Aquafa … abracadabra… Aquafaba, you will think, is that a word from juggling, what does this do on a food blog? But nothing is less true.
What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba can be divided into two words: aqua is water and faba is bean.
If you open a can of chickpeas, you will find – in addition to chickpeas 🙂 – also a thick syrupy liquid, this is aquafaba or chickpea fluid or chickpea brine.
And you usually pour this liquid into your sink and process the chickpeas in a tasty dish. But you can keep the moisture better because …
Aquafaba is a vegan egg white substitute
When you whip up the liquids or chickpea brine, you have a substance that looks like whipped egg whites. That is ideal as a vegan or if you can’t tolerate eggs.
It is not a replacement for a whole egg because chickpea fluid has some properties of egg whites and some of the yolk, but not all properties of both.
There are different ways to replace eggs, more about that later.
How did aquafaba originate?
The inventor of this new egg catcher is the French tenor Jöel Roessel. He is the first to have experimented – December 2014 – and concluded that the moisture of beans, chickpeas, and palm hearts was whippable just like the protein of an egg. This he shared on his blog Revolution Vegetale.
But the recipes that he made with it were too technical for many.
In February 2015, two Frenchmen in a video made an old dessert with whipped chickpea liquor to which they added chocolate.
In March 2015, a whole community for aquafaba was created by the new Facebook group Vegan meringue – Hits and Misses!
In this Facebook community people share their experiences, both successful recipes, and failures. Here one can learn from each other and thus again come to new recipes. This has not only stayed with merengues, but people have also started sharing recipes for macarons, nougat, cake, glaze, cookies and more.
For the moisture and this technique, the group was looking for a suitable name, and it became the word Aquafaba. The website aquafaba.com has also been established. This gives information and also collect money to allow scientific research to carry out how precisely this reaction of the moisture to a kind of egg white arises.
How to make aquafaba?
First, you pour the chickpeas (or beans) through a sieve. Collect the moisture in a bowl. It is easy with an electric beater. Beat for about 5 minutes. You will see the texture of the moisture change into a kind of egg whites.
Also, the moisture of other beans can work, but the best result would be obtained with the moisture of chickpeas. The liquids of white beans would also work well. We tested it with borlotti beans, and it works perfectly, the protein is then a bit pink in color
Different brands of chickpeas have a different cooking method and other ingredients in their cooking water. Because of this, it may be that with one brand it is effortless to whip up and on the other, it is much more difficult.
How much aquafaba do you need for one egg?
In baking recipes, where you use the egg as a binder and to add moisture, you can use three tablespoons of aquafaba to replace one egg. For example in cookies, brownies or cake.
Aquafaba meringue recipe
Beat the chickpea brine and gradually add (powdered) sugar and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes stiff.
About 1 part of brine and 1 part of sugar. Add extra sugar till it is sticky enough. Optionally, add vanilla extract or vanilla sugar.
Put the mixture in a piping bag and make small tufts on a baking sheet. Bake the meringues at 100° C for 1 hour. Then switch off the oven and let the meringues cure for an hour and a half in the oven. Don’t open the oven!
We also have a recipe for vegan chocolate mousse with aquafaba for you.
There’s also a book with sweet and savory vegan recipes, all made with aquafaba. More about the Aquafaba book >>
A few tips
- Also, use beans other than chickpeas. White beans would also work well and taste more neutral.
- For a small portion, you can use a handheld mixer.
- If you use the mixer of a food processor, it may be that it does not work because the amount of moisture is too little. Then use more moisture.
Have you already experimented with aquafaba?
Please feel free to share your findings, tips and/or your recipes below.