I first heard about chickpea brine meringues about a year ago after watching a video on the internet where to cooks in france used chick pea brine in place of egg whites to make meringues. I kind of forgot about it, putting it at the back of a list of things to make once I had my own kitchen again. The suddenly the internet exploded with the world of vegan, egg free meringues!
There’s loads of recipes out there, everything from chocolate mousse to macarons. I’ve already used it to make lemon butter (success) and nut cheese souffle (failure). I’ve been playing around with chickpea bring for a little while off and on and I’ve finally come up with a successful recipe.
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- Small pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla powder/ vanilla essence
- Place tin of chickpeas in the freezer for 2 hours until very cold but not frozen.
- Heat your oven to its lowest temperature. Ideally this will be somewhere between 80c and 100c (176F to 110C/200F). I have had problems getting my oven low enough so if you have this problem, leave it slightly open.
- Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Remove and drain the liquid from the chickpeas (chickpea brine) into a bowl away from the oven.
- Mix with an electric hand held mixer into light and foamy.
- Add the salt, vanilla powder, corn flour and vinegar gradually.
Slowly add the sugar, stirring all the while. The mix will go from foamy to white to shiny to stiff. You should be able to hold the bowl above your head without the meringue mixture moving in the bowl (or onto your head!). They need to be very firm or they will not set!
Spoon onto tray in generous blobs, leaving plenty of space in between each. Bear in mind they will flatten and spread somewhat during cooking so your spacing will need to accommodate this. You could also use a piping bag but I’m a bit crap at this method and tend to get the brine everywhere.
Cook for 1.5-2.5 hours until crunchy. The first time I made these, the bottoms burnt but they were crunchy on top so I needed to adjust my tray and place them on the top shelf the next time I made them. The time variance is because it depends how big your meringues are!
- Turn off the oven and leave them in the oven for at least another two hours. Even better for longer. This will ensure that they are dry throughout the middle of each. If you don’t do this they will be chewy in the middle and unpleasant to eat.
- Once completely dry and cool, eat several at once. Then share with others. Then eat a few more. Then put a few in a bowl, add whipped soy cream and lemon butter. Realise that you really shouldn’t eat the whole bowl yourself, however much you would like to!
Just to reiterate, This works wonderfully with egg free lemon butter!
To find out more, go to Vegan Meringues: hits and misses, a great online community on facebook where we all explore our recipes (including the failures, like the time I tried to make souffle).