Vegan pavlova with poached rhubarb and vanilla yogurt
Pavlova – the holy grail of vegan desserts if ever there was one. Who would have thought that chickpea liquid would be the answer to our prayers? A stand mixer or electric mixer is pretty crucial here, and I advise whisking until the mixture is as firm as you can humanly get it before transferring it to the tray. It’s also crucial that you allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven before removing it. I like to make it a day in advance, but if you’re not serving it immediately, be sure to keep it in an airtight container. If you prefer to make slightly smaller meringues, reduce the cooking time by 30 minutes.
- 100ml chilled aquafaba (reserved chickpea liquid)
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 125g caster sugar
- 400ml coconut yogurt
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped
- 400g rhubarb, cut diagonally into 6cm chunks
- 4 tbsp raw cane sugar
- 1 strip of lemon rind, plus extra to garnish
- 1 lemon-thyme sprig, plus extra to garnish
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 120C/gas mark ½. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
- Step 2 Place the aquafaba in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment added and whisk on a medium setting until it becomes thick and frothy. (Alternatively, a large mixing bowl and handheld electric whisk will work equally well, although it may be a little more tasking on the arms.)
- Step 3 Add the cream of tartar and whisk on a high setting for at least 10 minutes, until thick peaks begin to form. Gradually add the caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is glossy and thick – this may take up to 30 minutes but it is crucial the mixture is as stiff as possible, so be patient.
- Step 4 Secure the baking paper on the sheet with a dot of meringue under each corner, then spoon over the meringue and shape it into a rough circle or rectangle using a spatula, spreading it out to almost meet the edges of the tray. Transfer to the oven and cook for three and a half hours, then turn off the heat and leave to cool completely in the oven for at least six hours, ideally overnight. Transfer to an airtight container until needed.
- Step 5 Whisk together the coconut yogurt and vanilla seeds (reserving the pod) to combine. Refrigerate until needed.
- Step 6 Place the rhubarb in a saucepan along with the cane sugar, lemon rind, thyme and vanilla pod. Pour over just enough water to cover (200-250ml), bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the rhubarb is just cooked through. Leave it to cool in the syrup, then refrigerate for several hours, or until needed.
- Step 7 To assemble, layer the coconut yogurt over the meringue, followed by the rhubarb, and garnish with lemon rind and thyme.