If you have an egg allergy, or are vegan–you can still have a spook-tacular holiday treat. Thanks to a new culinary gem, aquafaba, you can make the classic meringue without egg whites. Simply add eye balls after baking and transform your meringues into frightful ghosts.
Is anyone else addicted to food TV? Back when I had cable, I would just watch Food Network non-stop. I think I’ve seen about every Paula Deen episode there ever was, ya’ll. Even if I didn’t love the food type, or personality, I still wanted to learn and soak everything in.
Now that we don’t have cable (trying to curb our screen watching and save money) I’ve turned to my next vice–Netflix. Every cooking show they add, I watch. Guy’s Grocery Games: check. Worst Cooks in America: check.
My latest enjoyment has been The Great British Baking Show. They often make various types of meringues on there. Before the show, I thought (and had heard) that these were incredibly difficult. That, and the fact that I didn’t grow up eating them, made me leery of meringues. Once I saw bakers make them over and over I realized I could totally do it! Thanks TV!
The only problem is that my son has an egg allergy, and since egg whites are the most essential ingredient in the entire meringue, that could make it difficult.
But, as you’ve seen in some of my recipes (pancakes and waffles) there is this fabulous culinary find: aquafaba. If you haven’t used it, get ready for your life to change! Simply open a can of chick peas (also known as garbanzo beans) and use the liquid inside. That is aquafaba. It has the same wonderful properties as egg whites. It can beat to a wonderfully stiff foam and keep it’s shape, just like eggs!
I tried making classic meringues and I have to say they did wonderfully with this substitute.
I had fun piping them, and my kids had fun eating them–especially once the eye balls were on. I loved that there were hardly any ingredients–nothing fancy or expensive, as allergy-friendly baking can often be.
This was a super fun Halloween treat, one that would be a hit (and inclusive!) at any Halloween party to include those with food allergies or other dietary restrictions.
———->>>>>Lastly, but very importantly, I am SUPER EXCITED to be a part of my friend, Allie from Cupake Diaries, 30 Days of Halloween series. She’s done it for several years and I’ve garnered many an idea from her curated posts. For the entire month of September she posts a different Halloween recipe every single day. Go to her site: www.cupcakediariesblog.com or simply click on the photo below. Her Halloween recipe collections are super cute! These ghosts are today’s (September 17) and you can see mini pictures below of the other days’ posts. Be sure to check out her site for bigger pictures, and more details. There’s tons of fun ideas that could easily be adapted for food allergies.
- Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Measure and pour the aquafaba into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on. Start mixing it slowly. Once it starts to become frothy, add the cream of tartar and cornstarch. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. When the frothiness starts to turn white, add the vanilla. (You can use color-free vanilla if you want a brighter white, but I didn't want to bother buying it.)
- With the stand mixer still mixing, add the sugar one Tablespoon at a time, to make sure it incorporates fully and isn't granular.
- Once all of the sugar has been added, continue mixing until the mixture has reached the stiff peaks phase (you could hold the bowl upside down over your head and it wouldn't spill out, as well as when you stop mixing and lift the whisk out, the peaks stand up firm and hold their shape). It will also look nice and glossy and take up most of the bowl in volume. It can take up to ten minutes, so be patient!
- Gently place the mixture in either a piping bag, or even a ziplock bag. You can use a #12 round tip, but I just cut the corner of my ziplock bag.
- Holding the bag upright, like you would if you were frosting something, squeeze from the top and make swirls, depending on how big you want your ghosts. Give your ghosts room to grow and don't put them too close. I find it took several pans to use all of the mixture.
- Bake for one hour. After the timer has finished, turn the oven off and allow them to cool in the oven. They should be firm to the touch.
- You can use candy eye balls (unfortunately, I've never found any that don't have soy, so if you need them to be top 8 free, you can either use black piping gel, chocolate chips or black frosting for eyes instead.) I got the eye balls to stay by using a bit of the leftover meringue mixture on the backs of the eyes to help them stay in place.
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To see more of my allergy-friendly Halloween posts, check out these favorites: