Apricot s’mores and berry pavlovas made with magical whipped chickpea water. Yup, you read that right. # 180: Aquafaba Meringue Treats
Like most of y’all, our 4th of July is a lot more mellow this year. It’s been hard for me to feel super patriotic watching our country’s leadership utterly fail to respond to both covid-19 and the overwhelming cries for police reform and an end to systemic racism. I’m choosing to think of today as a day of hope for what our country can be once the orange cheeto is out of office. As well as a day to feel a little extra thankful for the freedoms we get to enjoy. And a day to eat delicious desserts involving seasonal fruit (of course.)
You know the thick liquid that you drain off of your canned garbanzo beans? That’s the strange world we’re diving into today. The name “aquafaba” comes from the latin words for water and beans, and was coined by a vegan named Goose Wohlt.
I know it sounds crazy, but aquafaba is the identical twin to egg whites when whipped. It’s one of the best magic tricks in the baking world! The starches in the bean liquid are able to trap air the same way that the proteins in egg whites do, with a little help from sugar and cream of tartar for structure and stability. Here’s a really thorough article about it if you want to learn more!
Ta-daa! It’s shiny and passes the hold-the-bowl-upside-down test. The only downside is the flavor, but it can be easily fixed with some vanilla and sugar.
For the pavlovas, I just plopped some of the aquafaba meringue in a piping bag with a fluted tip and piped little swirly baskets on a baking sheet. Then they were whisked off to bake gently at 200F for an hour and a half until crisp.
A pavlova wouldn’t be a pavlova without a generous dollop of chantilly cream on top. Throwback to my last pavlova post, which was also a 4th of July bake!
I rarely take the time to do it, but there’s something so satisfying about hand-whipping cream. Since this was such a small amount, I went for the arm workout and whisked it into a cloud.
And don’t forget the topping: BERRIES. I lost my mind a little at the market and bought four kinds. Tis the season!
How cute is that? Love a mini version of any dessert.
Oh hello there, crispy vanilla meringue. I ruined the vegan vibe with all the whipped cream but I have no shame.
The second half of the aquafaba meringue went to hang out with these ripe apricots. Who wouldn’t?
Wondering how they become s’mores? Dark chocolate middle and a toasted meringue topping, coming soon. I got the idea from a cute cookbook of mini desserts that a past coworker gifted to me. It felt so summery, I had to make them!
Hats totally complete an outfit, amirite? Before adding the cloud hats, roast the chocolate-filled apricot halves in the oven til the chocolate is melty.
Couldn’t get an action shot since the torch takes two hands to operate, but fun with fire was had. You can definitely also pop them in the oven to toast the topping. But if you have a torch, flame on.
They taste as cute as they look.
All we need now is a campfire and some sparklers.
Aquafaba meringue recipe: https://lovingitvegan.com/vegan-meringue/