Monday, 19 October 2015

Vegan Meringue

It's real, and it works - vegan meringue is here, and the Vegan Internet has lost its collective mind. And it's not meringue-like, or meringue-ish, it's proper meringue, made exactly the same way as a traditional recipe. Secret ingredient to replace the egg whites? Chickpea or bean brine, now also known as Aquafaba. And I do mean the liquid that you drain from a commercial can of chickpeas, or the cooking water from chickpeas cooked at home. Its amazing potential was apparently discovered earlier this year by way of a French chef and a vegan blogger called Goose, and nobody knows why it works, but it does.

Amazingly, you use the bean brine *exactly* like egg whites. It whips to stiff peaks, then you add the sugar and it whips to glossy, hold-it-upside-down perfection. This was simply 1/2 cup (1 can) of chickpea Aquafaba whipped with 1/4 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (for stability - cream of tartar works too, apparently, as with 'normal' meringue), and a cup of caster sugar. Boom.

Baked in a super-low oven, 100C, for 2 hours or so.

I even made a little pavlova, which I've never even had, let alone made.

Sweetness-wise, its obviously pretty full-on, but I understand that you can use this magic new ingredient to make mayo, perfect breaded tofu, fudgy brownies, killer waffles - who knows what else can be done! There's an international Facebook group dedicated to 'hits and misses' - and this is one of the things I love about vegan cooking; the creativity, the community spirit, and the willingness to share these crazy discoveries. Until the professional chefs catch up, it's all grassroots experimentation, driven by home cooks and food bloggers. Punk rock.

I, for one, have dug out my French cookbooks and am rummaging for inspiration in the formerly impossible. Index: Egg Whites.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Licking the Bowl

Want to see one of the best things about eggless baking?

And to those who would say, 'I let my kid eat batter with raw egg, nbd!', I say emphatically: ew. Flax all the way, baby.