Talk about a throwback to childhood! Almost everyone I know made Peppermint Creams when they were at school. I guess that’s because they require very little effort and absolutely no cooking at all. Perfect for a 45 minute lesson. I guess that it’s also something that parents don’t mind having in the house either as they’re devilishly moreish…
As you can see from the recipe below they are made from three simple ingredients (four, if you add food colouring). As they’re sweets they are primarily made of sugar with some added flavouring. Oh and something to bring things together as a soft, melt-in-the-mouth treat. When I was younger we used to make them with lightly whipped egg whites – which I admit may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve also seen a lot of recipes that use condensed milk instead, but that seemed to be a way of adding fat rather than being entirely necessary.
Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m continuing to make a conscious effort to try out non-animal ingredients where I can. Where egg whites are concerned there is one very good alternative: Aquafaba. If you’re not aware of it then worry not, you are not alone! Aquafaba is the posh name for something you’d normally pour straight down the drain – the liquid you get leftover from a tin of chickpeas. It may look like thick murky water (and I guess it is) but it’s also protein rich. That means it can be whipped up like egg whites and used in much the same way. I’ve made chocolate mousse with it before but you can also make meringue if you’re feeling bold…
Here it gets beaten until it’s light and frothy, before being kneaded together with the sugar and flavouring. I have to say that I was surprised by how good the texture of these is. They’re smooth and melt away as you eat them, without feeling heavy or greasy in any way. Indeed, an excessively oily texture was one of my concerns about using condensed milk. This is absolutely a recipe where “going vegan” doesn’t feel like a compromise.
If anything it’s actually an improvement!
Vegan Peppermint Creams
- 4 tbsp Aquafaba
- 400 g Icing Sugar
- ½ tsp Peppermint Extract
- Green Food Colouring optional
- Line a baking sheet (or two) with greaseproof paper.
- Whisk the aquafaba in a large bowl, until frothy but not stiff. Sift in the icing sugar then stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together as a stiff paste.
- Add the peppermint extract and a few drops of food colouring (if using) and knead through the mixture.
- Dust your hands with icing sugar, then form small, bite-sized balls of the mixture and lay out on the baking sheet. Press down with the back of a fork (or your fingertips) to flatten them into discs.
- Leave to dry in a cool place overnight, then store in an airtight container for up to a fortnight.