Our regular marshmallow Easter eggs contain two non-vegan ingredients in the actual marshmallow: gelatine and egg white. They’re also not suitable for vegetarians, Hindus or Muslims (due to the gelatine) or pregnant people (because the egg white is raw).
For the vegan ones, the gelatine has been replaced with agar agar (which gets boiled in with the sugar as it doesn’t work unless you boil it for a bit) and the egg white with aquafaba (chickpea cooking water). Various proportions needed changing to get a good texture, although the clincher was changing the cooking method. Instead of beating the sugar/agar agar mix then folding in beaten aquafaba, the sugar mix is drizzled onto beaten aquafaba with continuous beating. I’m not sure why that makes such a difference, but it led to a vastly fluffier product :-) The idea for that came from here.
The butter in the ‘yolks’ is replaced with 1:1:3 water:olive oil:coconut oil - a mix which has a similar texture. The milk chocolate coating is replaced with certifed slave-free vegan dark chocolate.
Spread 2-3kg flour out in trays 2-3cm deep. Make 60 half-egg-shaped depressions in the flour, using either an actual egg or a spoon the size you’d like your eggs to be. This is your mould.
Make one batch of vegan marshmallow (see below) and spoon into the flour depressions using two dessert spoons. Leave at least 4 hours to fully set. If your household includes a cat that likes to jump on things, it’s best to cover the trays with baking trays at this point!
Dip flat surface of marshmallows into the flour then brush excess flour off all surfaces with a dry pastry brush.
melt 1 T fractionated coconut oil (i.e. coconut oil that’s been distilled to remove the taste - we use Blue Coconut as it’s widely available in supermarkets in NZ)
mix in (should form a thick paste):
- 1 tsp each water and olive oil
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence (child labour is a big issue in the natural vanilla industry. We use Fairtrade vanilla extract from Taylor and Colledge - stocked by some PakNSave and New Worlds - but imitation essence is also fine)
- 1 drop yellow food colouring
- 1/2 cup icing sugar (we use Countdown brand as its supply chain is independently audited to check for child labour, slavery and safe working conditions)
Melt vegan chocolate. Your best slave-free option is Trade Aid dark chocolate or anything with Fairtrade certification (such as Bennettos) as these use slave-free sugar as well as cocoa. If that doesn’t work for you then look for vegan Rainforest Alliance certified chocolate, where at least the cocoa is slave free - Whittakers Dark Ghana is one widely-available option. You’ll need about 400g all up.
Spread half-eggs flat-side down on a board and coat the curved side with chocolate using a knife.
When the chocolate is set, spread out the halves flat-side up (I find egg trays particularly good for this as they support the curved side nicely). Pinch off small pieces of the ‘yolk’ paste (approx 1/8 - 1/4 tsp), shape into flat ovals and place one on each egg half. Spread melted chocolate with a knife onto the remaining halves one by one and press onto half on the egg tray. Place a small weight onto the tray when finished (e.g. an empty baking tray) until they’re set.
Gives approx 24-25 eggs. They will keep 1 week at room temperature, 1 month in the fridge, indefinitely in the freezer.
NOTE: Vegan marshmallow slowly absorbs water from the air. It’s important to chocolate-coat the half-eggs within a day or two - if you leave them longer the extra water will make them fragile and handling them will destroy their structure.
- 1 tsp xanthan gum (buy from health food shops - the aquafaba foam won’t be sufficiently stable without it)
- 1/2 cup aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas.)
- 2 tsp vanilla essence (child labour is a big issue in the ‘real’ vanilla industry. Use ‘imitation vanilla essence’ or Taylor and Colledge Fairtrade vanilla extract - stocked by some PakNSave and New Worlds)
- 2 cups white sugar (we use Countdown brand as its supply chain is independently audited to check for child labour, slavery and safe working conditions. Trade Aid sugar would also be fine.)
- 1/2 cup golden syrup (I haven’t found a commercial brand in NZ that audits for slavery in their supply chain, but Chelsea at least only uses suppliers that have promised not to use slave labour. If you have the time, it’s also possible to make your own using Countdown or Trade Aid sugar)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 1/2 tsp agar agar powder (buy from Asian grocers - it usually comes in little sachets)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Sprinkle xanthan gum over aquafaba, add vanilla and beat on high until it holds stiff peaks (will take longer than with egg white).
- In a 3L saucepan heat sugar, golden syrup, water, agar agar and salt with constant stirring until it boils. Continue stirring until a candy thermometer registers 115 deg C, about 12 minutes (if you don’t have a candy thermometer, look for the soft ball stage).
- Add sugar syrup to aquafaba mix very slowly with beating. It should stay fluffy. Continue beating approx 5 minutes until mostly cool.
Tray of flour with egg-shaped depressions, ready to use as a mould:
Rather than an actual egg, I use this egg-shape with a handle to make my flour moulds. It’s made of Das modelling clay, formed in an Easter egg mould. It’s a lot easier to handle than an actual egg! A spoon is another option.
Moulds filled with marshmallow:
Ready to dust the flour off the half-eggs
Dusted half-eggs ready for chocolate coating
Half-eggs in egg tray with blobs of yolk paste
Painting the matching halves with melted chocolate
Assembled eggs - ready to have a weight put over the top whilst they set
Yummy vegan marshmallow eggs :-)