of aquafaba and add to the bowl of your kitchen mixer. Whisk on high speed for eight minutes until stiff peaks form.

2/ Continue whisking while you add the caster sugar and golden syrup.

3/ Refrigerate until needed.

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