This may be the perfect dessert centrepiece for Christmas day especially if you're catering for a few different dietary requirements - no one will be able to tell the difference between this and the real thing! Thanks go to Gemma from sustenance.co for this recipe!
1 can organic chickpeas (chilled overnight)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup golden caster sugar
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp vanilla
50g dark chocolate
1 can coconut milk (chilled overnight)
50g dark chocolate
1 punnet strawberries
Toasted coconut flakes
Preheat oven to 150°c. Line a tray with baking paper. Draw a large circle on the paper as a guide for your meringue. Melt 50g chocolate in a bowl over hot water.
Drain cold can of chickpeas into a large bowl, capturing the liquid, the aquafaba. Put chickpeas aside for another use. Add vinegar to aquafaba and whisk with a hand mixer for around 2 minutes until soft peaks form.
Mix the salt and arrowroot powder with the sugar. Spoon the mix 1 tbsp at a time into the meringue and keep beating. Once the sugar been added you should have stiff, glossy peaks. Fold through the vanilla.
Spoon half the meringue onto the baking sheet into a circle. Continue spooning the rest around the edge of the circle. Drizzle with the melted chocolate.
Put the meringue into the oven. Drop the oven temperature to 120°c and bake for 2 hours. The meringue should be dry and sound hollow when tapped. Once done, turn the oven off and leave meringue inside to cool completely overnight.
To make the topping, take the cold can of coconut milk and spoon the top layer into a blender. Blend for 30 secs at a low speed to aerate. Melt chocolate and add to blender. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate and chill to mousse texture.
Once chilled, spread the mousse over the meringue and top with a pile of pitted cherries, halved strawberries and toasted coconut.
Aquafaba acts exactly like egg whites. If you have any good normal meringue techniques they will apply here. Meringue can be tricky in different temperatures & humidity so if all else fails, break the meringue up and mix with the toppings to create black forest Eton mess.