Individual summer fruit pavlovas

We had friends over today for a “summer” barbeque (cardigans and jeans were worn, it was not a summer BBQ like some people might picture!). So I decided to add to the summery feeling with some individual summer fruit pavlovas.

These were easy but fancy looking little desserts that went down very well with everyone (we all had more than one!). Unfortunately they had to be assembled right before serving though as the coconut cream did start to dissolve the meringues, so if you decide to make these then make sure to leave yourself a few minutes for assembling!

Ingredients

For the meringues

  • liquid from one can of chickpeas/beans* (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/8 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*this time I used a tin of 3 bean salad. Interestingly the aquafaba from this tin was much thicker than from chickpeas or butter beans, and it also took much longer to whip up. But it still worked and gave a lovely, thick mixture.

For the coconut cream

  • 1 tin full fat coconut milk
  • 2-3 tbsps icing sugar

To finish

  • Stawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Brambles

(or any combination you like!)

To make the meringues: Preheat the oven to 100 degress Celsius. Add the aquafaba and vinegar to a non-plastic bowl and whip until you have stiff peaks. Slowly add the sugar a spoonful at a time, waiting until the previous spoonful is completely combined before adding any more. When all of the sugar is incorporated and there are glossy, stiff peaks, add the vanilla extract and mix it in.

Line a baking tray with parchment and pipe the mixture into meringue nests, or kisses for bitesized pavlovas. Place in the centre of your oven and bake for 90 minutes. Once baked turn off the oven and leave the meringues inside to cool for a couple of hours until they are completely cold.

To make the whipped cream: Chill the coconut milk in the fridge overnight, this will cause the contents of the tin to separate into the solid cream, which will float on the top, and the water underneath. Carefully spoon out the solid cream into a bowl, trying not to pick up any of the water as this will affect the consistency of your whipped cream. Add the icing sugar, then using an electric mixer whip your cream to the desired texture making sure you don’t leave any lumps.

To make up: Either spoon or pipe about a tablespoonful of whipped cream into the centre of the meringue nest, or about a teaspoon on top of the meringue kisses. Decorate with the fresh fruit and serve to your suitable impressed guests 🙂

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I have some ideas about different flavour combinations for these pavlovas, so watch this space…

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Granny’s impossible pie

I’m sure this recipe has a proper name, but in our family it’s known as Granny’s impossible pie, for fairly self explanatory reasons. It’s called impossible pie because it all gets mixed in one bowl then poured into a pie dish where it ‘magically’ forms two distinct layers like a pastry pie. Well, it’s magical when you’re little, as an adult I quickly realised it’s because the coconut floats in the mixture. (Yes, I was sad when I realised it wasn’t Granny’s magic…)

I used to love it but (to me) it tasted so eggy that I went off it when I went off eggs. I tried making it once using an egg replacer but it just didn’t work, the flavour was fine but the texture just wasn’t quite right.

But thanks to the wonder that is aquafaba, I am now able to enjoy this tasty pud again without the eggy-ness and with the right texture. Perfect! I do hope my Granny would like it 🙂

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsps aquafaba
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 8 fl oz soya milk
  • 1 oz flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 oz melted margarine
  • 4 oz dessicated coconut

The instructions are so simple: preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the ingredients in the order listed above. Pour the mixture into a pie dish and bake for 30 minutes until the top turns a light golden brown.

I served it with some aquafaba marshmallow fluff and fresh Scottish strawberries. Delicious!

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Note: If you use a smaller pie dish you will have a better definition between the layers. Unfortunately I only have a small pie dish and a large one and nothing in between. I think I need to shop!

Vegan whipped cream

OK, so I realise I’m a little late to this party and I’m only just discovering something lots of people already know about, but how amazingly delicious is whipped coconut cream?! I don’t really know why I just assumed there wouldn’t be a vegan alternative, but I’m so glad there is. Because it’s amazing!

Basic coconut whipped cream

1 tin of full fat coconut milk
2-3 tbsps icing sugar

Chill the coconut milk in the fridge overnight, this will cause the contents of the tin to separate into the solid cream we’ll be using, which will float on the top, and the water underneath. Open the tin without shaking it first! If you shake it at this point it will mix together and you’ll have to start again!

Carefully spoon out the solid cream into a bowl, trying not to pick up any of the water as this will affect the consistency of your whipped cream. Add the icing sugar, then using an electric mixer whip your cream to the desired texture making sure you don’t leave any lumps.

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Add to your creation and enjoy! I found that one tin was enough to fill a 10 inch cake, with plenty left over for a posh cream tea in a day or two 🙂 Now, if you’ll excuse me there’s cake calling my name…

Variations

Try flavouring your cream with a little natural extract for an extra hit of flavour, eg vanilla, almond, lemon maybe? Not tried that but it sounds nice so I might give it a try.

I also feel a tiramisu style dessert coming in the near future so watch this space for more coconut-y deliciousness!

Coconut, Date and Cinnamon Porridge

Hello all! It has been a pretty rubbish week here in our house and I am very glad to see the back of it! We’ve got a new swimming pool in our garden….from a burst pipe, plumbers who don’t return phone calls, shower switch breaking (now fixed by my Dad: thank you!), everyone has the cold, I’ve also got sinusitis and so have a sore face, and because I’m feeling so rubbish I’m missing my friend’s hen party. So all in all I’m very glad that it’s the weekend and that my lovely husband has taken young sir out for lunch to give me a break 🙂

To start the weekend off on a better note, I decided to make myself a yummy breakfast. It was really simple, very tasty and I’m definitely going to make it again! The recipe below is for 1 so just scale it up depending how many you are making it for:

  • 1/2 mug porridge oats
  • 1 (and a bit for luck) cups cold water
  • 1 level tbsp soft brown sugar (you could leave this out if you wanted to make it healthier but I felt I needed it today!)
  • a handful of dates (about 8-10), chopped
  • 2 level tbsp desiccated coconut
  • cinnamon to taste, I used about 1/2 – 3/4 tsp

Put the porridge oats and water into a pot and cook over a low/medium heat, stirring frequently to stop it sticking. Don’t have it too hot or you will be spending the rest of the day soaking and scrubbing your pot clean again! When the mixture has started to thicken add the other ingredients and continue to stir until the porridge is cooked. Serve and eat immediately, but don’t burn your tongue! Goes very nicely with a nice cup of tea 🙂