I am always experimenting in the kitchen, using alternative ingredients, and making recipes healthier. These Pecan and chocolate vegan meringues are so worth it. I have been meaning to experiment with Aquafaba for ages and after a cooking session yesterday I had 500ml of aquafaba in my fridge. Aqua-what you might ask?
It’s is the liquid leftover from cooked chickpeas. Just drain a can of chickpeas and reserve the liquid.
The starchy liquid is a great binder directly from the can, but what really makes it magical is that it whips and creates a foam. Aquafaba is, therefore, able to trap air, giving items structure at the same time it delivers a fluffy crumb and lift.
I was really amazed at this stuff!! The meringues came out beautiful. This is an ideal recipe for vegans and people that are intolerant to eggs. Unfortunately it has a lot of sugar in, so this is an occasional treat. But beware, this recipe makes a gazillion mini meringues and is very addictive.
Use an electric whisk to whip up the aquafaba until stiff peaks forms. It takes about 6 minutes, very similar to egg whites. To help stabilise the aquafaba add cream of tartar or white wine vinegar. Only start adding sugar once the aquafaba has stiff peaks. And then add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. I also added in vanilla for flavouring but I am sure there are endless possibilities to flavour them.
You can be fancy and use a piping bag or just add the mixture to a Ziploc bag and snip of a corner and pipe the mini meringues onto a baking tray lined with a silicone baking mat. It takes about an hour to bake on a very low temperature and then leave it in the oven for another hour to dry out.
To finish them off I drizzled them with melted dark chocolate and chopped pecan nuts. I can just imagine a hazelnut praline will also be a good fit.
120ml / ½ cup aquafaba / chickpea brine, chilled
½ tsp white vinegar or 5ml cream of tarter
125 g / ½ cup + 2 tbsp fine caster sugar
5ml vanilla extract
small pinch of salt
50g melted dark chocolate
a handful of chopped pecan nuts
- Preheat the oven to 100º C
- Line a baking tray with baking paper or silicone baking sheet.
- In a large, clean bowl beat chickpea water with an electric whisk or use a stand mixer until you get stiff peaks. Add ½ tsp of vinegar or cream of tartar to stabilise the mixture.
- To test if whipped chickpea water is ready, turn the bowl upside down if the mixture does not run down the sides it is ready to add sugar.
- Start adding sugar very slowly, tablespoon by tablespoon, whipping well after each addition. Continue until all the sugar has been added. Add vanilla extract in. By now, the mixture should become beautifully glossy, thick and sticky – no different to an egg-based meringue, really.
- Take a clean ziplock/sandwich bag and spoon the meringue mixture into the bag.
- Cut the corner of your filled bag off – start with a small hole and make it larger if needed. Squeeze small blobs of the mixture onto the tray and quickly pull away after each blob. Allow some space around each blob or else the drops may stick together.
- Bake for about 75 minutes, then turn the oven off but leave the tray with meringue drops inside with the oven’s door slightly open for another 45-60 minutes for the meringues to dry out fully. Keep the meringues in an airtight container.