When I first heard that you could make meringues from the liquid in a can of chickpeas (aquafaba meringues), I couldn’t believe it (and thought it sounded thoroughly unappetising!) – and yet, I had to try it for myself.
I whipped up my first can of chickpea liquid and was astounded at how the texture exactly resembled whipped egg whites. I couldn’t even taste the beans at all!
Let’s be honest; I was eating it straight out of the mixing bowl by the spoonful.
Feeling very impressed with my creation, I tried baking some into meringue kisses. It was a complete failure – twice! The baked meringues looked quite sad and completely hollow inside.
I almost gave up thinking I would only ever use aquafaba in a raw state (it’s delicious uncooked), but I was determined to make it work. I reworked my recipe and created the perfect meringues that are glossy and crisp on the outside, yet soft and marshmallowy in the centre.
You can pipe and bake this deliciously sweet meringue into meringue kisses, mini pavlovas (thus the name pavlovafaba!), or form it into an impressive large pavlova – whatever tickles your fancy!
Top this sweet delight with whipped coconut cream and seasonal fruits.
Note: This recipe needs to be started the day before by refrigerating your can of chickpeas.
Pavlovafaba (Aquafaba Meringues)
Perfect vegan meringues that are glossy and crisp on the outside, yet soft and marshmallowy in the centre.
- 1 can unsalted chickpeas chilled overnight - then use the liquid only, (approximately 200 mL)
- 1 cup icing sugar sifted
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
- toppings of your choice to garnish I used whipped coconut cream, fresh cherries, lychees, and rose petals
Preheat oven to 100°C (212°F) and line the baking trays with baking paper.
In a mixing bowl, add the chilled chickpea liquid, lemon juice, and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric beater for about 4 minutes until semi-stiff peaks begin to form. Start adding 1 Tbsp of icing sugar at a time, and beat for at least 15 seconds between each addition. You'll need to mix the meringue for a total of 10 minutes to make sure you have very, VERY stiff peaks! It's ready when the mixture is so solid, it sticks almost entirely onto your beater and has a glossy sheen to it.
- Pipe the mixture onto baking paper. You can pipe it into meringue kisses, mini pavlova nests, or form it into an impressive large pavlova cake. Whatever style you choose, make sure to give it some height as that will create the lovely marshmallowy centre. If you're making meringue nests (like those shown in the photos), add large mounds of the whipped aquafaba onto the baking paper using a spoon. Create a well in the centre using the back of the spoon, shaping the sides of the meringues using an upward flicking motion to create a rustic look.
Bake at 100°C (212°F) for 90 minutes, without opening the oven door. (Even when you're tempted to open the door just a little to check on them – DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR – otherwise, the meringues cool off too quickly and will fail to rise). Switch off the oven and allow them to cool completely in the oven overnight, with the door closed.
The next day, garnish with your desired toppings, such as whipped coconut cream, seasonal fruits, and drizzle with dark chocolate, then serve immediately.
- Put your can of chickpeas in the fridge the night before to chill them.
- Make sure to use the liquid from a can of unsalted chickpeas; using salted chickpea brine will bring out the bean flavour in the meringues.
- If you're like me, you'll often reduce the quantity of sugar mentioned in a recipe. If you reduce the amount of sugar used when making meringues, they're likely to turn into a disaster when baked. I learned this the hard way!
- Not beating the mixture for the full 10 minutes is also a recipe for disaster!
- You can make this recipe ahead of time. Wrap the ungarnished meringues in cling film and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Garnish just before serving.
Please read the Silvobeat nutritional facts disclaimer.