DESSERT: VEGAN (OR VEGETARIAN) MERINGUE

Recipe + Cooking: Leah Tsirigotis // Images: Jill Damatac Futter

Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, or mostly-tarian, be compassionate to your sweet tooth and whip up this beautifully light, yet sumptuous dessert of summer berries, an airy meringue, and lush whipped cream.

Serves 6-8 // Prep: 30 minutes // Bake: 60-75 minutes 

YOU'LL NEED

MERINGUES

  • Vegetarian: 6 large egg whites // Vegan: 1 1/8 cups chickpea water (18 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups golden unrefined caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons organic cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raw dark chocolate, roughly chopped

TOPPING

  • Fresh fruits of your choice (we went with in-season strawberries and blackberries)
  • Vegetarian: extra-heavy cream or whipped cream // Vegan: vegan cream, or vegan ice cream, or make your own vegan whipped cream here

TO MAKE

the mix:

  • Heat oven to 350°F/180°C
  • Vegetarian: Separate the egg whites from the yolk; add the egg whites only to a large mixing bowl (the yolks won't be used here) // Vegan: Add the chickpea water to a large mixing bowl
  • Using a stand or hand mixer, whisk the egg whites/chickpea water until you can turn the bowl almost upside down and the mixture is nice and stiff
  • Gradually introduce the sugar into the mixture until it becomes shiny and forms stiff, high peaks
  • Fold in the cocoa powder and the balsamic vinegar
  • Fold in the roughly chopped raw dark chocolate

THE BAKE:

  • Line a baking tray with non-stick backing paper
  • Using a large spoon, place dollops of the meringue mixture, leaving a small bit of space between each dollop (they don't expand very much)
  • Turn the oven temperature down to 300°F/150°C and bake for 60 minutes; sometimes up to 75 minutes (check constantly to see if the meringues have risen and to make sure they're not burnt)
  • Once the meringues are golden and risen, turn the oven off, open the door and leave the meringues in the oven to slowly cool (do not remove from oven immediately, as they may collapse). 
  • Serve in a bowl and top with fruit and cream 

ABOUT OUR CHEF

Leah Tsirigotis lives in London, England who, with husband Alex--a new yogi and a marathon runner--and two-year-old daughter Marissa, is mostly vegan (though Leah says she's "battling a mayonnaise addiction").