Vegan Meringue Kisses Recipe

It’s hard to believe that these crisp, dainty meringues are completely egg-free, but this clever vegan recipe uses aquafaba (the water from a tin of chickpeas) to create perfect fluffy meringues that everyone can enjoy. Piped as cute coloured kisses, they make gorgeous edible gifts, too.
Serves 60 (makes 60) - 25 mins to prepare and 1 hr 15 mins to cook, plus cooling - 9 calories / serving



Ingredients
1 tsp juice from a cooked beetroot
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to gas ¼, 110°C, fan 90°C. Line a bowl with a clean piece of muslin and grate the beetroot into it. Lift up the cloth and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Set aside. (Or snip open a pack of vacuum-packed beetroot and pour out 1 tsp of the liquid.)

Drain the liquid from the chickpeas into a large, clean bowl (save the chickpeas for another recipe; they will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days). You should have about 150ml of liquid. Using an electric whisk, whisk the chickpea water on a high speed for 5-7 mins, until it reaches soft-peak stage.
Add the sugar slowly, a tbsp at a time, whisking between each addition. Keep whisking for 7-10 mins, until the mixture reaches stiff-peak stage (as it would with egg meringue). Then whisk in the vanilla extract.
Take a piping bag and spoon in the beetroot juice. Swirl the bag so the juice covers the inside. Carefully spoon in the ‘meringue’ mixture until it reaches about ⅔ of the way up the bag.
Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper (use a little of the ‘meringue’ mixture to dot under the corners of the paper to stick it to the tray). Snip the end off the piping bag and pipe out small meringues, about 2cm apart. You may need to use a second piping bag (swirled with a bit more beetroot juice) to keep a strong colour.
Bake in the oven for 1 hr 15 mins, until crisp on the outside, swapping the trays over halfway through the cooking time. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to stand with the oven door open for 1 hr, until cooled and they can be lifted off the paper easily. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for 3 days.

Tip: For a stronger colour swirl on the meringues you can simmer the beetroot juice in a small pan over a medium heat for a few minutes to thicken, or use vegan-friendly food colouring if preferred.
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