Need a simple, but amazing dessert? These meringue baubles are sure to delight. The cookies themselves are crisp and light, like classic meringues and paired with the fudgy chocolate center (with sweet potato as a secret ingredient), it's perfect. Try these on their own or serve them as a topping for dairy-free ice cream for a decadent sundae.

Chocolate Meringue Baubles [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Serves

9

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Ingredients

For the Meringues:

  • 1 15-ounce can’s worth of chilled aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
  • 1 cup castor sugar or finely blended sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tartar powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:

  • 2 cups diced steamed sweet potatoes, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons almond or nut butter (optional, see notes)
  • 3 tablespoons liquid sweetener of choice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder
  • Nuts and cocoa powder, for sprinkling
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Preparation

  1. In a large (preferably slightly chilled) metal bowl with an electric hand mixer or a standing mixer with a balloon whisk, whisk the aquafaba for approximately 5-6 minutes until it forms a thickish white foam, almost triple the original size. It may still gloop slightly off the beaters, that’s fine.
  2. Add the cream of tartar and beat until it starts to form nice peaks — if you run your switched-off whisker through the “batter,” the batter should hold relatively well but will still drip in blobs off the whisk.
  3. Start preheating the oven to 195°F and line baking trays with unsprayed baking paper (not wax).Add the castor sugar 1/4 cup at a time and beat until it is thick and forms stiff peaks – you should be able to shake your beater slightly and not have anything come off and if you run your handheld whisker through it should retain the shape of the movement without the mixture oozing back into the folds; the mixture will also feel thick if you use handheld.
  4. Make sure that if you’re beating by hand you move the whisker around so that everything is incorporated.Add in the vanilla and beat back into super stiff peaks.
  5. For the baubles take a clean, dry spoon and create heaped blobs on your baking paper, about 2-3 heaped tablespoon-sized measures per bauble. You can make them as big or small as you like. If you want you can also pipe “nests” for the bottom and peaked tops instead of the chunky-looking baubles.
  6. Crush some nuts or seeds and sprinkle them over your tops and splash some cocoa on top.
  7. Bake for 1/2 an hour on 195°F, then increase to 210°F and bake for another hour, then leave it in the oven for 1 1/2 hours until firm and crisp or overnight if possible. Leave the oven door closed.
  8. Keep in mind that the temperature/climate you’re baking in could affect your meringues, so if it’s super hot and muggy keep them overnight in the oven since fluctuating room temperatures may make them soft or change the texture.
  9. Store your meringues in a container in a cool place (not the refrigerator) until you are ready to plate and serve.
  10. When ready to serve, blend your filling ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  11. Spread in between your baubles and serve. Store any leftover meringues and filling separately.

Notes

Meringues react to fat, which is why you assemble right before eating. If you assemble and put the filled baubles in the refrigerator, they will start to “melt” and form an incredibly soft texture and begin to disintegrate. This sounds (and looks) a bit weird and off-putting but it is actually amazingly delicious for the brave of heart.

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