Meringues are notoriously difficult to master, getting the perfect crispy exterior and a gooey melt in the mouth interior is something of a feat. Remove the eggs from the mix and you really do have a challenge on your hands. With the discovery of aquafaba as an egg substitute, vegan meringues were back on the menu. However, I find they are still a little chewy and soft, not to mention you have to use a can of chickpeas to get the aquafaba. At Le Cordon Bleu I was introduced to Potato Protein – the by product of making potato starch – it is a great egg replacement. It comes in powder form and after being hydrated with water, whips up just like egg whites. It is also a lot more stable that aquafaba, so no more collapsing in the middle. The result is a delicious, soft yet crisp meringue – perfect with poached rhubarb.
Potato protein is unvailable in supermarkets and has to be ordered online. It is more expensive that aquafaba but one packet will last you a very long time! I ordered mine from this website https://eshop.petrastahlova.com/molecular-ingredients/potato-protein/ .
NB – Potato Protein isn’t the same as Potato Starch!
- 75g Water
- 9g Potato Protein
- 0.5g Xantham Gum
- 83g Caster Sugar
- 1g Bicarbonate of Soda
- 2 tbsp Vegan Butter
- 800g Rhubarb
- 4 tbsp Caster Sugar
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 40ml Orange Juice
- Preheat the oven to 120 degrees.
- In a bowl whisk together the potato protein, xanthan gum and 55g of the water. After a few minutes, add in the bicarbonate of soda and 7.5g of the caster sugar. Continue to whisk with a hand whisk or in a stand mixer.
- Whilst the potato protein is whisking – make the sugar syrup. In a heavy based saucepan, add in the remaining 75g of caster sugar and 20g of water. Heat on a medium to high heat until the sugar is dissolved and reaches 118 degrees. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer – the mixture will look like it is bubbling up quite rapidly and the sugar will be dissolved to leave a thick syrup.
- With the stand mixer off, add half of the sugar syrup into the potato protein and whisk on low. Once combined, turn off the whisk and add the remaining sugar syrup. Continue to whisk on low for a minute or so before increasing the speed to high. Whisk for a further 5-6 mins until you have glossy stiff peaks.
- Spoon the meringue mixture onto a lined baking tray – you should have 8 equal sized meringues. Bake in the oven for 1.5 – 2 hours until the meringues have hardened and have dried out in the middle.
- Whilst the meringues are cooking, you can start to make the rhubarb. Slice the rhubarb into 2 inch chunks. Place the butter in a large frying pan on a medium heat, before adding in the rhubarb. Add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and orange juice before leaving to simmer for 10 mins. Once the rhubarb is soft and the sauce has reduced slightly, remove from the heat.
- Once the meringues are cooked, serve up with the rhubarb and a sprinkle of cinnamon.