It took me 8 hours, but I created a 100% vegan petit fours tray with amaretti, macarons with lemon curd, and choux pastry with orange crème patissiere and chocolate ganache.
The theme I chose was “tea with my grandmas” – for my Italian grandma, I have the amaretti and the choux pastry bigne that she used to make. For my British grandma, I have the lemon curd macarons and the classic chocolate orange flavor combination for the choux.
Here are the amaretti to start it off. The other recipes are coming soon!
This was the showstopper challenge from the great British bake-off, season 1, episode 2. Phew!
I don’t know how they did it in 4 hours, but then again I was inventing vegan versions of the recipes as I went, with 3 kids, a dog and a puppy running around. Needless to say, the tray got polished off pretty quickly!
Great British Bakeoff Vegan: Season 1, Episode 2, Showstopper
- 2 cups almond flour
- ⅔ cup white sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chick peas)
- ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ cup icing sugar to coat the cookies
First, pour the aquafaba into a small pan. Over medium heat, let it boil for a few minutes until it has reduced from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup. Removing some of the water this way will help it whip up nicely. Pour the aquafaba into a bowl, mix in the apple cider vinegar, cover, and put it in the fridge to chill. At the same time, put your beaters or whisk attachment in the fridge to chill too. It will whip better if everything is cold.
In a medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, sugar, and baking powder.
When the aquafaba and equipment have chilled, whip at a medium speed until stiff peaks form, where you can just about tip the bowl over your head and it won’t fall out.
Take 2 Tbsp of this whipped delight and fold it into the dry ingredients along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Once that is all incorporated, gently fold in the rest of the whipped aquafaba, minimizing how much you mix it so it stays light and airy. It should form a nice soft dough.
Form the amaretti dough into 15 even balls (about 28 g each) and roll each one around in a bowl of icing sugar to coat it evenly. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, a few inches apart so they can spread out.
Bake at 350F for 17-18 mins until they are nicely cracked on top and just golden on the bottom. Cool for 5 mins on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. They will be chewy and delicious. Enjoy with a good cup of tea or espresso.