I made the delicious Mango Pudding and Passion Fruit Caramel recipes from Hetty McKinnon’s newest book, To Asia, With Love! I layered them together and wanted a little something light and airy on top, like meringue or whipped cream, but her recipes are vegan, so I needed it to be plant-based. I have always read about whipping aquafaba into a frothy topping for desserts, but had never tried it myself, until now. What’s aquafaba, you ask? Well, I know this is going to sound odd to anyone who isn’t familiar with vegan baking, but it is made with the water from a can of garbanzo beans. Yep, you drain off the water from chickpeas and it whips into a frothy topping that looks just like whipped egg whites. I promise you, sweetened and folded into pureed mango, you will never know its origins are so humble. I fooled my husband and his reaction was “this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted! That’s a high bar too!” Then I told him what it was and he couldn’t take back what he’d said! Hahahahaha
You can find the recipes for Hetty’s Vegan Mango Pudding (which is rich with coconut milk and maple syrup) and her simple Passion Fruit Caramel in her cookbook, To Asia, With Love: Everyday Asian Recipes and Stories From the Heart!
Tropical Fruit Resources
Tropical fruit and purees can sometimes be hard to find locally, so I often order mine online.
Fierce Fruit (for Fruit Purees)
Tropical Fruit Box
Vanilla Beans – here is more info on using vanilla beans
Here is how I made the Vegan Mango Mousse Topping:
Baker’s note: I used pureed mango for this, but you can use 3/4 cup of pureed fruit of any kind to replace the mango.
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) – liquid drained off and strained (use the beans in a salad!)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and pureed (you can watch me peel and pit the mango in my Instagram video, as I was taught in culinary school, so that I can cut it in thin slices or tiney cubes) = about 3/4 cup of puree
Whip the strained garbanzo liquid, sugar and vanilla with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed, until it is light, fluffy and stiff peeks. Put the mango into a large bowl, add about 1 1/2 cups of the aquafaba foam and fold it gently into the pureed mango.
I spooned it over the mango pudding and passion fruit caramel.
This is a topping you want to make just before serving. The aquafaba loses it’s body much faster than meringue or whipped cream, so use it within an hour of assembling the dessert.
by Hetty McKinnon
Hetty’s book is full of other wonderful vegetarian and vegan recipes, both sweet and savory. I had the great fortune to share a meal with Hetty at her studio and I was completely blown away by how delicious and beautiful it was. We are lucky to have her books, so we can recreate her recipes!