My favourite old t-shirt says: If it ain’t stiff, it ain’t worth a fuck. Of course, the t-shirt is referring to Stiff Records, an independent record company formed in 1976. Devo, Dr Feelgood, Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Lena Lovich, Madness, Motorhead, The Damned, The Pogues and Wreckless Eric were just some of the many artists who recorded on Stiff.
What’s that got to do with meringues? Well, when whisking up your aquafaba, if it ain’t stiff, it ain’t worth a fuck! I’ve been playing about and discovered that reducing the aquafaba is key to a stiff meringue. These ones were super-easy to make and came out really light, fluffy and crispy.
- Line two baking trays with baking paper and heat the oven to 100°C.
- Prepare a piping bag over a jug or pint glass.
- Drain the chick peas and transfer the aquafaba (juice from the can) into a saucepan.
- Heat the aquafaba gently, let it simmer and reduce to ⅓ a cup in volume.
- Let it cool in the fridge for 10-15 minutes then whisk it with an electric balloon whisk until it begins to bubble up.
- Add cream of tartar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form (this should happen much quicker with reduced aquafaba than with it straight from the tin).
- Then add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking all the time until all the sugar is mixed in – you should now have glossy stiff peaks.
- Transfer the mix into a piping bag and pipe out mini meringues (I got around 40).
- Bake at 100°C for two hours then turn of the oven, unclick the door and leave to cool for one hour.
- When the meringues are done, gently loosen each one from the baking paper but keep them on your lined trays (if they are still sticky, cook for another hour then allow to cool).
- Serve with vegan whipped cream, yoghurt or ice-cream and fruit.