It’s a joyous and magical experience to watch a drizzle of chickpea water turn into a fluffy, sweet meringue mix! Ideally, use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for this recipe, as in our experience hand-whisks don’t have the power to get the chickpea water to stiff peaks.
Mini Banoffee Meringues
140ml aquafaba (the drained water from 1 x 400g tin chickpeas)
½ tsp cream of tartar
100g caster sugar
25g dark chocolate
For the caramel sauce
150g caster sugar
120ml full-fat coconut milk
a pinch of salt
½ tsp dairy-free butter
For the cashew cream
600ml full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 baking sheets
Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Pour the aquafaba into the mixer. Turn the mixer on to high and leave it running. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat. After 2 minutes, add the caster sugar, one spoonful at a time. Beat on high for 10-15 minutes. It’s ready when the aquafaba has magically transformed into a thick, meringue-like mixture that won’t fall off a spoon turned upside down.
Spoon the meringue mixture on to the lined baking sheets to make nests about 8cm wide, no more than 1.5cm high and smooth on top, leaving 2cm between them. You should end up with about 18 nests (you can draw 8cm circles on the parchment paper, then flip over the paper and use them as templates).
Put the trays in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 100°C/gas mark ¼ . Bake for 2 hours, then turn off the heat, leave the door closed and let the meringues cool completely, preferably overnight. Cooling the meringues overnight in the oven allows them to set properly and reduces the chances of them cracking due to sudden changes in temperature.
To make the caramel sauce, put the frying pan on a medium heat. Pour in the sugar, 75ml of the coconut milk and the salt. Bring to the boil, whisking continuously. Once the mixture has turned caramel in colour, about 10-15 minutes, remove from the heat. Add the rest of the coconut milk and the dairy-free butter, stir through and transfer to a heatproof bowl.
To make the cashew cream, put the small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the nuts and 400ml of the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until most of the coconut milk has evaporated. Transfer to the liquidiser. Add the icing sugar, vanilla and remaining 200ml coconut milk. Add the banana half to the liquidiser. Blend until really smooth.
Place your meringue nests on serving plates. Peel 2-3 bananas and cut them into long diagonal slices (the longer they are, the more beautiful they will look). Lay half the slices on top of the meringues. Cover the bananas with dollops of coconut cream. Top with 1 or 2 more banana slices and lashings of caramel sauce. Finely grate over the chocolate and serve.
Extracted from Bish Bash Bosh! Your Favourites. All Plants. by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (HQ, approx €23). Photography by Lizzie Mayson.