Fair dinkum Aussie Pavlova

Preparation time
60 mins
Cooking time
180 mins
10 people
Meal course
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Fair dinkum Aussie Pavlova

This is a recipe I have developed for a Fair dinkum Aussie style pavlova that has a marshmallowy middle, as the Aqua faba pavlovas tend to be hollow inside, but for a bit of wet chewy stuff, and it just wasn’t good enough.
Being an Aussie myself, I wanted something more like the real thing…
This is jolly good and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed if you try it!

This Pavlova has a crisp outer shell and a nice soft deep marshmallowy middle.
It makes a HUGE pavlova- this is definately big enough for a party or xmas and will serve probably 16-20 people .
*** For this recipe you need TWO THINGS YOU MAY NOT HAVE IN YOUR HOME ,without which you cannot make this, and those are – Gellan gum High acyl LT100 (this is a necessity, you will most likely need to order online!!!), and a candy thermometre!
I know people *don’t like* having to buy new things they haven’t tried before, but believe me, it opens up a new world to have new ingredients available to you, and it is worth purchasing!

As some people have had trouble trying to find gellan gum themselves I will attach a few links as a starting point for you :
USA: http://www.modernistpantry.com/gellan.html
UK : https://www.creamsupplies.co.uk/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=7324
WORLDWIDE: cream supplies above posts worldwide, and the postage is cheap (ie to Australia is was only £8 ish for a tub!)…so use the drop down menu in shopping basket for the shipping charge to your country!
In a google search for Australia i found companies trying to charge £130.00 for what only would cost us £9.99 in the UK, so its well worth buying from elsewhere to get a cheaper product if the postage is also reasonable!
This recipe is a product of much experimenting- you can read the previous attempts and outcomes in the group posts I have made in the facebook group Vegan Meringues – hits and misses… https://www.facebook.com/groups/VeganMeringue/

I have previously tried using Agar agar, which still made a nice tasting pav with a middle, but it was just not quite right and the agar agar couldn’t stand up to the prolonged baking.
If you are desperate and don’t have Gellan gum, then give agar agar a goo, using the same technique but subbing 2 tsp agar instead of the gellan gum.It is still tasty, but the texture is far inferior (but still worth eating.)
I have also tried Konjac gum with is tolerant of higher heats but very dense and not worth the effort…
The gellan gum was the right choice for the desired outcome.
Please note, Gellan gum comes in TWO TYPES : high acyl and low acyl.
The high acyl makes a more strong, elastic gel and is heat tolerant and the low acyl gel makes a gel that has no stretch and is brittle.It is the HIGH ACYL gel I have used here….
Had I also bought the low acyl, I would have experimented with that too, or a blend of both,to see the difference, but will have to wait until we get paid and try that next month!
If anyone else has it available and wants to give it a go, please let us know how it comes out!
Right, so lets get to the recipe..it sounds convoluted, but once you have done it a few times it’s a doddle and just a fairly simple process to go through the motions, and well worth the effort!
The reason that this recipe calls for a few steps, rather than just making one mix, and forming and baking it is that meringue mix forms a nice crust, but the middle is fairly hollow and what softness there is inside is a bit wet and chewy, so it doesn’t replicate a proper Pavlova to just us AF meringue..An egg Pavlova has the ability to also set with heat but Aquafaba doesn’t, so my thinking was that there needed to be something that would ‘set’ the inside to replicate a regular pavlova, but if you used it throughout the whole mix,the outside wouldn’t dry out as it should, but would be rubbery, so it needed to have a middle that had the setting agent, with an outside that didn’t- hence this 3 step process.

Vegan pavlova base
vegan pavlova based baked and ready for step 2.
Cooking the gellan gum syrup. Fair Dinkum Aussie Pavlova (Marshmallow,VEGAN egg free, dairy free, gelatine free, gluten free) Sign up to Plantified.com to get a FREE VEGAN AQUA FABA MOUSSES RECIPE E-BOOK
Covering the pavlova with its final layer of meringue.
Fair Dinkum Aussie Pavlova (Marshmallow,VEGAN egg free, dairy free, gelatine free, gluten free) Sign up to Plantified.com to get a FREE VEGAN AQUA FABA MOUSSES RECIPE E-BOOK
In the oven...
Light as a feather inside!
Lovely texture inside!
Too good to be true!
What a great bottom!
Pretty pavlova
The texture is great!

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I want to show people how easy it is, how much fun you can have and what good food you can eat when you PLANTIFY your food!


My Plantified Mousses Recipe book is on it’s way to being finished, and you will receive an email letting you know when your FREE copy of the E-book is ready to download!
If you would like a FREE COPY OF THE RECIPE E-BOOK, and haven’t yet signed up to Plantified, please sign up here: http://plantified.com/register/ and you will receive your FREE recipe book once it is released.
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Mango and Passionfruit Mousse Joconde Entremet, as seen in the Free Mousse E-book for members of Plantified.

Mango and Passionfruit Mousse Joconde Entremet (Vegan) Featured in the Plantified Mousses E-book . If you would like a FREE COPY ,sign up to www.plantified.com
Mango and Passionfruit Mousse Joconde Entremet (Vegan) Featured in the Plantified Mousses E-book . If you would like a FREE COPY ,sign up to www.plantified.com

Katrina Stuart, founder of Plantified.com and passionate plant-based/vegan foodie. Innovator, gourmet, gastronome and expert cook, baker and chocolatier. Mother of four equally passionate and discerning foodies.


Meringue Base

½ cup AF
½ tsp xanthum gum
1 cup caster sugar

Marshmallow Middle
Sugar syrup ingredients:

1 ½ cups caster sugar
1 tsp Gellan gum (high acyl gt100) slightly rounded (not flat)
80 ml glucose syrup
½ cup water

For the mixer bowl: (you will add the sugar syrup to this)

¾ cup aqua faba
½ teaspoon xanthum gum
vanilla extract

Meringue outer shell topping:

¾ cup AF
½ tsp xanthum gum
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
vanilla extract

  1. First step Meringue base: Mix ½ cup of AF (i used Butter Bean, as i can’t taste any bean flavour at all and find it preferable to chickpea, but feel free to use your preference!) with the ½ tsp xanthum gum until it forms stiff peaks.
  2. Add 3/4 cup caster sugar, beating in between additions,until the sugar is all added and the meringue is smooth and has no graininess to it.
  3. Then beat in the vanilla. I don’t measure, but add it to taste..i would assume approx 1-2 tsp vanilla is sufficient.
  4. Cover a large flat baking sheet with non-stick parchment paper and turn your meringue onto the sheet, and spread into a round, slightly bigger than your springform pan.
  5. Place in the oven at 100c (NO HOTTER!) and bake .
  6. While that is baking make up the marshmallow centre. Using an approx 25cm springform pan place some parchment paper on the bottom. You’ll be juggling two processes at once here-, whipping the Aquafaba up and making the sugar syrup.
  7. Put 3/4 cup AF in the mixer bowl with ½ tsp xanthum gum and whip to stiff peaks whilst the sugar syrup is cooking.
  8. Sugar syrup: Add 1 ½ cups of caster sugar to a DRY saucepan.
  9. Measure out the 1 tsp Gellan gum. Mine was not a flat teaspoon or a heaped teaspoon but slightly rounded. Gellan gum is strong, and you don’t want to be heavy handed or the centre will become too elastic, and thats not what we want! Gellan gum also swells once liquid hits it, so add the gellan gum to the top of the dry sugar mound and with a whisk blend the dry ingredients together properly so that it won’t clump when the liquid is added.
  10. Add 80 ml glucose syrup. (glucose syrup is very thick and not overly sweet. if you don’t have access to glucose syrup you could make some invert syrup and try with that. Corn syrup is a possibility, but please be aware i have not tried the other syrups yet, so i can’t vouch for those at this point)
  11. Then add the ½ cup water and stir briskly. It will quickly thicken as the Gellan gum swells.
  12. Turn on the heat and continue stirring. You need to bring it gradually up to 250f on a candy thermometre whilst stirring from time to time to dissolve all the gel and incorportate it, and so the syrup doesn’t burn.
  13. Once it reaches 250f, turn off the heat and give it a quick whisk to deflate it and cool it slightly, then, while mixer is still running, gradually pour in the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream until it is all incorporated… The mixture will increase in size and still be quite warm ,so keep the mixer running as it fluffs up further and cools a little.
  14. Add some vanilla extract at this stage, mix it in, then turn off mixer.
  15. Take your springform pan with the parchment paper you prepared earlier. Turn out the mix, and spread it evenly across the springform pan, then put in fridge to set.
  16. At this point, its a good chance to lick the bowl and have a coffee!
  17. By the time the Meringue base looks done in the oven,(approx 1 hour) the Marshmallow middle will be set. What you want to look for to determine if the base is cooked enough is it forming cracks in the top and if the edges lift from the parchment paper if you try to peel it back.Take the base out of oven and allow to cool slightly. I make a habit of slightly flattening the base volume with my hand whilst its still a little warm, as it will have puffed up a bit in the oven.
  18. Remove the Marshmallow middle from the fridge, run a knife around the sides and release the springform pan, then invert the middle onto the base….(try not to miss! :) ) (I suppose it would make more sense to palce the base on top of the middle and then invert them, but wahtever works for you!)Then trim off any excess meringue,leaving an inch spare, if you made the base a little too big (don’t worry, you can snack on those bits whilst you make the meringue topping!
  19. Meringue topping: Place ¾ cup Aquafaba into the mixer bowl with ½ tsp xanthum gum and turn on. Whip to stiff peaks.
  20. Then gradually add the 1 ½ cups of sugar until all is incorporated, then add vanilla.
  21. Once the meringue is ready, take your naked pavlova and cover it with the meringue topping, starting with a nice pillow on top, then take it down over the sides and spread it around with a spatula, as if you were icing a cake.
  22. Once that is done, its time to pop it in the oven at 100c NO HOTTER!!! If you don’t know where 100c is exactly on your oven then MAKE SURE YOU USE AN OVEN THERMOMETRE!!!! We are relying on not reaching the melting point of the stabilising gel in this recipe and guessing at it is not going to guarantee the right result- unless ofcourse you don’t have one to hand and want to bung it in and cross your fingers (but don’t come crying to me as i warned you! :) lol!)
  23. This pavlova will grow in size once in the oven, so make sure there is room on your oven sheet for expansion!
  24. I baked this one for approx 3 hours, then turned of the oven and left it overnight. Seeing as it has a stabilising gel in it, it needs to recool to restructure...if you cut it whilst warm, it will be soft inside, so don’t’ fiddle...Just go to bed and dream of that giant Pavlova that’s waiting for you in the morning!!! :)
  25. Serve with whipped coconut cream with a dash of vanilla and a little sugar whipped in and topped with an assortment of fruit!
  26. A good old Aussie Pavlova always has Kiwi, strawberries, and lashings of passionfruit!~ passionfruit is the magic ingredient! (not mentioning the non-vegan peppermint crisp pavs from the old days!) However, there are millions of combinations ,and the sky is the limit with decorating a pavlova and i CAN’T WAIT to see some amazing pavlovas you guys have whipped up at home using this recipe!!!! Enjoy!!!


  1. manmita said on December 3, 2015 Reply
    Thank you so much for your effort, perseverance to achieve perfection Katrina. You are a pavlova pioneer . It looks spectacular.
  2. gingiber said on December 19, 2015 Reply
    I am so excited to try this. I now have all the special ingredients. But one thing I am not clear on, how long do you cook the first layer of meringue? I have read and re-read the recipe and can't figure this out. Thanks Ginge
    1. katrinastuart said on December 19, 2015 Reply
      Hi Ginge The bottom layer cooked for about an hour i guess. What i watched for, was it becoming dry on top and getting cracks in it. At this point, it was 1.5 inches high or so. I took it out of the oven at this point, and flattened it down somewhat with my hand. As its going back in the oven again anyway, it didn't have to be fully dried out, but on the way to being done. Its amazing how the base seems to disappear into the pav, when its all cooked and you cut it open! I was suprised the first time as i thought the layers would be distinguishable but they werent. Make sure you use big nice big oven sheet as it will get bigger!
      1. gingiber said on March 17, 2016 Reply
        Hi Katrina Thanks so much for getting back to me. Can't wait for a free weekend to try this out now. Lara
  3. mrshiggo said on January 15, 2016 Reply
    Katrina any suggestions on what to do if the sugar just won't dissolve???? It's been close to 20 mins!
    1. katrinastuart said on January 15, 2016 Reply
      Hi Amanda What kind of sugar are you using? Caster sugar ? (superfine) What part of the process are you up to, and have you made meringue before with AF? The sugar we use in the UK is beet sugar, and I have had no problems dissolving it, even throwing in one third of an amount at a time... If your sugar is hard ti dissolve and you are using regular granulated, I would suggested blitzing it in a food processor to make it finer, if you don't have caster sugar (super fine) as that would make it easier to dissolve.
      1. mrshiggo said on January 17, 2016 Reply
        I was using castor sugar, I was already into the third merangue of the recipe and had had success with the first two. In the end I just started again and it was fine :-)
        1. katrinastuart said on January 23, 2016 Reply
          That's odd! It's funny when something you have done before just doesn't work for some reason! That's food chemistry hey! Did you at least make some meringues out of it?
  4. gymmonkey said on January 29, 2016 Reply
    Nice 💙💜💛💚❤💝💟💖💕💓💗👍
  5. DougFinney said on February 9, 2016 Reply
    I see some technical issues here, maybe because I'm using mobile. I have seen enough to know that you can solve crazy technical issues in cooking . I am looking forward to seeing what comes next. Thank you.
    1. katrinastuart said on February 14, 2016 Reply
      Hi Doug What issues are obvious to you using the site? We welcome suggestions of ideas to make it more user friendly! Some issues we will find hard to resolve until we have some budget to pay a programmer, but others we may be able to. I enjoy problem solving with food- mostly motivated by my desire to eat it :) It's fun to come out with something people had given up hopes of eating again! There are some great recipes in the Mousse cookbook, and I hope to do an expanded version of the E-book, as I have been excited by some of the french type patisserie desserts i can now make and would like to share my good ideas! I am also starting work on a cheesecake recipe book. I have been playing around with some techniques to make nut free cheesecakes that taste like mains stream commercial ones! I think I will also include ways to make them soy free also as an option as some people are also not able to eat soy, but will be a bit of a challenge.I want to come up with a different product to what people have been able to make so far! Here is the first Lemon blueberry cheese cake prototype, along with a chocolate Bavarian/cheesecake. They were good! They're all gobbled up now!Vegan Lemon and Blueberry cheesecake (nut free) Chocolate Bavarian Cheesecake
  6. FIona said on February 26, 2017 Reply
    Hi Katrina, any chance you could convert this recipe into grams for me? I am a bit confused about US and AUS cups and having ordered everything I need I want to get it right! Many thanks, Fiona
    1. katrinastuart said on March 1, 2017 Reply
      Hi Fiona As this was one of my early recipes, unfortunately I did it in cups and spoons as we all know is not the most accurate, so yes, I hope to remake it and write it up in grams instead. I am quite ill at the moment however so haven't been in the kitchen for a few weeks! :/ The UK cups I use contain 250 mls of liquid as an example (but when i weigh sugar from a cup its much more) I am also terrible using spoons as they are always rounded, so if you use a 5 ml spoon for now, do a slightly rounded one for the Gellan gum! I will endevour to do it as soon as possible, but can't promise anything for the next few weeks. if you want to email me personally through the contact form i can explain! ;)
      1. katrinastuart said on March 1, 2017 Reply
        Ok, well your answer shed some light! I'll give you a few tips: - Get yourself a gram scale! They are cheap! This one is on ebay, but search ebay, amazon whatever in your country for gram scale and you'll find one. You will need it for alot of my recipes! it can measure tiny amounts, and believe me, I do alot of work perfecting a recipe, so if it asks for 0.3 grams of something, that's what you'll want to use to get the result! http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Small-MINI-Pocket-Digital-Electronic-Weighing-Weight-Scale-0-01g-100Gram-UK-/292041623214?hash=item43ff0986ae:g:qGIAAOSw44BYiZ5D -Thermometre- syrup temp is IMPERATIVE! You had a lucky guess the first few times, so it worked! - Aqufaba butter cream icing is a different kettle of fish! The foam breaks when you add the fat, but after ages will come back together. Yes, you CAN add fats to Aquafaba foam without deflating it, and I will teach you how to do that in the Mousse E-book! -If you don't have Xanthan Gum, you could try Guar gum, but it is commonly used for Gluten free cooking, so worth buying on the internet if you can't find it locally- again, you will need it to make Mousse. Now the Xanthan Gum is actually important, as it forms a synergistic relationship with the Agar. When synergistic parts work together, they accomplish more than they could alone, so omitting the Xanthan changes the effect. Adding more agar just makes it more solid which is not what you want when you are trying to replicate an Egg-meringue with plant foods! :) It's fun to experiment and see what you can get away with, and that's how you learn too!! But if you want spot on success with the recipe, you need to follow the instructions and ingredients to replicate the result. Once you master the techniques and understand how the ingredients interact with each other, you can tweak more successfully! I try not to unnecessarily use ingredients, as I understand some can be harder to find in parts of the world, but some are just indispensible to get the right effect with plant based food. Just a tip with your thermometre too-if you have a glass one, don't place it down on a surface once you take it out of the syrup. I have broken FOUR doing ust that, as the syrup turns to hard toffee ans snaps when you try to pull it off the bench! lol!
  7. Aaltje said on December 22, 2018 Reply
    how long in advantage i can make it, can it without adding the fruits hold for 2/3 days?
    1. katrinastuart said on December 22, 2018 Reply
      yes you can make it days in advance, just dont top it until you're ready to use it.
  8. Alysha said on April 25, 2019 Reply
    Google says Gellan and Guar are similar - Do you know if Guar Gum could be used instead?
    1. katrinastuart said on November 9, 2019 Reply
      Sorry I didn't reply sooner- i missed your meesage :( They are both hydrocolloids, but they both behave differently in this instance- The type of Gellan gum here, is more heat stable so will stand up to the baking, whereas the Agar starts to break down and turn to sugar syrup again at a certain heat, so the inside can get a bit chewy... When I first started doing the experiments, I started using an agar inside, but the Gellan was far superior in end product! You use so little Gum, that it will last for ever, so is worth buying for when you need it!
  9. Kris said on November 9, 2019 Reply
    Righto, it’s a process but I like a challenge so am going to do a trial run and aim to make it for NYE this year. Thanks for sharing!
    1. katrinastuart said on November 9, 2019 Reply
      Yes, it is a process, but the only way to achieve a real Pav that is not hollow inside, like a giant meringue! I kind of think of it lie making the cake, and then icing it!!! Beware- it makes a HUGE pavlova, so make sure you put it in a big square baking sheet to cook so it doesn't spread over the edge! I think you could get 20 serves out of it!
  10. Katrina Nelson said on December 16, 2019 Reply
    Hi Katrina, I made this on the weekend and it didn't turn out terribly well. The marshmallow didn't set sufficiently, and as soon as I turned it out onto the base it started to spread. It stopped spreading once it went into the oven. I used a slightly rounded teaspoon of gellan gum - would using a little more help or will it simply go rubbery? I ended up with a monstrous pavlova pancake!! Also, just to clarify, how long did you leave the pavlova in the second time?
    1. katrinastuart said on December 16, 2019 Reply
      A few questions: -Did you make sure you used HIGH ACYL Gellan Gum, as opposed to low Acyl? -Did you use a candy thermometre to ensure you brought your syrup up to the right temperature? It is important it hits 250f when making the syrup for marshmallow, or the marshmallow won't work. I use the Special Ingredients brand of High Acyl Gellan Gum as it is reliably consistent. Have you successfully made basic marshmallow using Agar Agar before? If there was a little less Gellan Gum than the ideal,it should still set, but be a lighter consistency, so the fact it hasn't set means something has gone wrong in the making most likely, and I would guess it could be the sugar temp was not correct, as if it is too low, the water content of the syrup will be too high, and it would just not have the structure to hold a marshmallow, as at that temp, the sugar sets to toffee when cold so beaten into the Aquafaba, even without a gelling agent, will still hold a shape (like when you make meringues). As mentioned in the recipe, I did the second bake for approx 3 hours, until the outside was firm and starting to crack and then left it in the oven turned off over night to completely cool.

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