If people thought vegans were crazy before, just wait until they hear about this one….
So about a week ago Goose Wohlt posted on the What Fat Vegans Eat Facebook page that you can save the brine from a can of chickpeas, beat it like mad with an electric mixer (handheld or standing), add some sugar, and boom! Vegan meringue! Crazy right? Now we’ve all just gone completely insane playing around with said meringue making things from pavlovas to macarons to pies. There’s even another group for the hits and misses of various uses of chickpea meringue!
The first time we whipped up some chickpea meringue, my mom was double dog dared (the ultimate dare) by the lovely Somer McCowan of Vedged Out and I couldn’t have been more excited to try it. We played it simple and just whipped it up with some sugar and vanilla, popped it in the oven for a couple hours, and ended up with such light and airy little meringues. They were delicious and as far as I can remember, just like an eggy meringue! Being a science major, I was absolutely amazed that this was even possible!
Just look at those beautiful stiff peaks!!!
Our little baby meringues pre-baking
And here they are post-baking! I enjoyed these with some raspberries and chocolate.
I have since taken on the task of figuring out the extremely finicky macaron and veganizing it, as so many others are doing- it’s not exactly easy, but I’m stubborn and am determined to get it right! I spent 3 days of my spring break this week in the kitchen trying to figure it all out, but alas I didn’t come here to present you with a vegan macaron recipe. Instead we have a counter full of hollow macaron shells, footless macarons, meringues, and chickpea blondies- oops.
The first batch I made, I pulled out of the oven and got so excited because they had little feet (the little ruffly looking part at the bottom) and they looked just perfect! Then I poked one and it cracked. My first failure. They were hollow on the inside, not to mention the fact that I over baked them on accident.
The second trial yielded a lovely macaron cookie that hadn’t fallen, but this time they didn’t have feet. GAH! I whipped up a chocolate buttercream and filled those suckers anyway and they were still delicious, even if they were footless.
After a bunch of chickpea meringue making I realized we now had a refrigerator full of chickpeas, so I decided to take a break and actually use the chickpeas in addition to the brine. So far I’ve made chickpea blondies and roasted chickpeas- down to just one more jar of chickpeas in the fridge!
Stella helped me out with my chickpea situation too….
Surely by now you’re super curious and want to make your own vegan meringue! I do not, in any way take credit for this recipe- Goose Wohlt in addition to many others on the interwebbies are the masters behind it, but I have yet to see it officially posted anywhere.
Vegan Chickpea Meringue
- 1 15oz Can of Chickpeas
- 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Strain the can of chickpeas, reserving the liquid in a large bowl, you should have about 3/4 C of brine. In the same bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the crap out of the brine. Once stiff peaks begin to form, gradually add in the sugar, being careful not to deflated the meringue. Add in the vanilla and mix until combined and you have stiff peaks (see top photo).
If you would like to bake your meringues, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Spoon the meringue onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place both sheets in the oven, double stacking them so one tray is on the bottom rack and one of the top. Bake the meringues for 1.5 hours WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN DOOR! Then let them cool for 2 hours in the oven, still no peaking. Opening the door will cause your meringues to deflate and we definitely don’t want that. After 2 hours remove them from the oven and carefully remove them from the parchment- they should come right off.
Top with whipped cream and berries or chocolate or just eat ’em plain, they’re delicious either way!
More successes and failures are sure to come, so keep your eyes peeled!