It’s taken me a while to get my head to agree to doing this. Several months of being inspired by the Aquafaba (Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses) group – a positive, encouraging band of vegan bakers who try, try and try again to experiment with creating not just meringues, but all sorts of vegan products using Aquafaba (the liquid reserved from cooked legumes). I love following along, seeing what magic has happened for some one or the other, and occasionally being bumped out of my reverie to try something new!

Wagon Wheel Slice is something I made for my husband a few years back, and when a friend told me I should blog it, I did. Somehow, it caught people’s imagination, and took off! Now, you can find the recipe in varying forms all over the internet. Most recently, Delicious magazine published a superfood version which looked absolutely fantastic! When I started making vegan baked goods, I toyed with the idea of making a vegan version of this slice, but when I saw how complex the method and how strange the ingredients, I baulked.

But time has a way of changing your mind. Recently, Madame Dessert posted her recipe for vegan marshmallows, and after reading it, somehow, I decided it mightn’t be so hard after all! Here, finally, is a veganised recipe for Wagon Wheel Slice. It is also gluten-free, but is not healthier, by any means. It has just the same amount of fat and sugar as the original. The only difference is that this version contains no animal products, and is therefore ‘plant-based’, and ‘cruelty-free’. It is also a labour of love… and worth every minute!

Cruelty-free Marshmallow (Wagon Wheel) Slice {gf}
A favourite treat, completely homemade and cruelty free!

Serves 24

Ingredients
For the base:
100g (5 tablespoons) vegan butter or margarine, melted
1/3 cup caster (white) sugar
1 cup plain (all-purpose) gluten-free flour
½ cup almond meal (almond flour)
¼ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt

1/3 cup raspberry jam

For the marshmallow:
185ml (¾ cup) water
2 teaspoons agar powder
200g (1 cup) white sugar
100g (1/3 cup) corn syrup or glucose syrup*
120ml (1/2 cup) aquafaba
½ teaspoon guar gum (or xanthan)
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

200g dairy-free chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C/350F. Grease a 3cm-deep, 16cm x 26cm slice pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 2cm from edge on the two long sides.

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add sugar and mix well. Add sifted flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt and stir until dough comes together. Press mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Spread warm base with jam.

For the marshmallow, place 185ml (¾ cup) water in a large, heavy based saucepan and add agar powder. Dissolve completely and then add sugar and corn syrup. Whisk gently over low heat until sugar is dissolved, then raise heat. Bring to a rapid boil and cook for about 6 minutes over high heat until the mixture reaches 120°C (248°F).

While the syrup is still boiling combine chickpea brine, guar gum, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl. Beat with electric whisk for about two minutes, then add vanilla and beat for another two minutes or until the mixture is very stiff.

Very carefully pour the hot syrup into the chickpea brine mixture while still beating. The mixture should not deflate but stay fluffy. Continue to beat for two minutes until everything is mixed well.

Beat for another five minutes or until the bowl has cooled down. The batter should stay fluffy, and beating should produce firmer and firmer ribbons. The mixture should be stiff and keep its shape if you remove the beaters. Now pour your marshmallow fluff carefully onto the jammy slice and spread out evenly. Place in refrigerator to set.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate and oil in a clean, dry heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water over low heat (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Use a dry metal spoon to stir gently for 2 minutes or until chocolate melts and is smooth. Pour evenly over marshmallow layer and smooth the surface with a knife.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Stand at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before cutting into pieces with a hot knife (this helps chocolate to soften and not crack when cut).

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #redhotcentre!

Notes
Adapted from my Wagon Wheel Slice recipe. Vegan marshmallow recipe adapted from Seitan is my Motor and Madame Dessert.

*Do not use agave or rice malt syrup – they do not contain the right amount of glucose.

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