Jessica is a holistic therapist and is passionate about cruelty-free living, animal welfare, and health, beauty and fashion. Her blog covers all aspects of a vegan lifestyle – find it at crueltyfreecottage.blogspot.co.uk
Vegan meringues are taking over the world thanks to a secret ingredient: chickpea water! Vegan food blogger Goose Wohlt saw a French video in which chocolate mousse was created using the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Wohlt later coined the term aquafaba for this liquid (loosely, Latin for water = aqua, bean = faba.)
The news that vegan meringues could be made this way spread like wildfire amongst the online vegan community, with a dedicated Facebook group set up for people to share their recipes, successes and failures.
This recipe is adapted from the group’s basic recipe, which suggests using the drained liquid from one 15oz can of chickpeas (1/2 to 3/4 cups) plus about 1.33 times the volume of your liquid in sugar. The key thing to remember when making meringues is that the bowl and utensils must be spotlessly clean as oil/fat inhibits peaks from forming (therefore any flavourings you add must not be oil based). You will also need time and patience when whisking your meringue mixture in order to achieve the desired effect.
1/2 cup water drained from a tin of chickpeas (aquafaba)
1/2 – 1 cup of caster sugar
1. Pour the aquafaba into a large bowl and whip using an electric whisk or food mixer until it turns white and foamy – the soft peak stage. This could take a few minutes, so be patient.
2. Keep whisking the aquafaba and slowly add the sugar about a tablespoon at a time, making sure you mix it in well before adding the next spoonful. The mixture should look glossy and hold its shape in stiff peaks. Try turning your bowl upside down; if the mixture doesn’t pour onto your head, it’s ready!
3. Once you are happy that your mixture is stiff enough, taste it to see if it is sweet enough for your liking, then add more sugar if necessary. Make sure the mixture isn’t gritty, if it is then whisk it a little more.
4. Spoon or pipe your meringues onto a baking tray covered with baking parchment. Bake at around 100C/215F for 90 minutes.
5. When the meringues are done, turn the oven off and leave them in to cool to room temperature with the oven door ajar.
6. Store the meringues in an airtight container. They should stay fresh for a few days.