Winter, for me, is all about the sweets, the festive spices and the childish glee. The little things that make us go back to our childhood and remember a time a little less carefree and a lot more sugar fuelled. Candy canes, do that for me.
Those little red and white sugar canes carefully placed on the Christmas tree or dotted around on wrapping paper, cards, decorations and pretty much every shop window display you can find.
So I couldn’t not create a Christmas recipe using Candy Canes – and wanting to jazz things up a little, I created a sassy little ginger spiced meringue, dipped in dark chocolate and lovingly coated in broken candy cane dust – the result? A deliciously warming spiced, crunchy meringe with rich deep chocolate and a sweet peppermint aftertaste to really bring all those wonderful flavours together.
The meringue recipe can either be used as a normal egg based one, or vegan, like mine, using chickpea brine. (Mostly because I had chickpea water that needed using, and I’m all about that zero waste life.) You can pick up Vegan Candy Canes in most of your local supermarkets and health food stores, just check the ingredients before purchasing, and make sure to stock up on your favourite vegan dark chocolate brand too (I always buy extra, because I end up eating more squares than I bake with!)
GINGER CANDY CANE MERINGUES [VEGAN]
Makes: 32 Mini Meringues
Time to Make: 2 Hours
400g Can of Chickpeas
100g Caster Sugar
1tsp Lemon Juice/ Vinegar or 1/4 tsp of Cream of Tartar.
4 tsp Ginger Ale
100g of your favourite Dark Chocolate
4 Candy Canes
Heat your oven to 110c and line your baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Drain your can of chickpeas into a bowl to preserve the liquid and keep your chickpeas for another recipe, such as my Chickpea Cookie Dough Bites.
Add your acid into the bowl.
In your stand mixer, or using a hand whisk, whisk your liquids until at a soft peak.
Once at a soft peak, add in your sugar one spoon at a time, whisking each time to ensure fully combined. This will create a thick and glossy mixture.
Once all your sugar is added, keep whisking until your mixture is at a hard peak. This is when you lift your whisk out and the mixture peak stays – or when you tip the bowl the mixture also stays put.
Add your ginger ale and whisk for a few more minutes until fully combined.
Spoon your mixture into a piping bag and pipe small blobs of meringue lifting your piping bag at the end to create the ‘kiss/tail’. – Alternatively, spoon onto your tray.
Bake for 1hour until crisp. Turn the oven off and leave your meringues in the oven for a further 30 minutes.
Once dry, melt your chocolate in a microwave bowl in 30 second blasts or over a Bain Marie then leave to the side to cool for a few minutes.
Bash your candy canes into a powder by placing in a blender for a few second blasts or place in a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin.
Dip your meringues into your melted chocolate and let drip over the bowl for a few seconds until most of the excess is off, then sprinkle your candy cane powder over the melted chocolate before leaving on a cooling rack to dry.
Once all completed and dry (they take around 10-15 minutes to dry completely) – share and enjoy!