Another new theme for this year’s Great British Bake Off- Botanicals! It is also the week I have struggled most with! The three bakes this week were- a citrusy meringue pie for the signature, fougasse for the technical, and a three-tired, floral themed cake for the showstopper!
I decided to attempt making a lime and coconut meringue pie. The idea of trying aquafaba meringue has intrigued me for a while and I had found a recipe for a vegan lemon curd, so I thought it’d be pretty straight forward. It’s another recipe that requires forward planning as the curd need to thicken over night, the pastry needed to rest and making meringues is a slow process. However each component didn’t go quite to plan which led me to rethinking this week’s attempt.
I found a recipe for a vegan lemon curd on the Minimalist Baker’s website. I intended to switch the lemon rind and juice for lime and away we go! Except I didn’t follow the recipe accurately enough and added extra lime juice for taste at the wrong point. Cue the curd not thickening enough! I remade it the next day and decided to continue on with the pie challenge.
In case you haven’t come across it before aquafaba is the water/juice from a can of chickpeas. It has amazing qualities which make it a staple in vegan cooking or egg free baking. Making a meringue with aquafaba is something I’ve wanted to do for ages however I’ve put it off for a couple of reasons. 1. There is a lot of refined sugar in meringues, which I try to avoid giving to little one as much as possible. 2. Meringues are tricky to make at the best of times so making it with substitutions s ramps up the difficulty level. This challenge seemed like a great opportunity to have a go at them. Twice in my case. The first time I don’t think I was patient enough at the whisking stages. I also didn’t whisk on high which didn’t help. The oven temperature was also too low. Then too high. Oh well you learn by your mistakes.
150ml aquafaba (1 can)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120g caster sugar, sieved
1. In a large, clean and dry glass bowl use an electric whisk on high to whip the aquafaba. Once glossy (about 5 minutes) add the cream of tartar and vanilla extract. Whisk again until the mixtures volume has increased and peaks can be formed.
2. Pre heat the oven to 100c. Gradually add in the sugar. One tablespoon at a time, whisking on high until fully combined before adding the next one. When all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk on high until the meringue mixture is thick, and can hold stiff peaks. This can take a while 15-25 minutes.
3. On a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, place tablespoon dollops of meringue an inch apart. Pop in the oven for two hours. Then turn the oven off allowing to fully cool.
4. Store in a dry, airtight container.
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