So you’ve gone vegan, but you didn’t consider the consequences.
How can you live a life devoid of lemon meringue pie or Eton mess?
Is it all over before it’s even begun?Embed from Getty Images
All is Not Lost
Don’t worry – there is a way.
You can be a vegan and still enjoy lovely fluffy, light and crunchy yet chewy meringue.
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And Here’s How
Get yourself a:
- can of chickpeas (400g)
- 120g of caster sugar
- 1tsp of cream of tartar
No, I had never heard of chickpeas either before going vegan. Well, maybe I’d heard of them but I’d never given them much thought. And ditto that with cream of tartar.
What are Chickpeas?
They are legumes which are high in fibre and protein and all round quite good for you. Read all about chickpeas. No, don’t click on the link now because you’re busy learning how to make vegan meringue; read it later.
Get to the supermarket and get yourself a can of chickpeas (and remember to pick up the cream of tartar and a bag of caster sugar while you’re there.
Once back at home, grab a strainer and strain the chickpea water into a bowl.
All we need to make the meringue is the water …. but save the chickpeas and bung them in the fridge. No doubt we can whip these chickpeas up into a delicious nutritious meal at a later date.Embed from Getty Images
This water is called Aquafaba.
Aquafaba (/ˌɑːkwəˈfɑːbə/) is the viscous water in which legume seeds such as chickpeas have been cooked. Due to its ability to mimic functional properties of egg whites in cooking, aquafaba can be used as a direct replacement for them in some cases, including meringues and marshmallows.Wikipedia
So, now you know what Aquafaba is – this post is so educational!
Get a hand-held electric whisk and beat the water. Make sure you have put the water in a large enough bowl as you don’t want to spatter this precious mixture all over the kitchen worktop and cupboards.
Add the sugar a little at a time and, as with traditional meringue mixture, keep beating.
Beat until the mixture turns into soft peaks. The mixture should look shiny and glossy when finished and should be quite stiff. Go on, hold the bowl over your head if you dare!
(Just don’t blame me!)Embed from Getty Images
Spoon or pipe blobs of the mixture onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. The mixture will spread so allow some room for this.Embed from Getty Images
Cook for an hour at 120c.
Once cooked the meringue should be golden brown on top. This aqaufaba meringue should have the consistency of ‘normal’ meringue – firm on top and slightly chewy inside.
Leave to cool and serve as desired.
Practice Makes Perfect
You may have to practice this method a couple of times before holding a dinner party. No-one ever said that making the perfect meringue was easy and no-one definitely ever said that making the perfect aquafaba meringue was easy.Embed from Getty Images
Enjoy! Now where did I put those chickpeas?