I tried to think of a clever title for this vegan meringue recipe but it is what it is! It’s really not hard but there are a few hints and tips that I’ll share to make sure you get perfect results, and no one will ever know that these meringues are vegan.
If you aren’t familiar with vegan baking, the main ingredient that’s used in place of egg whites might surprise you. It’s called aquafaba, or chickpea water. Yep, basically the water that’s left in the tin of chickpeas. I’ve written a whole post on aquafaba, but basically if you have a regular 400g tin of chickpeas and drain the water into a bowl you should have at least 125ml of aquafaba which is the perfect amount for this recipe. No waste!
Before we head on to the recipe, just a warning that you definitely need a stand mixer to make these meringues–there’s no way your hand can stand this much whisking!
125ml of aquafaba is 1/2 cup, if that's easier for you to measure.
- 125 ml Aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas)
- 140 g Caster Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Put your aquafaba into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whack your mixer up to the maximum, using the whisk attachment if you have one, and let it go for around 20 minutes.
You want to get it to a stiff peak, and yes you can test this by holding the bowl upside down. If it stays put then you have the right consistency. If it starts to move as you tilt the bowl then keep on mixing! (Please keep mixing--I don't want to be held responsible for egg-white hair :D)
During the next stage of mixing, you can put your oven on to 110C/230F, and prepare two baking sheets by covering them with baking parchment.
Once you've ensured your egg whites are at the right consistency, put your mixer on again and add the sugar a spoon at a time--don't chuck it all in at once. You need to keep on whisking until the sugar is no longer grainy. You can add your vanilla during this stage too.
Use a small amount of mix on each corner of the baking parchment to make sure it sticks to the tray.
You can either spoon your mixture onto the baking sheets or pipe them. I usually use a heaped ice cream scoop, to get the mix out and a spoon to smooth. This makes meringues that are about as big as the palm of your hand (depending on how big your hands are of course!). Leave plenty of room between each one as they will spread a fair bit.
Put them in the oven for 2 hours. If you can pick one off the tray easily and the top and bottom has a crisp shell then they are done. Either remove straightaway, or if you have time then just turn the oven off and let them cool gradually in the oven.
I don’t mind hugely if my meringues are a little cracked or less than pure white (Paul and Prue aren’t judging us in our kitchens, after all), but there are a few things you can do to prevent this.
Tips for Perfect Vegan Meringues
To make sure that your sugar is thoroughly incorporated and dissolved, take a small amount of mix on your thumb and rub a finger over it to see if it still feels grainy. Crackage will happen if the mix isn’t absolutely smooth.
Use baking parchment or a silicone sheet. Greaseproof paper can stop the mixture from spreading as it’s a slightly rougher surface. If it can’t spread then it goes upwards instead to find room to grow and this can cause cracking.
If you want pure white meringues then avoid using golden caster sugar. Even though the whipped up meringue mix will look pure white, the golden appearance will be apparent when they finish baking.
Although aquafaba can last in a container in the fridge for up to a week after it’s out of the can, don’t leave it too long before using for a vegan meringue recipe. The colour can deepen on standing and will affect the finish colour of your meringues. I’d suggest using it within a couple of days.
Avoid sudden changes in temperature–this is a big ‘no no’ when it comes to avoiding cracked meringues. Definitely do not check on them for the first 1 3/4 hours. If you have a little bit of time (but not time to leave them in the turned-off oven for hours) when you think your meringues are done, prop the oven door open a little and leave them to cool in the oven a little more before you remove them.
What To Do With The Chickpeas?
Once you get into the groove of making vegan meringues there will be no stopping you! You’ll be draining tin-after-tin of chickpeas. If you need a recipe to use the chickpeas then I adore Jack Monroe’s Peach and Chickpea Curry. Sounds weird but it’s delicious, cheap, and quick to make. And best of all, you’ll have no wastage.
If you liked this vegan meringue recipe and are on Insta then do pop by and say “hi” as I share lots of vegan baking pics and works in progress–they aren’t all perfect the first time 😀