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Vegan Meringues Recipe on Food52

Tip: Don't pour out the liquid from a can of chickpeas; make vegan meringues instead!

5/17/2021 12:47:00 AM

Tip: Don't pour out the liquid from a can of chickpeas; make vegan meringues instead!

For this vegan meringues recipe, simply whip what would normally be drained and beautiful firm peaks will rival the delicate egg whites crafted by pastry chefs.

Author NotesIn a time when zucchini can be “noodles” and a slice of cauliflower can be a “steak,” it shouldn’t have surprised me that someone had figured out the leftover liquid from a can of chickpeas could be the answer to a vegan meringue recipe. The concept seems impossible, but you simply whip what would normally go down the drain, and within a few minutes, beautiful firm peaks will rival the delicate egg whites crafted by pastry chefs. Not only does it work, it’s pure genius.

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This miraculous liquid has been labeled “aquafaba,” based on the Latin words for “water” and “bean.” Beans release proteins and carbohydrates into their cooking water, which in turn transforms that water into a viscous substance with properties similar to egg whites. While the liquid from other beans will work as well, chickpeas have the lightest color and flavor. Unlike egg whites, which a strong forearm and a little dedication can whip up to firm peaks, aquafaba requires an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a wire whisk to achieve the same results.

When making vegan meringues, be sure to select a sugar that is also vegan-friendly. Not all sugars are considered vegan, since bone char is frequently used in the refining process for granulated sugar. I tested this recipe with a vegan granulated white sugar as well as with raw cane sugar and demerara. All three worked well and yielded just slightly different flavors. I did notice the coarser sugar did make a “clicking” sound as it was incorporated into the aquafaba in the mixer. Not to worry, though, the sugar soon dissolved into the meringue and the end result was the same.

Classic vanilla meringues can be made with just a dash of vanilla extract added into the mix. However, these treats are a blank slate for your own creativity. Feel free to swap the vanilla extract for almond, orange, or mint. Food coloring can be added for variety or a dusting of sanding sugar for fun.

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