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 Post subject: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:54 pm 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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So, thanks to Miyoko Schinner, last night i ate meringues for the first time in 16 years :) i'm a bit excited.

I've been a little obsessed for a while now with the flax meringue on Miyokos site here - http://www.artisanveganlife.com/intensely-baking/
It makes a lovely, voluminous foam. As written, it does not hold up to heat, and is more a replacement for egg white foam to use in cold applications such as folded into mousse, or in tiramisu (as in 'artisan vegan cheese'). But yesterday i made crunchy little meringues in the oven, and it was easy!

It seems that with the right process and a pinch or two of cream of tartar the flax foam can hold up to having enough sugar added; which it turn stabilizes the meringue enough to subject it to some heat to get crispy, crunchy meringues.

Interestingly, it seems to be pretty much just like making egg white meringues. Only three ingredients! Four, if you count the water to make flax goo.

I used:
100g flax goo ( see Miyokos recipe above)
100g sugar ( 60 g white sugar, 40 g pure icing sugar. I'm sure it would have worked with all white, i will try that next time)
Couple of pinches of cream of tartar.

What i did:
Whipped the flax goo until it got nice and frothy, added a pinch of cream of tartar, whipped a bit more until it got peaky (soft peak stage, i'd say) and had greatly increased in volume, and started adding sugar pretty slowly, about a tablespoon at a time.
With the addition of some sugar it got to a firm, or maybe stiff peak stage, and was climbing the beaters. But with the addition of more sugar it becomes 'slacker' and glossy .
When the sugar was thoroughly incorporated, and dissolved i stopped whipping and spooned little blobs onto a couple of parchment lined baking sheets. Popped em in the oven at 90C for a while, then swapped position of the baking sheets, increased the heat to 100C.
Left them at 100C for quite a while, more than 2 hrs, maybe 3. Unfortunately i lost track of time. Then i left them in there as the oven cooled ( a few hours).

I think i actually cooked them for longer than necessary, they only hardened up completely as they cooled in the oven. I will try a bit hotter oven next time. But, i think they actually came out pretty perfectly.

Anyways, i will shortly write back with some tips for success when working with flax goo (technically 'mucilage' - doesn't that sound delicious? It's actually well suited to the brown snot-like goo that undergoes some weird alchemical transformation to become a beautiful white mass of foam.) And i will see if i can refine the process of making crunchy meringues into a proper recipe, in case anyone is interested to try it.

And i'm going to see if i can make pavlova!

Also i'm wondering if anyone else out there has been experimenting with what can be done with Miyokos meringue?


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:15 pm 
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where are the pix at?!


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:19 pm 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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I'm working on that!


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:36 am 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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A couple of rather bad photos from ipad -


Image

Most of them we had eaten by then, with whipped coconut cream (with flax meringue folded into it - the soft kind! ) and some fresh mango pureed with lime juice. Yum.

Image

Unfortunately they would not have held a shape, like if you piped them. But i hate piping shiitake anyway. Probably with some modification of recipe/technique it could work. So, they're not that spectacular looking. But they really are meringues!

This is a pic during mixing, after some sugar had been added. This would hold a shape, but i'm pretty sure theres not enough sugar there for it to hold up under any heat.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:23 am 
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Chip Strong
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WOAH. That is super impressive. I wonder if using all icing sugar would help it hold its shape? Probably not. Anyway, I totally want to try this!


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:10 pm 
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Wow, you're a genius!

I've been thinking about veganizing these guys:
Image

They're a chocolate covered Dutch/Belgian confection with a cookie bottom and a filling of airy soft but stiff sweet egg white mixture inside. Maybe the stiff peaked uncooked meringue would work well here?

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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:32 pm 
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Wow! I used to love my grandma's pavlova and have always wanted to find a way to veganize it. This could be the start of something beautiful.
I wonder if adding a pinch of xanthan gum would help to stabilize the mixture? I know that works with coconut whipped cream and I've seen it recommended in homemade ice-cream to create a more mallow-y texture. I have some now so when I give this recipe a try (because I most definitely will!) maybe I'll try some with and some without the xanthan gum.

Cornelie - we have something like that here in Scotland too. It's called a Tunnocks tea cake. I haven't eaten one for probably around twenty years but I would love a vegan version! Great idea!

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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:31 pm 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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Eatsbabies - It could certainly help to add more sugar. I don't think it matters if it's regular sugar, or powdered sugar though, as the regular sugar dissolves anyway. Thing is, the foam becomes slacker when enough sugar is added, and i'm concerned that even more sugar might deflate the foam too much. But maybe it wouldn't, perhaps it would reach a point where it regained some firmness, i don't know. At some point, i may just try keeping on adding sugar as i whip it, to see what happens, and to see what it can take before it completely collapses.

Cornelle - i certainly think you could make something like that, but i'd reckon you'd be best to just very lightly cook the meringue. Uncooked it would be too soft to dip in chocolate. When it is cooked fairly briefly it 'sets' and becomes sort of squidgy and bouncy, like the soft meringue that goes on pies, i think - kind of mashmallowy, but lighter and airier.
Once it sets like that it seems to holds up to more heat. I tried toasting one of the set but not crispy ones over a flame briefly and it held up well. And was yummy. But more experimentation is required. I certainly plan to try out ways of using it as a soft meringue.
And those confections do sound very good!

ComradeSquirrel - yeah vegan pavlova would be awesome! It was a favourite of mine. I certainly think it'll be doable with some more experimentation. Looking at recipes, it usually has a little cornstarch added to the meringue

Xanthan gum would certainly be worth a go, i have no idea if it would help it hold a shape but we won't know till we try. I use it in all my icecreams!
Interestingly, the meringue is quite stable in the sense that it doesn't really spread at all in the oven. It just settles itself into being a rounded mound.



And thanks folks for your ideas, they do help!


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:20 pm 
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OMG!!! Totally going to make these this week!!! I've been wanting to do something with that meringue...thanks for the recipe!!

Daphne


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:47 pm 
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Huffs Nutritional Yeast
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No problem Daphne! But i should caution anyone interested to try it, it's not yet a very exact sort of recipe, more of a starting point, perhaps, and i don't know how reliable it is. Disclaimers aside, i do think there's an excellent chance of success. It doesn't seem very fussy, to me. I made another batch, a bit differently, and they seem to have worked fine (a bit more about that later). And the fact that my first attempt was a success does seem to suggest that it's not that finicky.

And it would be awesome if anyone besides myself played around with this. Unfortunately there are limits to how much time i can spend experimenting with meringue. I do think that it'll be great to have the recipe at our disposal!


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:01 am 
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Here are a few tips i have. These apply whether the foam is used cold or not.

Extracting the flax goo (mmm, delicious mucilage...)

- the main thing is to cook down the flax and water at a simmer until it reaches the right consistency. The time given in Miyokos recipe is best used as a guide. You want it to cook to a viscous snotty sort of substance that you'll strain by working it through a sieve with a spatula or something.

- you can make double (probably triple) the amount of goo by just doubling the flax and water. Takes a little longer to cook down.

- the goo freezes great, in fact it whips up better! See below...

- i keep the seeds, grind them up a bit and freeze them in small amounts which i add to bread and stuff. Because i am a cheap mustard.

Whipping!

I highly recommend doing these 2 things:

- wipe your non-plastic mixing bowl with vinegar, then rinse and dry. Do the same with your beaters on your mixer and spatula / scraper thingy. I only have a hand-mixer, and that works great. Getting rid of residual traces of oil seems to greatly effect the quality of the foam, just like with egg-whites

- for the best quality, and fastest foaming foam, pre-freeze your flax goo. Let it defrost at room temperature. It will weep some liquid. Drain this liquid off, and whip the goo as soon as it is defrosted enough to be whippable, preferably still a bit frozen. It will whip up really fast, and produce a stiffer more voluminous foam.


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:46 pm 
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Beautiful meringues, and thanks for all the tips!

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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:38 pm 
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I just saw Miyoko's recipe for meringue and was really interesting in how it works out. I must admit, i was never a huge fan of meringue. However this seems like a cool thing so i plan on trying it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:07 pm 
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Do you have to grind the flax before cooking it, or do you put it on the pot whole? I ready Myioko's post and wasn't sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Woot! Yeah, I used to love making pavlovas, too!

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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:19 pm 
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I posted about this on my FB! I hope people keep experimenting.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... =1&theater

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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Oh mi Gee! I need to try this. I reckon I might be able to veganise Caffery's snowballs using this. Yummmmm. Thanks for posting.

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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:15 pm 
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do they taste like flax? i would imagine that the flax taste could be overwhelming!


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:16 pm 
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ilikecatsandstuff wrote:
do they taste like flax? i would imagine that the flax taste could be overwhelming!


This was my question as well. What's the flavor like?

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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:38 pm 
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braisenwoman wrote:
ilikecatsandstuff wrote:
do they taste like flax? i would imagine that the flax taste could be overwhelming!


This was my question as well. What's the flavor like?


This! I love pavlova!


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:08 pm 
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The flax taste is barely noticeable, probably because you cook the flax seed whole, so the mucus only comes from the exterior of the seeds. After you whip and sweeten it, the goo is so diluted that you don't taste flax at all. It's a truly beautiful process.

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 Post subject: Re: Tunnock's Teacakes/ Cornelie's cookies...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:53 pm 
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If you're making Tunnock's teacakes you wouldn't need to par-cook the meringue first in order to coat it in melted chocolate as Loomi thought - they are made by creating a chocolate shell first, then filling it with meringue after it's cooled! You can buy moulds(molds) specifically designed for this, the silicon ones are best as you can just pop the finished choc out without fear of breaking it :) When the meringue is in the choc shell you seal it in with a biscuit(cookie) dipped in more chocolate and turn it rightside up and out of the mould when it's set.

Hopefully I'll have some time over the weekend to try these 'meringues' - I've only ever used flaxseeds for sprinkling or making hairgel (with the 'mucillage'!). Exciting!!


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:13 pm 
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Ah, interesting! Please do write back and let us know how it goes.



Yes, I agree with Cornelie, the taste is really mild, and not the same as eating the whole seed. There is a very faint nuttiness, which i find to be very pleasant.
As Cornelie says, you are just using the coating of the seed, extracting the hydrocolloid gum. I think very little, if any of the oils are extracted because it seems that it does not like to whip up if there is oil present. This is why i keep the seeds to use in other things. And all the insoluble fibre should be left behind.


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:21 pm 
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I've made meringues a couple more times now. Basically the same process as above, but both times with flax goo that i'd frozen and drained, as mentioned in the tips i wrote above.
First lot i used -

151 g frozen flax goo (137g after defrosted and drained)
172 g white sugar
3 pinches cream of tartar

Because i used frozen flax goo, the foam whipped up even better, and i could get a bit more sugar in without fear of it all collapsing.

I baked for 1/2 hr at 100C, then 110C for about 30 minutes, then back to 100 for a while (lost track - basically cooked them till they were somewhat hardened. Then let them cool in the oven. I think i turned it back on briefly after i checked on them at some point as i thought they needed a bit longer.)

They seemed to puff a little at 110C, so these were a little more mounded than the previous lot.
you can perhaps see that in these pics -


Image

Image

Image

I will write about the next batch shortly...


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 Post subject: Re: Crispy meringues with Miyokos marvellous flax foam!
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:51 pm 
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Flax goop currently bubbling away on the stove! Can't wait to see how they turn out!


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