More Meringues! Chickpea Style (yes really)

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The baking had stalled and I’ve been offline for a bit since a) My kitchen mixer had developed a ‘wobble’ and had to be sent off to be fixed and b) My laptop screen broke, courtesy of Little Two. In fact it’s still broken since I have to take it to the Apple Shop for a quote and there isn’t one near me for miles, so I’m using Mr Normal’s computer instead.

Following up on my last post about egg free meringues, I’ve found a different way to make them. The last time I was putting an order in with my local health food shop, I was ordering Organ Egg Replacer and mentioned I was making meringues with them. The chap I was speaking to said: “Do you know you can make them with chickpea water? I read about it in a vegan magazine”. Wow, really? So off I went to Google, and it’s true. The liquid, also known as aquafaba can be used as an egg replacer. It’s a recent discovery and there is yet to be adequate research into how this works but there’s a site dedicated to the stuff and recipes popping up all over the web.

So when my fixed mixer arrived back (hooray!) it was back to business as usual in the kitchen. I have to credit Mr Normal with making the meringues actually as he’s quite the culinary adventurer himself and is going through a bit of a baking obsession phase. The method is easy and all he did was this:

Ingredients

One can of chickpeas
Caster Sugar (at least 100g)

Method

  • Drain chickpeas and reserve the liquid. Weigh the liquid (ours  was 100g) and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl weigh an equal amount of caster sugar.
  • Start whisking the liquid at high speed for 3 minutes or until a thick foam has developed. With the whisk still on, gradually add the sugar.

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  • Continue whisking at high speed and the liquid and sugar should combine to develop soft peaks resembling meringues.

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  • Spoon out in small heaps onto a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake in the oven at 120C for at least an hour (more for bigger meringues), turn off  and leave in the oven to  dry out further.

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I have to say I was seriously impressed with the way these turned out. The texture was perfect and before baking the mixture held their shape really well and was very easy to handle. As they baked they expanded a little but did not lose any of the air that was incorporated. Not quite white but I only had golden caster sugar in the house which would have made a difference, but the taste was fabulous! No aftertaste of chickpea, they just tasted of sugar and so similar to a real meringue it would be hard to tell the difference.

Sadly though for us we found out Little Two is allergic to chickpea – she devoured a meringue in seconds and then developed a rash around her mouth immediately. She recently developed a peanut allergy and after some research I found that it is common to react to chickpea and other legumes. Damn and blast. Oh well – silver cloud; black lining. This of course means that Big One gets to eat a lot of meringues now which she is not complaining about at all.

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