The Christmas Pav has been a longstanding tradition in Kiwi Christmas Culture, and it's something that has been in desperate need of a makeover for a while. We have made Paleo Pavlova Nests before, but they definitely lacked the full structure that we miss in a traditional Pav. We set about creating a keto-fied version, which stands up to the traditional test in both structure and flavour.
When it comes to decorating, be creative! Whipped cream (or coconut cream or coconut yoghurt for dairy free!), topped with berries and edible flowers is a great way to keep it keto and beautiful.
A Note on Sweetener Choice:
Now, before we get into it - we do want to mention that there are two options for sweeteners that you can use. Our preference is that you use Allulose, because the taste is much better than any other sweetener; but unfortunately it does not create a crisp outer shell. It leaves you with a beautiful, soft and light as air pavlova. However if you do want a crispy outer shell, then you'll need to use Powdered Erythritol. It needs to be powdered, otherwise it will not dissolve into the egg whites properly. Xylitol or Coconut Sugar will not work in this recipe. Please do note that if using Powdered Erythritol, you may notice the cooling mouth effect considerably.
Keto Christmas Pavlova
8 Egg Whites (the fresher, the better!)
1 3/4 Cups Allulose or Powdered Erythritol
2 tsp Potato Starch (or Cornflour! This is optional, but we personally prefer to use it. Its a small amount and the carbs are spread across all of the servings - it helps stabilise the Pav)
2 tsp White Vinegar
Vanilla Paste, to taste
2 tbsp Boiled Water
Toppings and Decorations of Choice - we like whipped cream, whipped coconut cream or coconut yoghurt as well as berries, pomegranate seeds and edible flowers. Lemon curd is also delicious!
Preheat oven to 100c (120c if using Powdered Erythritol for a crispy Pav) and place your oven rack just below the middle of the oven. Line a flat oven tray with baking paper, and using a 20cm dinner plate, draw the outline. Place this ink-side down. Lightly grease the baking paper with a smidge of coconut oil or butter on the back of a paper towel.
In the clean bowl of a stand mixer (or just a clean bowl if using an electric beater), place your egg whites. Using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer, or just your electric beater, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until firm peaks form. It is important that you do not overbeat here and go to stiff peaks - you definitely want to check as you go.
Once firm peaks have formed, increase the speed of your stand mixer or beater slightly, and begin to add the allulose or powdered erythritol, 1 tablespoon at a time with the beater running, allowing it to be fully incorporated before adding the next tablespoon. Every so often, stop the beater and scrape down the sides of the bowl - we want to ensure all sweetener is incorporated. Add your potato starch and vinegar with the last amount of sweetener and beat well. Finally add your 2 freshly boiled water, and allow to mix for a further 30 seconds. Turn off the stand mixer/beater.
Using a spatula, gently fold in your vanilla paste. Spoon mixture out into your circle guide, creating height with upward sweeping motions of the spatula.
Place into the oven, and if you preheated to 120c, immediately reduce the temperature to 100c. Otherwise, simply shut the door and cook your pavlova for 1.5 hours. Do not open the oven!
Once your pavlova is cooked, keep the door shut, turn off the oven and leave it for 3 hours. Again - do not open the oven during this time!
Once your 3 hours is up, go ahead and decorate as you wish! Unless you're planning to save it until Christmas Day, then we recommend decorating only just before serving!
It's pretty normal for a pavlova to weep (all of ours have!) so don't be alarmed. We topped and ate our allulose Pavlova same day, and honestly would recommend making it on the day because of how soft and delicate it is, but the crispy erythritol Pav can be put in an airtight container and stored at room temperature (not the fridge) 1-2 days before.
Planning to make these this Christmas? Please don’t forget to tag us! We LOVE to see your creations @nourishandthrivenz and #NourishandThriveNZ