I don’t even like meringue but when I saw this recipe for egg-free meringue at Lucy’s Friendly Foods I just knew I had to try it. I wanted to see this mad kitchen magic with my own two eyes!
This recipe has the most unusual ingredient as a replacement for the egg white – chickpea water!
Also known as aquafaba, chickpea water is the slightly viscous, brine liquid which is drained from a can a chickpeas and usually discarded. But when whipped this liquid forms stiff peaks, just like egg whites. Sugar and cream of tartar are added and then it is baked in a low oven – just like regular meringue.
I was astonished at how normal these meringues were. They looked and tasted just like regular meringue and didn’t taste at all like chickpeas.
I hope to experiment with this new technique. It may open up so many dessert possibilities for those who can’t/won’t eat egg whites, such as macarons, macaroons, mousses, and maybe even soufflé. For the first time in my life, I want to make a pavlova!
The best type of sugar to use for this recipe is regular granulated white sugar. As with a classic egg-based meringue, granulated white sugar improves the texture of the meringue by making it more stable. I used icing sugar for the first batch, thinking that it would dissolve more quickly, but the mixture was a bit runny and difficult to pipe into nice shapes. Granulated sugar makes for a much better, firmer meringue.
This recipe makes quite a large quantity of meringue – about 4 trays of meringue kisses.
1 x 400g (14oz) can chickpeas
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 120C (250F).
Drain and reserve the liquid from the can of chickpeas. Place the liquid in a large bowl and, using either a standing mixer or handheld electric whisk, whip at high speed. Within a minute or so the liquid will start to foam and then become thick and form stiff peaks. Slowly add the sugar and cream of tartar while continuing to whisk. Whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.
The meringue mixture may then be piped or spooned onto baking trays. Bake for 25 minutes (or longer if your meringue shapes are larger). Switch off the oven and leave the meringues in the oven until cool (about 1.5 hours).
Store in an air-tight container or, if it is especially humid, in the fridge.