Aquafaba for those of you who are not aware, is basically legume water. It is the water that you would normally drain from your tin of Chickpeas and pour into the sink. Rather than waste this water, you can use it as an egg white replacement in Vegan/dairy free recipes. Now I know what you’re thinking…..”is this some kind of joke!!”, no it is not my friends. If you are a vegan or have an intolerance to dairy and haven’t heard of Aquafaba, then this is just about to change your world! We started with the Chocolate Orange mousse (if you missed this post then you can check it out here https://theurbancanteen.com/dairy-free-chocolate-mousse-using-aquafaba ). This was so tasty and a great introduction into the world of Aquafaba, but what is next in the Aquafaba chapter?
A couple of ideas
Well like I mentioned in the Chocolate orange Mousse post, there are many things you can do with Aquafaba. You can make mousse, mallow, batters, cakes, cocktails with it, but today we’re going to get on the meringue case! Making Meringues using Aquafaba. I had to try this a couple of times as I WRONGLY assumed it would not be as fragile as an egg white meringue method. But I think you still need to take all the precautions you would normally take when making a meringue i.e making sure the bowl is scrupulously clean, no grease at all, adding the sugar gradually etc. But on my second attempt (I don’t want to blow my own trumpet)….nailed it!!!
What to do with it…
Once I had the recipe for the meringues sorted, I thought I would try a few different recipes using the meringue in different ways. A simple (but delicious) Pavlova, an Eaton Mess (traditionally this is a dessert made up of whipped cream, strawberries and broken meringue mixed up) and finally a Baked Alaska ( a dessert with ice-cream surrounded by meringue and baked).
This recipe yields about 9 Meringues for Pavlova if that’s what you are going to use them for. I have put the measurements in the list of ingredients but the liquid is equal to 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas. This will give you approximately 120-140g of liquid, as long as you use an equal amount of sugar the recipe will work.
- 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas (you can use any tin of legumes if you like Haricot Bean, Flageolet beans), drained, this should give you 120-140g liquid
- the same ratio of caster sugar 120-140g depending on what you got from your liquid
- ½ teaspoon Cream of Tartare
- Add the Cream of tartare to the chickpea water and whisk with an electric whisk/food mixer until you have a stiff foam. Make sure all the liquid has been whisked and there is not some hiding in the bottom of the bowl.
- Whilst the mixer is switched on gradually add the sugar a little at a time until all the sugar is incorporated. You should have a very firm mixture that forms stiff peaks and when you turn the bowl upside down it stays put (be careful if attempting this, as if your mixture is not ready you’ll be looking at it on your kitchen floor!).
- You now have a Meringue mix ready for the following recipes.
I made a dairy free version which was based on a Black Forest Gateaux (dark chocolate, Black cherry compote and cream). You can obviously use whatever you like, berries, mango & passionfruit, Strawberry and Pistachio, the options are endless. The above recipe is how to make the mix, but in the following recipes I will give you the cooking instructions. A couple of tips I have is to eat your pavlova as soon as you assemble it, as it will not stay crisp and crunchy for long once you add cream on top of it. So they get crunchy you will need to dry them out overnight in your oven (that is switched off), so this is not a recipe that can be done in an hour and eaten.
Blackberry, Black Cherry and Dark Chocolate Pavlova
Once you have your Meringue mix made, on a large tray lined with baking parchment, place large spoonfuls of the mix leaving a good space in between each dollop of Meringue. You can pipe the mix on using a piping bag if you wish but I think the rustic look using a spoon looks much nicer).
Preheat you oven to 110°c and place your tray of Meringues into the oven. They will need approximately an hour at this temperature. check on them after 45 minutes or so, if you would like them crunchier rather than chewy then leave in for a little longer. After the hour, leave the tray in the oven but switch it off and leave it over night, this will dry your meringues out. at this stage, my little tip is to slide a palette knife/spatular underneath and just loosen them off so they don’t stick.
- Black cherry compote
- Coconut cream or dairy free coconut yogurt or double cream
- Dark Chocolate
- Punnet of Blackberries
- desiccated Coconut
- I used a thickened Coconut Yoghurt from the “free from” section of the supermarket, as this kept it dairy free/Vegan. You can use double cream whipped up if you prefer. You can also make your own coconut cream using the thick set part from a tin of coconut milk, carefully removing just the thick part and mixing with a little icing/powdered sugar and placing back in the fridge to set.
- Place a good dollop of which ever type of cream you are using on top of one of your meringues, top that with some Cherry compote, Blackberries and desiccated Coconut. Grate some Dark Chocolate over and enjoy.
Cook the meringues as in the above method. All you need to do with this recipe is use exactly the same ingredients but this time rather than layer them up, you break the meringues up and mix with the other ingredients. The traditional Eaton mess uses cream, meringue and strawberries, which I must say, is absolutely amazing.
A Baked Alaska with a difference….that is for sure. Again, we are going to use the Aquafaba Meringue mix in this recipe along with the Beetroot & Berry Nice-cream from a recipe I previously posted (if you didn’t see this one then check it out here 1 scoop, 2 scoop, 3 scoop……..4!)
Things you will need
- Bowl of prepared Nice-cream (follow the above link for recipe)
- Meringue mix prepared as above
- Piping Bag (optional)
- Blowtorch (optional)
- For this recipe you will need to have made the Beetroot & Berry Nice-cream as per the above link or alternatively you can make any flavour you would like or prefer .
- Prepare the Meringue mix as per the method above.
- Place the chosen Nice-cream in a small bowl or Cappuccino type mug (something that will give you a nice dome shape). I line the mould with clingfilm so the mix does not stick to the mould. Put back in the freezer and allow to freeze.
- Once the Nice-cream is well frozen, remove from mould and place onto tray (if you are using the oven to brown the meringue) or place onto plate (or whatever you are serving it on if you will be browning the meringue by blow torch).
- Fill your Piping bag with meringue mixture and pipe onto your frozen Nice-cream in whatever fashion your little heart desires (alternatively spoon on, into little peaks). Make sure you fill all gaps with meringue sealing the Nice-cream in.
- If you are using the oven, preheat your oven at 220°c, and place in your meringue until lightly brown (should only between 3 and 4 minutes).
- If you are using a blowtorch, then start browning the meringue making sure not to hold your torch too closely to the meringue. Use a smooth sweeping motion back and forth to get a nice even colour on the meringue.
- Portion up and enjoy your spectacular dessert…..alternatively just grab a spoon and devour the entire thing your self you greedy little piggy!!