Since Bip and I made Gingersnap nuts with chilli and came across the ingredient aquafaba, I've been wanting to try and make vegan meringues. At one point I saved some of the kidney bean liquid when I was making Chilli Con Carne and just tried whisking it into stiff peaks. It took ages, as I had quite a lot of it and it was reddish in colour, but eventually I got there, which was very promising. It was also reasonably late in the evening, so I binned it and went to bed.
But when Lundulph asked me to make him some hummus, I dug out the cans with no salt and saved the liquid and also found a recipe to follow and got to work.
I adjusted the recipe amounts to what fit with what I got out of one of the tins.
140 ml liquid from canned chick peas, unsalted
¼ tsp cream of tartar
170 g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract<
- Pre-heat the oven to 100 °C and line a couple of sheets with baking paper.
- Place the liquid in a large glass or metal bowl and whisk. Add the cream of tartar and with an electric whisk, whip until it reaches soft peak stage.
- Slowly add the caster sugar, while still whisking until reaching the stiff peak stage, finally adding the vanilla extract.
- Place the meringue in a piping bag and pipe meringues onto the baking paper.
- Depending on the size, bake for 90 min - 2 h until they come away from the baking parchment easily.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack and allow to cool down completely.
I also used this opportunity to try out a technique for creating really colourful meringues by painting stripes on the inside of the piping bag before placing the meringue into it. I didn't have brushes, so I used the flat handles of my desert spoons and my collection of gel food colours. The result was really good and I was surprised that it worked so well.
The meringues took 2 h to bake fully, double that of egg white based meringues. They were also harder than regular ones and tasted a bit different, though this could have been my food colours, I did use a lot in the piping bag. The vegan meringues did hold quite well and tasted better on the second day, while still being a bit harder than what I'd expect from a regular meringue, so would be good for more structural pieces.
I stored the meringues in an airtight box and they didn't get soggy at all for the whole week they lasted.