Vegan meringue? How is that even a thing?. When I heard about using aquafaba to replicate egg white I thought it was complete bollocks to be honest.
To put it simply, aquafaba basically translates too ‘water + beans’.
Vegan meringue can be made from the thick water that’s leftover from a can of beans or legumes. I’ve chosen to drain a can of chickpeas and to use the liquid in place of egg whites. This will give the exact same result except it’s vegan. Meringues without using egg whites… what even is this wizardry? Keep reading…
According to the aquafaba website it’s able to replace egg whites because…
“Its unique mix of starches, proteins, and other soluble plant solids which have migrated from the seeds to the water during the cooking process gives aquafaba a wide spectrum of emulsifying, foaming, binding, gelatinizing and thickening properties”.
A tip – purchase chickpeas that have little, to no added salt in the liquid and double check the ingredients list on the can. If you use salted, it’s not the end of the world – but you can taste a slight difference in the flavour.
- Aquafaba liquid from 1x can of chickpeas
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (I use Heilala)
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup of white sugar
- Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius (212 F) and put the rack in the middle of the oven
- Pour the aquafaba liquid from your can straight into your clean/dry blending bowl along with the vanilla and cream of tartar
- Whisk on high for about 10 seconds, and then slowly start adding sugar until it's mixed in
- Keep whisking on high, for approximately 5 minutes
- During this time, keep checking the mixture to see how stiff the peaks are, you want the peaks to stand on their own - not flop over
- Once the peaks are stiffened, turn off your mixed and prep a tray with baking paper
- Use a spoon or pipe the meringue mixture into rounded cookie shapes leaving a centimeter space between them
- Pop them in the oven for an undisturbed 1.5 hours - keep checking after this time and remove from the oven once they look right to you.
- It's really hard to tell when they are cooked because the colour shouldn't change. Leave them in for longer (2.5 hours) for extra crunchy meringue. Or remove them sooner for chewy meringue.
- I removed mine around 2 hours, and they were crispy with a chewy centre.
- Meringues need a low but long baking time. Don't get impatient and keep opening the oven door, only do a quick check after 1.5 hours.
I was actually really impressed with how these turned out. Carl also really liked them, he mentioned the flavour was so subtle it was barely there and I completely agree with him. They literally looked, smelled and tasted like regular meringue. I have read about how some aquafaba recipes end up having an underlying ‘chickpea’ or ‘legume’ flavour. That is definitely something you don’t want, so make sure you follow the exact measurements as best you can. It’s science!
I gave my vegan meringue a dusting of icing sugar, and grated a little lemon zest over the top. Delicious, crunchy and a little chewy. Perfect.
What do you think, would you give this recipe a try?