Vegan meringues are a new discovery for us. It's been the holy grail of vegan cooking for a long time - how do you find a replacement for a dish made fully out of egg whites? Recently, we discovered aqua faba (or the cooking liquid from chickpeas) which is the perfect vegan alternative to egg whites.
It's mind blowing how an ingredient that is usually thrown away can have such amazing properties! When whipped, this clear liquid magically transforms into pillowy, white clouds, exactly like whipped egg whites.
In South India, there are some little meringue cookies with a single cashew nut inside that are a popular sweet treat with coffee. We've seem them often and salivated over the thought of them, but never been able to eat them. Using aqua faba, we've created our own version - this time, studded with juicy cranberries, dark chocolate and crunchy pistachios and flavoured with aromatic cardamom. These cookies are luxurious, but very light and crunchy and melt perfectly in the mouth.
The wonderful thing about this recipe is the simplicity of the baking - bake for 5 mins and then turn the oven off and leave overnight. They cook (i.e. dry out) in the residual heat, and by the morning they are perfectly done and ready to go. No fuss, and minimal effort.
This recipe is also gluten free as well as vegan, so a perfect dessert for groups of guests with different dietary requirements.
Try it out and tell us what you think!
N & N
Time: 20 mins + (8 hours overnight)
- 6 Tbsps Aqua faba (chickpea cooking liquid)
- 1/2 tsps Cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup Icing sugar
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Chopped dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup Chopped dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup Chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 180 ° C
- Whisk the aquafaba with the cream of tartar using an electric whisk on a medium speed for 3-5 mins, until soft, fluffy peaks form
- Add in the sugar, vanilla and cardamom and continue whisking until stiff peaks form- you'll know because when you lift the whisk out of the bowl, the mixture should hold its shape and won't fall back into the bowl. Scrape down the sides as you go, to ensure everything is mixed well
- Gently fold in the chocolate, cranberries and pistachios - be very careful not to knock out the air you've worked so hard to create in the mixture!
- Spoon into 1.5 inch circles on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave 1/2 inch of space between each cookie as they will expand as they bake
- Bake for 5 mins, then turn the oven off and leave overnight or for approx 8 hours. Don't open the oven door during this time! It's tempting to sneak a peak, but worth it to wait :)
Store in an airtight container to maintain the crispness - that is, if you haven't eaten them all straight away!