….Based on this photo, I apparently can’t 🙁 I thought about not posting this one at all because they didn’t turn out quite the way I had envisioned them, but in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve decided I should post the not-as-successful attempts as well.
About a week ago, I received my first submitted-through-the-website challenge from my cousin Suze (thanks Suze!). The challenge? Make vegan meringue nests. I was super-excited about trying to make them because meringue basically consists of egg whites and sugar, so I was definitely going to have to get creative and/or do a little research to get this one going. I did a fair bit of googling on the science of meringues and tried to see if others out there had ever successfully accomplished this feat. A genius is born every day, so of course there were people who’d tried this before! One website in particular seemed the most likely to offer success. It includes not only the recipe, but also information on the trial and error stage of things as well as the science behind the ingredients. It definitely lent an air of credibility which I found rather reassuring (check it out here). I figured this would be an excellent jumping off point and I could make slight alterations from there.
To be honest, they actually taste pretty amazing, and any issues with these are definitely my own mistakes (I clearly will need to do my own trial and error stage 🙂 ). The challenge however, was to create vegan meringue nests. Meringue nests should look like airy, fluffy white clouds gently cupping various delicious fillings of your own choosing (so many possibilities!), so aesthetically pleasing that they’re right at home at the highest of high teas. Mine on the other hand ended up looking slightly flatter and a tad toastier, so alas, not quite the way that I had intended. Like the embarrassment of the meringue nest family that they are, these babies are not so much ready to be consumed at high tea as they are ready to be guiltily shovelled into your mouth in shady back alleys or dimly lit basements…unless I rebrand them “truckstop meringues”?. Although I did put peanut butter ball “eggs” in the chocolate variety, so that’s fairly nest-like right? 😉
I’ll definitely be attempting these again though, so if I’m successful in the future, I’ll definitely post an update!
I’m not going to post a full recipe this time around, but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least include a brief description of the two varieties. For the “flower” meringue, I added a bit of rose extract to the cookie itself (which is definitely something I would do again. You wouldn’t want to overdo it – I only put in about a 1/4 teaspoon which was the perfect amount to add a really subtle floral flavour to the cookies), then I covered it in my homemade vegan caramel sauce and topped it all off with strawberry and raspberry flower petals.
The “bird nest” meringue is covered in chocolate ganache and the eggs are mini peanut butter balls covered in sprinkles for the egg spots.
Even though this wasn’t a complete success, I still have to say that they at least look darn cute! 🙂