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Vegan Meringue Cookies with Chocolate-Almond Butter Ganache

Vegan Meringue Cookies with Chocolate-Almond Butter Ganache


It all started with a guy named
Goose. Actually, it started before that. It started when a guy named Goose saw a video in French and used it as the basis for developing a vegan meringue. In this video, the water from chickpeas is saved and whipped up to create a mousse without eggs. Blaspheme, might say most French foodies, except not the guys in the video. (Nor Jol Roessel, who apparently was one of the first to explore the potential of bean water molecular gastronomy from his blog). By the way, anyone who wants to freak out about the idea of eating a confection made with bean water just needs to contemplate the idea of eating eggs for just a minute. Are you over it yet? Good. (Also, to answer the inevitable question, the general consensus in the vegan meringue group is that it does not taste bean-y.)

Back to the story: Seeing this obscure video, Goose realized that this bean water had applications beyond mousse, like tackling one of the holy grails of baking, which is meringue. Typically made with whipped egg whites, meringue has been one of those elusive elements that has remained outside of our collective grasp until recently. There have been noble efforts with flaxseed, silken tofu and egg replacer but from what I’ve seen, there’s been nothing quite as revolutionary and accurate as this humble bean water blend, which - did I mention? – also happens to whip up as white as snow. After Goose’s post about meringue cookies was noticed on Facebook by my friend Rebecca, the rest is history: she started a Facebook group where bakers, home cooks, vegan enthusiasts, parents of kids with food allergies and the intrigued masses have been working on their own experiments, sharing their successes and failures and helping one another to refine and troubleshoot this incredibly exciting, innovative new development in the vegan culinary landscape.

I believe that history is being made right at this very moment with the chickpea water breakthrough and that using eggs for cooking and baking just became that much more obsolete. Because of this new tool, innovative vegans from across the globe are recreating the treats they grew up with and perhaps thought they’d never enjoy again: from perfect chocolate chip cookies to marshmallow fluff, Tunnock’s teacakes to lemon meringue pie, it’s all on the table again thanks to people seeing the potential in an ingredient so humble, we used to literally wash it down the sink.

These meringue cookies can be enjoyed any time of the year but with spring here in our part of the world, we are celebrating new beginnings and excitement for the future so I think this is the perfect time. We can find reasons for hope with this new vegan meringue but, even more so, it can be found in the amazing community that I am so proud to be a part of, helping one another and the rest of the world live with compassion, creativity and a zest for life.
 

Vegan Meringue Cookies with Chocolate-Almond Butter Ganache

Water from one 15.5 ounce can chickpeas*
cup organic sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
teaspoon cream of tartar

Ganache

12 ounces Fair Trade dairy-free chocolate chips
cup vegan milk, unsweetened (I used almond)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
cup almond, peanut or cashew butter

Drain your chickpeas and reserve the beans for another use.





Whip the bean water and the cream of tartar until you begin to have ridges. Begin to add your vanilla and then your sugar by the tablespoon until it is all added. Some people have found success using a hand mixer but my understanding is that stand mixers consistently work the best.


Here is what it looks like when first poured in the mixing bowl.


This was after 2 minutes.


This was after 4 1/2 minutes.


And the whipping continues. Here's what it looked like after 7 1/2 minutes.


Whip it. Whip it good. (12 minutes)


Until we are here after 15 minutes of mixing. Vegan meringue!




I used a pastry syringe but you can also use a pastry bag or even a small plastic bag with the corner snipped off. Squeeze the meringue onto a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet.


Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hours, then remove from the oven and make a small indentation with your finger or a teaspoon. Place back in the oven for 30 more minutes.

Meanwhile, make your ganache.



Place your chocolate chips in a bowl with the coconut oil. Warm your milk to hot, then pour over the chocolate chips. Cover with a plate and let it sit undisturbed for a minute or two. Take the plate off, whisk, and combine, adding in the almond butter. Let this sit and thicken for about ten minutes.


Add to your pastry bag, a plastic bag or a small spoon and top your cookies as you like. They are ready to enjoy right away.






*Different people have had successes with different beans. I have had the most success with chickpeas and cannellini beans




2015, Vegan Street


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