Christimas vegan meringue recipie
By Alex Cole
Although it seems difficult to make, meringue is actually surprisingly easy, it just takes a while! Rather than use egg whites, I wanted to create a vegan version, so to minimise waste, I used the liquid from a can of chickpeas (aquafaba). Here is a 'meringue cookie' recipe I've created, that has been festively transformed for Christmas!
1/2 Cup aquafaba (1 can of chickpea liquid)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1tsp lemon juice
Gel food colouring
1 Piping bag
1. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees (fan) and prepare your baking tray and greaseproof paper.
2. Pour the aquafaba into a clean bowl (any previous grease will effect your meringue mixture). Using an electric mixer (a whisk will work just as well but it will take ages!) gently mix the liquid until it becomes fluffy and doesn't move.
3. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to stabilise the mixture. You can also use white wine vinegar if you don't have any lemons!
3. One by one, slowly add half a tablespoon of sugar to the bowl and begin to beat with your whisk after each spoonful. Soon stiff peaks will form and the meringue will become thick and glossy. To see if the 'egg white' is ready, you can lift the bowl above your head. If it doesn't fall out it's ready, if it does you have yourself a terrible hair mask. Also, to keep your baking paper still, dab 4 dots of meringue on each corner of the baking tray and put the paper back on top.
4. Now set your bowl aside for a moment and get your piping bag ready. This part is the trickiest as it requires 'painting' the bag. Okay that sounds easy, but trying to keep the piping bag open while not mixing the colours is difficult! My tip is place the bag in a large glass and turn the top inside out, so it folds over the rim of the glass. Using your food colouring (I used red and green but you can use whatever you want to), dip a knife into the colour and gently draw a lines from the nozzel to the middle of the bag and repeat this 3 times (2 red and 2 green lines).
5. Using a large metal spoon, put your meringue mixture into the piping bag but don't overfill as you need to twist the top (as you can see from the guide lines above). Once your happy with the mix and have a tight grip, cut a hole from the tip of the bag (about an inch from the bottom) and gently push the meringue onto your baking paper. To get the 'Hershey's kiss' effect, squeeze the bag and lift it away at the end so you have a small point.
6. Move the meringues into the oven and bake for 60 minutes.
7. Once baked, turn the oven off, open the door slightly and leave the meringues inside until they cool completely. They should be crunchy on the outside and gooey in the middle.
8. Remove them from the oven and place them into an airtight container or box.
9. Eat and enjoy!
10. TIP - If you want to make them flavoured, simply add a teaspoon of any extract/flavouring you want. I'd recommend caramel and eat them with some ice cream!