I’m always up for a challenge! So when I heard Rachel Houghton announce on her BBC Radio Wiltshire morning show, someone was urgently required to bake Prue Leith’s technical challenge, Vegan Tropical Fruit Meringue, GBBO recipe’s as on The Great British Bake Off, I immediately thought, I’m your woman & rang the radio station
Now, this was required for 11 am tomorrow morning. Quickly Googling the recipe, I headed to the shops for ingredients. Most were already in my store cupboard, but I did not have a supply of juicy tropical fruit. Waitrose however, were ahead of the game & stocked to the brim with fruits for GBBO baking enthusiasts. I scooped up Mango’s, passion fruit, kiwi fruit, pomegranates & a pineapple & headed for my kitchen.
I have never baked a vegan egg free meringue before. However I do have experience with the ordinary variety, the trick of these being enough whisking, before gradually adding the sugar to produce smooth, billowy, satiny peaks of meringue.
I must say I had a double interest in this challenge. In the late eighties, when I was a good few years younger & just embarking on my cooking career, I was lucky enough to have Prue Leith write an article about me in The Guardian. you can read more about this by following the link. The Kitchen Experience So to bake one of her recipes, as a challenge, all these years later, I found very satisfying.
Having whisked up the Aquafaba – Chickpea juice for the uninitiated – to the desired consistency. I gradually added the sugar, beating well between each addition. When I had achieved what I thought was the right texture, I piled the “meringue” into a piping bag, fitted with a star nozzle & swirled rings onto the marked, baking parchment, & popped it into the oven.
While the mixture was whisking, I quickly made up the Patisserie Creme & left to cool. I found, in my oven, the disks of meringue needed a longer cooking time than the recipe stated. Left to cool, I then assembled the dessert. I still felt that the disks, could have done with further cooking time, as they were weeping, slightly in the middle. Still no matter once put together I was quite happy with the result, but will make a note on the cooking time, for next time. This is not a dessert to make in advance. it is best made, assembled & served on the same day.
Now. The proof of the pudding, is in the eating. I found a lady passing by outside & asked, in the interest of cookery, would she be prepared to taste my effort & give her comments on the radio. – I had not told her at this point that the meringue, was in fact made with chickpea juice! – She thought it tasted quite delicious & was amazed to find out what it was made with.
I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge & enjoyed working with different ingredients. I look forward to adapting the method & producing more Vegan goodies in the future.
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If you are wondering what I did with the chickpeas, I’m happy to tell you that I used them in another recipe, this time one of mine, which you will find here :
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As we welcome in flaming June, find out what Truffleicious has to offer.
Another month has flown by. My Stable Kitchen has been busy during the previous few weeks, both with customers & creating new updates for our menu.
Earlier in May, we catered for a film company, who were doing some research, prior to filming at Great Chalfield this month. Forty seven lunches were duly, prepared & packed to sate their appetites on their home bound coach journey.
Their chosen menu, catered for all dietary requirements. Gluten free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian & Vegan, all freshly homemade on the day Four different salads accompanied either, cheddar cheese, feta, olives & sun-dried tomatoes,or humus, along with a selection of six different home made breads. A gluten free Lemon Mousse Cake was also on offer for dessert. It was very gratifying to receive a lovely comment from them, on the visitors book page of my website.
Bread is one of my favourite foods, not he nasty, plastic, additive containing, bread you get from the shops, but real doughy breads, full of flavour & goodness & more that a sprinkling of different seeds. One of the reasons I decided to experiment with different breads was because I have been following a low FodMap diet, you can read my blog on the subject if you follow the link.
Shop brought bread, I found, was one of the most bloat making foods in my diet. So, rather than give it up, I decided to make my own breads using different Organic flours & local products. The results were amazing, no longer did I swell up like a balloon after eating bread & the flavour was far superior to anything shop bought. I have a strong suspicion that apart from Celiac’s, to whom, gluten is a serious issue, most people who perceive themselves as “Gluten Intolerant” are more susceptible to the additives & preservatives, so commonly found in the mass produced, ready meals & products in today’s food market.
Look forward to seeing a range of my homemade breads served Ploughman’s style with Salads & Smoked Mackerel, Cheddar, humus or Smoked Salmon. Perfect for a picnic.
A very, very, naughty but nice sweet pie is also on the menu. A version of the recipe for my Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Pie, can be found on myrecipeblog This dessert is a great treat for this time of the year as it needs very little cooking, so you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen.
Making the most of seasonal soft fruits, I have also added a gluten free raspberry ice cream, & pictured at the top of this blog, Chocolate & Strawberry gateaux, also gluten free.
On the other hand, if you prefer not to spend any time in the kitchen, you can always visit me at Stables Kitchen, Great Chalfield Manor, Wiltshire & try some of my goodies for yourself. Try some peanut butter tart, topped with fresh banana tart.