This happened in my kitchen today! Isn’t that gorgeous? It’s basic vegan meringue!! And whipped cream too!
The vegan blogosphere lit up with vegan meringue a few weeks ago. I first saw it on Somer McGowan’s Vedged Out Facebook page. She said that a guy called Goose Wohlt of the Facebook group “what fat vegans eat” started a chickpea brine (“aquafaba”) meringue craze! It was based on another guy called Joel Roessel’s post on “vegetale foam.” Vegan bloggers worldwide are experimenting using canned chickpea brine and sugar, beating it together until it formed stiff peaks, and calling it meringue.
To good to be true? I had to try for myself. Very rarely do I buy canned chickpeas so I figured I would try it after making my own chickpeas.
Last night, I soaked 1/2 cup of organic dried chickpeas in filtered water overnight. (See Beans, Beans.) Then, this morning, I drained them and rinsed them off. Then I dropped them into a pot and covered them with more filtered water, probably 1 1/2 cups. I brought it to a boil, skimmed the foam off the top, and then covered and cooked for 45 minutes, until the beans were al dente. Then I turned the flame off and let the chickpeas sit in the water until they cooled off completely.
Now for the meringue.
I poured off 1 cup of chickpea brine and dropped it into the bowl of my stand mixer. Then I added 1/2 cup vegan cane sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. I attached the wire whip to the mixer and turned it on low. Then I let it rip on the highest level and eventually the mixture turned white and fluffy! I think it took about 10 minutes.
I have never used meringue so I didn’t know what to do with it! It was kind of like whipped cream or a thin and fluffy marshmallow fluff. Hmm. That’s something to think about. So is lemon meringue pie and Baked Alaska. But for today, we simply cut up some fresh strawberries and blueberries and topped them with a little meringue.
1 cup chickpea brine (aquafaba)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup powdered sugar or cane sugar *
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*If you use cane sugar, grind it in the processor or blender for a smoother texture.
Place the brine and cream of tartar into the bowl of the stand mixer. Attach the wire whip and let it rip until it gets frothy and bubbly. Add the sugar a few tablespons at a time and let it go until stiff peaks form.
A hand mixer will work fine but may take longer. Enjoy!