Vegan Wonder

Delight Your Taste Buds: Mastering Egg-Free Vegan Meringues and Macarons

In the world of plant-based cooking, egg-free vegan meringues and macarons have emerged as the holy grail of desserts. These delectable treats, once thought to be the exclusive domain of bakers using animal products, can now be made using vegan-friendly ingredients.

Egg-Free Meringue: A Surprising Breakthrough

Traditional meringues rely on egg whites for their structure, but vegan bakers have discovered a surprising alternative: aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba-the-versatile-vegan-egg-substitute/”>aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba. This liquid found in canned chickpeas was accidentally discovered to make a good meringue in 2014. The result is a light, airy, and delicious vegan meringue that no one would know is egg-free.

Here’s a simple 3-ingredient vegan meringue recipe:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) of aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba-the-versatile-vegan-egg-substitute/”>aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup (200g) of granulated sugar

Beat the aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba-the-versatile-vegan-egg-substitute/”>aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba and cream of tartar together until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat the mixture until it is thick and glossy. If you have the patience, let the meringue sit for about an hour to mature—this will help it hold its shape better when baked.

Now that we have a vegan meringue, the next challenge is to create vegan macarons.

Vegan Macarons: A Delicate Dance

Macarons are notoriously difficult to make, and vegan macarons add an extra layer of complexity due to the lack of egg as a binding agent. However, with the right ingredients and technique, you can achieve a delicious and attractive vegan macaron.

To make vegan macarons, you will need:

  • 2 cups (224g) of almond flour
  • 2 cups (480g) of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (120g) of almonds, finely ground
  • 2 tablespoons of aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba-the-versatile-vegan-egg-substitute/”>aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba
  • 1 1/2 cups (360g) of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) of water
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

First, you will need to make a simple syrup. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Let it cool slightly.

Next, beat the aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba-the-versatile-vegan-egg-substitute/”>aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba in a mixing bowl until it forms soft peaks. Gradually add the simple syrup while continuing to beat the mixture until it is thick and glossy. Fold in the almond flour, powdered sugar, ground almonds, vanilla extract, and salt until you have a smooth batter. If it is too thick, you can add a little aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba-the-versatile-vegan-egg-substitute/”>aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba to thin it out.

Now you are ready to pipe your macarons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pipe a small circle of batter, then gently press another circle (about the same size) into the center of the first circle. This will help the macarons form the distinctive “feet” as they bake.

Let the piped macarons sit at room temperature for about an hour to form a “skin” on top. This will help them hold their shape during baking. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C) and bake the macarons for about 20 minutes, or until they are firm to the touch. Let them cool completely before filling them with your favorite vegan frosting.

With these egg-free meringues and macarons in your baking repertoire, you will have plenty of opportunities to delight your taste buds and impress your friends and family with your plant-based baking skills.

Flavor Variations and Decorative Touches

Now that you have mastered the basics, it’s time to get creative! Here are some ideas for flavoring your vegan meringues and macarons:

  • For vegan meringues: Add a teaspoon or two of extract (such as almond, peppermint, or coconut) or the zest of a citrus fruit to the aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba-the-versatile-vegan-egg-substitute/”>aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba before beating.
  • For vegan macarons: You can use different extracts or zests, like orange or mint, in the batter. For the filling, consider a vegan buttercream, ganache, or fruity jam.

As for decorating, the sky is the limit! You can use different piping tips to create intricate designs, or simply swirl on some frosting with a knife. Get creative with food coloring too—just make sure it’s vegan-friendly!

Troubleshooting and Tips for Success

While vegan meringues and macarons can be tricky to make, they are not impossible. Here are some common issues you might encounter and how to resolve them:

Vegan Meringues

  • The meringue won’t hold its shape: Make sure your mixing bowl and beaters are completely free of grease. Also, make sure your sugar is very finely ground. Mature your meringue for a longer period of time.
  • The meringue is runny: Make sure your aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba-the-versatile-vegan-egg-substitute/”>aquafaba-the-vegan-egg-substitute-you-need-to-know-about/”>aquafaba is at room temperature. If it is still runny after beating, add a little more cream of tartar and beat some more.

Vegan Macarons

  • The shells crack during piping: Make sure your batter is smooth and not too thick. Let it rest before piping.
  • The shells don’t develop “feet”: Make sure you let the piped shells sit at room temperature for about an hour before baking.
  • The shells stick to the parchment paper: Make sure your parchment paper is fresh and not sticky.

If you want your vegan meringues and macarons to last longer than a day, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. Let them come to room temperature before serving.