Have you tried vegan marshmallows? I haven’t even laid eyes on them yet. Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods, vegan marshmallows just aren’t “a thing” yet.
When I was a kid, sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows was one of my favourite things about Thanksgiving. That and turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry jelly, and dinner rolls with butter. I’d veganized the turkey (sorry, I mean Tofurky has), the gravy, the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, switched to cranberry sauce, and fallen in love with vegan butter. But the fluffy, toasty marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole was still on my list. I’ve been waiting patiently for vegan marshmallows to make it to the Canadian mainstream, but they are still. not. here.
Well I couldn’t wait around any longer. Something had to be done. After developing a Vegan Meringue Pie and a Raspberry Eton Mess for Nature’s Path using aquafaba this summer, I knew what my next course of action would be. You see, aquafaba, better known as the less sophisticated sounding “bean juice” (as in, the liquid from a can of chickpeas) happens to make really great meringue which is very very close to marshmallow cream. Marshmallow cream almost equals marshmallows. Let’s roll with this.
We’re topping a lightly-sweetened, slightly buttery, perfectly spiced mashed sweet potato base with a sweet, airy, and TOASTY aquafaba marshmallow cream. Yep, we’ve damn near done it. And we didn’t even need vegan marshmallows. Happy Holidays!
PS: It’s Vegan MoFo Day 16! (that’s Vegan Month of Food for anyone who thinks I’m crass for throwing around the “mofo” word damn near everyday for last 2 weeks.) The challenge is to talk about vegan food, as much as possible, for the entire month of November. I’m shooting for 5 days a week. For the rest of the month, the posting schedule will (hopefully!) be Sunday-Thursday. JSYK: I’m not really following the 2016 Vegan Mofo Themes and Prompts, but I am using them as inspiration when needed!
Here are the posts so far:
Day 1: Easy Vegan Tofu & Black Bean Enchiladas Day 2: How to Make the Best Vegan Grilled Cheese Day 3: Review: Vegan Pantry Haul from iHerb Day 4: Vegetable Pot Pie with Vegan Biscuits Day 6: Vegan Caffé Mocha Day 7: Tempeh Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato Sandwich Day 8: Chickpea & Lentil Coconut Curry Day 9: Vegan Jackfruit + Mushroom Gyros with Tzatziki Day 10: Vegan Molasses Cookies Day 13: Vegan Holiday Burger Day 14: Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Walnut Sauce Day 15: Vegan Holiday Shepherd’s Pie Day 16: Aquafaba Marshmallow Topped Sweet Potato Casserole
- 800g sweet potatoes (approx. 2 medium-large)
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch pumpkin pie spice (optional)
- pinch salt
- 1/2 the liquid from a (540 ml/19 fl oz) can of low sodium or no salt added chickpeas
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar or berry sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1 1/2″ chunks. Transfer to a large saucepan and cover with water (add about 1″ of extra water.) Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are fork tender. While potatoes are boiling, begin whipping aquafaba marshmallow topping (below.)
- Drain potatoes and mash with butter, brown sugar, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ground ginger, pumpkin pie spice (optional), and a pinch of salt. Mix well and taste. Adjust salt to suit your preference.
- Layer the sweet potatoes into the bottom of a 5″ x 7″ casserole dish. Top with aquafaba mixture (directions below), and bake for 15-20 minutes. Finish under the broiler if the topping isn’t toasty enough.
- A stand mixer with a wire whisk attachment works best for making this aquafaba topping. A hand mixer is a good substitute but it will take longer to reach soft and firm peaks.
- Combine the chickpea liquid and cream of tartar. Beat on high until soft peaks form. Depending on the quality of your chickpea liquid this can take just a few minutes up to 10 minutes.
- Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Rub a small amount of the meringue between your fingers, if the mixture feels gritty continue beating until the sugar dissolves.
- Tip: You can’t overbeat aquafaba the same way you can overbeat egg whites. If in doubt, beat the aquafaba a little longer.