These VEGAN Pavlova Puffs are filled with a delicious mixed berry filling & needs just 8 ingredients to make!
What do you do when you get invited to a small, but elegant bridal shower and forget till the day before, that at the time of invitation, you had blurted out impulsively – “I’ll get the desserts!”? No, don’t know what that feels like? Just me, then? OK! Thanks a lot everyone, that makes me feel oh so special! Urgh!
I have no idea how I could have forgotten such an important detail, but it all came screaming back to me as my friend called up and said ‘I cannot wait to taste your dessert! Send me pictures!!!’. I had to make up something along the lines of – “Oh it’s all ready but it needs to be assembled just before serving, so I can’t really send you any pictures, but trust me, they’re brilliant!’. Never trust me with anything, my dear friends. Never trust me with anything!
So, I had just a little over 24 hours to create and execute a unique dessert for 15-20 women, most of whom I’ve never met (and from the looks of it, seems like I never will again) and if that doesn’t send you spiraling into a mad fit, I don’t know what will! After an hour of fretting, crying, lamenting and many more expressions of emotion I don’t want to get into, I finally calmed myself and took out my notepad and pen to start planning.
Here are the criteria which my ‘dessert’ was expected fulfill:
- Simple, yet decadent! – I had just a little over 24 hours.
- Portability – I had to transport it all to the venue.
- Gorgeous – because the bride deserved nothing less!
- VEGAN – because some of the guests were and I wasn’t going to manage two kinds of desserts with my timeline!
- Needed to be assembled on site – coz that’s exactly what I had told my friend!
And that is how these VEGAN Pavlova Puffs came to be!
If there is one ingredient in my kitchen that has the potential to transform into a hundred delicacies, it’d be the humble Puff Pastry! I cannot imagine not having a pack of frozen Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry in my freezer at all times. And that might have been the most prudent thing I’ve ever done, because it completely saved me!
I had the Aquafaba and Puff Pastry at hand and a quick run to the market to fetch some fresh berries was simple as well. Now it was just a matter of getting started.
There are 3 components to this dessert – all made separately and assembled just before serving:
- The VEGAN Pavlova
- The Puffs
- The berry filling
- More berries for topping
Step 1: Make the VEGAN Pavlova
Aquafaba, sugar, cornstarch and a touch of vanilla is all you need to make these light-as-air, crisp and sweet Pavlova. Spoon the meringue onto a baking tray, making a small pit in the center to hold the berries later. With pavlova, as with most meringues, you’ll want to bake at a low temperature, more drying out than baking/cooking really. So the hardest part of making the pavlova is the time it spends in the oven – 1-2 hours of nothing but waiting.
Once it was all dried out and came off the baking tray without sticking, I stored them in a large air-tight container.
Step 2: Make the Berry Filling
While the Pavlova bakes, you can make the berry filling – I used Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Blister in a small pan until the juices release, add sugar to taste and then stir in some almond meal to absorb the syrupy juices. Cool and refrigerate until needed.
Step 3: Make the Puff Pastry ‘Puffs’
Using the Pavlova as template, I cut out rounds of Puff Pastry and baked till golden-brown and tall!
Note: Once you’ve cut away the Puff Pastry rounds, don’t throw away the remaining misshapen bits. Here’s what you can do with them.
Once they’re cooled completely, make a hollow in the center (don’t throw away the cut away parts either) to fill with the berry filling later.
Step 4: Assemble
The morning of or just a little while before the desserts are ready to be served, lightly ‘blister’ some berries until the juices start to release. Remove from heat immediately and cool completely.
Just before serving, fill the hollowed out Puff Pastry with the delicious berry filling and place the VEGAN pavlova on top. More filling and berries are piled on the meringue, finished off with a generous sprinkle of icing sugar.
My nasturtium plant was bursting with blooms, just enough to reserve a flower per Pavlova Puff, so that added to the gorgeousness of it all!
I’m happy to report that the dessert was a hit! Not only was it pretty, it was incredibly fragrant, crisp, crunchy, soft and berrylicious! And most importantly, I still had my sanity intact! All thanks to Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry – which saved me from so much disgrace and turmoil!
And yes, I came clean with my hosts and it became a funny story to tell everyone at the shower! And I guess I’ll be telling this story for a long, long time.
What are your favorite things to do with Puff Pastry? Here’s some inspiration to get your started on infinite deliciousness: