Saturday, June 27, 2015

Renegade Adventures in Vegan and Non-Vegan Baking

Sara and I were loose cannons this month. We were renegade bakers. Kitchen outlaws. We'd essentially already made the Daring Bakers' challenge this month, a Charlotte Royale, so we decided to try something new. I'd pinned this S'mores Pavlova a few days before our baking date and it seemed like just the thing. Plus Sara and I were extremely curious to try our hands at making vegan "meringue" from chickpea water.

We're pretty much pros at egg-separating and making meringue at this point. The pavlova portion of the dessert involved some cocoa powder -- yum. And, strangely enough, balsamic vinegar.

We actually took the time to sift something for once.

It also involved some very tasty dark chocolate, which we folded in.

We decided to make the three pavlovas required by the recipe out of egg whites and then make one extra pavlova using the chickpeas just to see how it turned out. The chickpea water was pretty yucky looking and bean-y smelling. 

Weirdly, though, it beat right up into a frothy, white egg-y like substance, even though I mistakenly threw most of the ingredients into the bowl prior to beating. (I was supposed to whip up the chickpeas first, then slowly add the sugar, vanilla, etc.) Once all the sugar and chocolate was added, the bean-y flavor was barely noticeable.


Unfortunately, the end product wasn't quite right. We think we didn't bake it long enough. The outer shell was spot-on, but the interior was a little too goopy and stuck to the parchment paper. The chickpea pavlova was a little flatter than its egg-made cousins, but in a pinch, or if a vegan were coming over for dessert, both of us agreed that this would actually work as a substitute. Amazing!

Anyway, we had three eggs-cellent pavlovas to work with. We just had to layer 7-minute marshmallow frosting on a pavlova, give it some time under the blow torch, and then sprinkle it with graham crackers.

Mmm... blowtorched marshamallow...

Then we did it again...

And a third time. (My husband, TJ, was very happy to take a couple turns with the blowtorch.)

The finished product was really lovely looking.

We were a little nervous about cutting it, but it worked out just fine.

It was quite delicious, although we both felt a bit over-sugared afterwards. This would be a perfect dessert to bring to a summer party -- easy to make, impressive to look at, and really, really, really good to eat.

What we did not make this month:

For the June daring bakers challenge Rebecca from challenged us to make Charlotte Royale and Charlotte Russe from scratch. Savory or sweet Charlottes were definitely tasty showstopper

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