Hey Friends! With cookie swaps and important bake sales cropping up, it’s important to have a large arsenal of delicious vegan and gluten-free treats at the ready. We’re sharing two of our favorites this week!
First up are these really fun aqua-fabulous meringues. If you’re new to aquafaba, you can read more about it here. It’s basically the liqud that remains after cooking legumes, most commonly, chickpeas.
This meringue recipe is a veganized version of a cookie my Grandma Millie used to make called “Divinity.” These confections are basically clouds of fluffy baked meringue studded with chocolate chips. Adding chocolate chips to aquafaba meringues is a bit tricky, as anything with fat will cause even stiffly whipped peaks to degrade and fall.
If you’re not experienced with vegan meringues, I suggest you start with a basic recipe, like the one I shared here. Once you’ve got the basic recipe under your belt, it’s easy to add chocolate chips. Don’t be tempted to add more than a small handful of chocolate chips, as even small flakes of chocolate will deflate the foam and leave you with a mess.
Divinity Meringues with Chocolate Chips made from aquafaba–vegan and gluten-free!
Aquafaba Meringues with Chocolate Chips = Divinity!
The basic meringue recipe used here was developed by Lynne Dic and was originally posted in the Facebook group Aquafaba (Vegan Meringues - Hits and Misses). Lynn has given me permission to share her ingredient ratios.
Wash the bowl of your stand mixer with soap and hot water to remove any oil residue. Dry it well. Preheat oven to 200F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the aquafaba, vanilla, and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer and use the mixer's balloon whisk to quickly combine ingredients. Attach the whisk and begin whipping the mixture, starting on a lower speed and gradually increasing to high. Continue to whip until the mixture has thickened, is white and very frothy, and is clinging to the center spokes of the whisk, about 10 minutes.
Slowly begin to add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whisk at the highest speed your mixer will allow. Whisk in each addition of sugar for at least 30 seconds, before adding more (I have the best success when I whisk in the sugar slowly over a period of 15-20 minutes). When ready to be piped, the meringue should be very stiff (meringue on the whisk should not budge when you lift it out of the bowl), and the sugar should be completely dissolved. If you're unsure, you can turn off the mixer and feel a little bit of the meringue between your fingers, you should not be able to feel any grit from the sugar. I do notice after all of the sugar has been incorporated. that the meringue goes from a very fluffy and dull mixture, to a more glossy, slightly deflated, marshmallow fluff sort of texture.
The meringue can be dropped onto the prepared baking sheet by the spoonful, or for taller confection, pipe meringues using a pastry bag and large white tip. Fit the optional tip, if using, and snip off the bottom of the bag. Turn it inside out over a tall glass, cuffing the bag around the glass so it's easy to reach inside the bag.
When the meringue is ready, gently stir in the chocolate chips. Quickly use a spoon to fill the bag. Twist the bag closed and pipe the meringue into tall swirls on the prepared baking sheet (they will fall and spread out so aim high). Be sure to pipe the meringue swirls compactly, so they're not hollow when they dry, and give them adequate space as they will settle and spread a bit in the oven. Sprinkle with optional sprinkles, if using.
Bake for 2 1/2 hours, rotating the tray after an hour or so, for even baking. Turn the oven off, and leave the meringues in the oven until completely cool, about an hour. Once cool, immediately transfer the meringues to an airtight container (they will become sticky if exposed to humidity/moisture). For longtime storage, I usually keep mine in zipper-style plastic bags with a desiccate packet (white rice would work too). For bakesales, I buy small zip style snack bags from the dollar store and put 2-3 in each.
Use granulated cane or beet sugar (I usually use unbleached granulated cane juice, like Florida Crystals). Unfortunately, coconut sugar will not work in this recipe. If you're interested in making aquafaba meringues with unrefined sugars, check out the file section of the FaceBook Group. There is good info there on how to proceed, but you'll have to order specialty ingredients.
I make aquafaba from scratch chickpeas. I usually soak the beans for an hour in boiling water, drain, add fresh water and pressure cook. Then I store the beans in the cooking water for several hours or overnight, and use the aquafaba once it's thickened. I've made these from canned beans too, without the need to reduce, although I've found some brands work better than others. I prefer using homemade.
If you're careful, you can save the piping bag for several batches. I just rinse it out and hang it over something tall to dry out, then tuck away for the next batch.
Due to the fat content of the chocolate chips, these meringue will not be as tall as plain aquafaba meringue.
If you give these a try, we’d love to see! Please tag us or use the hashtag #julieandkittee.
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xo Julie & Kittee