By now, you’ve possibly heard of aquafaba – the liquid we normally throw away from a can of chickpeas or other legume. It turns out it makes the most amazing egg white replacer and you can even use it to make meringues! Perfect for one of my favourite British summertime desserts – Eton Mess.
Vegan Eton Mess
- aquafaba drained from 1 x 400g can of chickpeas keep the chickpeas for another recipe
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 125 g gluten-free icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- 200 g fresh strawberries hulled and quartered
- a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
Coconut Whipped Cream
- 400 g can full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- flaked almonds, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 90°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Add the aquafaba to a large bowl and use an electric hand-held or stand mixer to whisk for about 5 minutes until it has more than doubled in size and is white and foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whisk for a further 1 minute.
- Slowly and gently start adding in the sugar, a spoonful at a time and whisking continuously, until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. Stir in the vanilla, if using.
- Transfer the meringue mixture into an icing bag with a large star-shaped nozzle and pipe into nests. Alternatively, just use a spoon to create mounds and use the back of the spoon to hollow out the centre.
- Bake for 2 hours. Do NOT open the oven! After 2 hours, turn the oven off and leave them to cool in the oven for at least another hour.
- Make a quick strawberry puree by blending half the strawberries in a blender with a squeeze of lemon.
- To prepare the coconut whipped cream, open the can of chilled coconut milk and remove the solid cream that has separated from the water. Add the cream to a large, cold mixing bowl. (Retain the leftover water for a different recipe – it’s great in smoothies and curries). Whisk the cream with an electric hand whisk on high speed for 8 minutes until thick. Sprinkle in the sugar and vanilla and beat for a further 1–2 minutes until you have stiff peaks. Use straight away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.Whisk again before using.
- To serve, layer folds of whipped coconut cream, chunks of fresh strawberries, drizzles of strawberry puree and crushed pieces of meringue into a bowl. Sprinkle over the almonds and serve immediately.