I’m always up for a challenge! So when I heard Rachel Houghton announce on her BBC Radio Wiltshire morning show, someone was urgently required to bake Prue Leith’s technical challenge, Vegan Tropical Fruit Meringue, GBBO recipe’s as on The Great British Bake Off, I immediately thought, I’m your woman & rang the radio station
Now, this was required for 11 am tomorrow morning. Quickly Googling the recipe, I headed to the shops for ingredients. Most were already in my store cupboard, but I did not have a supply of juicy tropical fruit. Waitrose however, were ahead of the game & stocked to the brim with fruits for GBBO baking enthusiasts. I scooped up Mango’s, passion fruit, kiwi fruit, pomegranates & a pineapple & headed for my kitchen.
I have never baked a vegan egg free meringue before. However I do have experience with the ordinary variety, the trick of these being enough whisking, before gradually adding the sugar to produce smooth, billowy, satiny peaks of meringue.
I must say I had a double interest in this challenge. In the late eighties, when I was a good few years younger & just embarking on my cooking career, I was lucky enough to have Prue Leith write an article about me in The Guardian. you can read more about this by following the link. The Kitchen Experience So to bake one of her recipes, as a challenge, all these years later, I found very satisfying.
Having whisked up the Aquafaba – Chickpea juice for the uninitiated – to the desired consistency. I gradually added the sugar, beating well between each addition. When I had achieved what I thought was the right texture, I piled the “meringue” into a piping bag, fitted with a star nozzle & swirled rings onto the marked, baking parchment, & popped it into the oven.
While the mixture was whisking, I quickly made up the Patisserie Creme & left to cool. I found, in my oven, the disks of meringue needed a longer cooking time than the recipe stated. Left to cool, I then assembled the dessert. I still felt that the disks, could have done with further cooking time, as they were weeping, slightly in the middle. Still no matter once put together I was quite happy with the result, but will make a note on the cooking time, for next time. This is not a dessert to make in advance. it is best made, assembled & served on the same day.
Now. The proof of the pudding, is in the eating. I found a lady passing by outside & asked, in the interest of cookery, would she be prepared to taste my effort & give her comments on the radio. – I had not told her at this point that the meringue, was in fact made with chickpea juice! – She thought it tasted quite delicious & was amazed to find out what it was made with.
I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge & enjoyed working with different ingredients. I look forward to adapting the method & producing more Vegan goodies in the future.
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If you are wondering what I did with the chickpeas, I’m happy to tell you that I used them in another recipe, this time one of mine, which you will find here :