Thursday, 16 July 2015


400 g can chickpeas
165 g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour

Heat the oven to 110°c.

I researched vegan meringues on the internet, as people had failures due to the ratio of drained chickpea water (aqua faba) and sugar which should be exactly 1:1.33, so to make perfect meringues I use 123 g aqua faba to 165 g sugar

Put the aqua faba into a bowl and whisk until it starts to form soft peaks, scraping the mixture from the the sides of the bowl, to ensure all the mixture gets whisked.

Gradually add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking well to avoid any graininess in the mixture, until the mixture is glossy and stands in peaks, then whisk in the cornflour.  The recognised way to tell if meringue mixture is ready, is to hold the bowl over your head, although you can just hold the bowl upside down.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper and draw rings as big as you want the meringues to be with a pencil.

Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe within the pencil lines on the parchment paper, to help give an even shape, although my piping skills are pretty weak, so mine are a little scruffy.   I also piped a few small rosettes to use for decorating dishes.

Bake for 2 hours then turn off the oven and resist all temptation to open the oven door and allow to cool for a good 4 hours.

Remove from the oven, peel off the parchment paper and store in an airtight container or freeze for up to a month.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Whaletail Cafe Penny Street Lancaster 1st July 2015

I have been to Whaletail Cafe many years ago, but on a recent trip to Morecambe, due to Network Rail problems, found myself at Lancaster train station with time on my hands and a hungry tummy. Whaletail is 5 minutes from the station and remembering how good it was last time, it was a no brainer rather than standing at the station, with nothing vegan to eat at Costa Coffee bar a packet of dried mango!!

Whaletail Cafe is on the second floor and in the same building as Single Step Wholefoods another must visit place for vegans, as it is packed with everything you need.   Whaletail has a lovely cosy feel and I love the artwork over the counter made up of kitchen utensils in the shape of a whale and they have a big specials board as you walk in and a varied menu including vegan options.

I only wanted a light lunch as I was dining later that day, so I chose the salad bowl which is always vegan and consisted of chickpeas in a curry mayo, carrot and raisin salad, wild rice, lettuce leaves, tomato, pasta salad and lentils with mint.   They also have a fabulous cake display many being vegan and offered vegan crumble with either vegan ice-cream or custard.

I have decided to make a second trip to Lancaster, in the not too distant future, to sample their vegan breakfast straight off the train, do a bit of shopping and then back for tea and cakes!   They even have outdoor space which is great on a sunny day.   Highly recommended.