A major ingredient in regular meringues is egg whites. So how are you going to make vegan meringues if you can’t use eggs? The answer is a-q-u-a-f-a-b-a. If you’ve never heard of it, you should go and google it immediately. I have only recently discovered aquafaba for cooking and baking and had my mind blown on several occasions – it really works exactly like egg whites without tasting of chickpeas. We use a lot of chickpeas in our cooking and have started to save the juice in the fridge, so it doesn’t really cost us anything. Another perk of using aquafaba instead of egg whites: You can keep whisking it without accidentally turning it into butter.
I wanted to give my vegan meringues a dash of colour and used a latte spoon to stripe food colouring on the sides of the piping bag. The texture was a bit thick, so it didn’t combine well with the meringue mix and only left a hint of pastel. The yellow isn’t visible at all. For the second batch, however, I opted for natural colouring and loved the result. I just mashed up a few blueberries in a bowl and used the juice for the stripes. You can see the results below.
1 carton or can of chickpeas
150 g icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 dash of vinegar or lemon juice
food colouring if desired
- Preheat your oven to 100°C and line your baking tray(s) with baking paper.
- Drain the chickpeas and reserve the juice. It should about 200 ml of chickpea juice. You can save the chickpeas to make delicious little meat(less) ball [LINK].
- Whisk the chickpea juice for a 2-4 minutes on a high setting. Make sure your bowl is grease-free!
- Add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla sugar gradually. You should get a smooth, stiff mix.
- Prepare a piping bag. You can add stripes of food colouring or fruit juice on the sides of the piping bag for a nice effect, but the plain meringues are just as good.
- Pipe little blobs of the mixture onto your baking tray. Make sure to leave some space around the edges so they don’t accidentally touch each other in the oven.
- Bake in the oven for an hour. Add another half hour if your meringues aren’t dry to the touch. Switch off the oven and leave them in the residual heat for an hour or so. If you take them out immediately, the surface might crack.
A few notes
Meringues are unfortunately very delicate and just a slight alteration of the recipe can make them soggy, ugly or ruin them altogether. There are a few things you can do to make sure you get the best result possible:
Acidic – Adding a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice helps to preserve the nice shape of the piped meringues. Without it, your masterpieces risk sinking down.
No grease – Make sure your bowl is completely grease-free. Even a little residual grease around the edges can cause the vegan meringues to deflate.
Temperature – This is important to get right. If your temperature is too high it will dry them out and they get a darker colour. If the temperature is too low, your meringues will turn out too soft.
Sugar – Icing sugar is best sugar. It should be added slowly during the whisking process for best results. It’s possible to use caster sugar as well, but it will make your meringues come out crunchier on the outside and a bit tougher in the middle.
Colour and flavour – Try experimenting a bit with the colours and flavours! You can add a few drops of food colouring, or something to enhance the flavour, like liquorice powder, vanilla extract or a fruit powder.