Vegan Meringue Nests with Yogurt & Fruit
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even with meringues. You’d never believe you wouldn’t need to use egg white to get the same result but someone, somewhere decided one day to try and whip up chickpea juice and never looked back! Hats off to them.
I’ve had a couple of goes at making these now and have tweaked them each time to get a better result.
Take a look at the baking notes for tips on how to get the best results. Flavour-wise I much preferred using real vanilla pods rather than extract.
Equipment: 2 baking sheets, baking parchment, stand mixer or food processor with emulsifier attachment or electric hand whisk, oven 110 degrees
1 tin’s worth of aquafaba (the liquid from a tin of chickpeas)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
125g caster sugar
1 vanilla bean pod, inside scraped to get the beans
non-dairy yogurt (I used Alpro Plain with Coconut)
passion fruit (I bought a pouch from M&S)
mango, cut into small bite-size pieces
strawberries, sliced into heart shapes
Either use your food processor with emulsifier attachment or go straight for the electric hand whisk. Pour the aquafaba into the bowl and start to mix for at least 5 minutes (more likely 7-10 minutes) until you get soft peaks.
Transfer the whipped aquafaba into a large (clean and dry) mixing bowl and now use the electric hand whisk. Add the vanilla beans, cream of tartar and slowly add the sugar while whisking. Keep going until you get stiff peaks.
Spoon 2 heaped tablespoons of the mixture on to the parchment paper and shape to get your meringue.
Baked for 2 hours at 110 degrees (do not open the oven or they’ll sink!). When the 2 hours is up turn off the oven and leave for another 45 minutes/1 hour to cool.
Now add your toppings. Use a spoon to bash down a circle in the middle. Add a couple of spoons of yogurt. Spoon over the passion fruit, then add your mango and strawberries.
The first time I made this I used normal vanilla extract but you could taste the alcohol once it was baked. It left a weird taste which wasn’t pleasant. I tried the vanilla pods the next time and the result was much better. The vanilla taste came through without the alcohol. It also gives your meringue a speckled finish. I had to hand some cooked beetroot (not pickled!) and I used about a teaspoon’s worth of the juice in the mixture. This gave it a slight pink tinge which looked pretty.
If you have a stand mixer then this is the best appliance for the job. If not, a food processor with the emulsifier attachment or, for even better results (stiffer peaks) a hand whisk. Obviously it takes a while so you’ll be standing with a hand whisk for quite a while.
You could use a different combo of fruit such as pineapple, orange segments, kiwi.
You could mix the yogurt with some maple or agave syrup depending on which brand you use. With the Alpro Coconut it’s very sweet already so I didn’t need anything extra.
Recipe inspiration from Tesco Real Food