Tuesday, January 2, 2018

You Bake With 'Aquafaba'? Isn't That An Aftershave Lotion?

January 2, 2018

Hey y'all, it's me!

15 degrees here in Bowie right now, and I am wearing long underwear. Yes, my home is heated, however, I still have to go outside for certain chores, and I ain't having anything important fall off cause it got too cold!

During the break I took from blogging, I got to do a lot of experimenting in the kitchen, and as far as I am concerned, what I am about to tell y'all about was the BEST EVER.

I was doing my usual cruising of the Internet, just doing random searches for whatever struck my fancy, when I came across the term aquafaba, which is the brine from a can of chickpeas. The article stated that the brine could be used in place of eggs in baking, substituted as a whipping cream, and...

(Be still my heart)

...making meringues, either as a topping for a pie, or in making meringue cookies, which I am especially fond of.

I thought this deserved more research, so I went to YouTube and checked out videos on this. I found several that explained how to make meringues, and this one was my favorite;


It was simple, and the girl doing the video was funny and easy to understand. It all looked good, and yet, I didn't have any chickpeas, and I wasn't about to go tearing off to the store to purchase a couple of cans for just this. I decided to wait until the next time we went grocery shopping.

Turns out I didn't have to wait until then.

Obie went to his father's for Christmas, so after church Christmas Eve, our friends Kenny and Barbara invited us back to their house for the afternoon. Kenny asked her to make hummus, and guess what the main ingredient is?

As she was setting up to make the dip, I told her about what I had learned. She said she didn't have the time to experiment that week, however she poured the drained liquid from 3 cans into a jar, popped the lid in it, and told me to go for it.

A few days after Christmas, I went into mad scientist mode. I pulled up the video again, wrote down the ingredients and instructions, then set up everything I would need.


1 cup of aquafaba 
1 cup sugar (some vegans use honey or agave)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Some recipes call for vanilla extract also. I am thinking that for Christmas next year I might try a peppermint extract with some red food coloring.

(I learned you can use the brine from just about any canned bean. Most folks use chickpeas, navy or cannelloni beans, since the liquid is lighter in color. I plan to try the liquid from kidney and black beans, since I have a cocoa flavored meringue recipe that should take care of the darker color problem)


I lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Next time I will use a bigger sheet, cause this recipe makes a lot.


I poured the liquid into my big stand mixer, using the whisk attachment. You can use a hand mixer, and I know of a few hardy individuals who used a hand whisk! Just like when making egg white meringues, make certain that your bowl and beaters are clean and grease free, or the meringue won't happen right.

When I first started whipping, there was a 'beany' smell. I wasn't bothered, because I know that many times recipes made from plants just never taste like the real thing, yet they still taste good.


After about 5 minutes, you can see the liquid begin to froth, just like egg whites. There was still a faint bean scent.


You can see it beginning to hold onto the spatula here.


A bit longer, and there were soft peaks forming. I slowly added the sugar and cream of tartar, and now I noticed that the bean smell is fading away.


Look at the texture after whipping with the sugar! Another bonus of using aquafaba--the meringue never gets a grainy texture if you whip it a long time, unlike egg whites.




I was definitely impressed by this point--I mean, just LOOK at the peaks!


Obie felt the best thing was his being able to lick the spoon, and mom wasn't freaking out about salmonella! By the way--no bean smell at all at this point.


Most of the instructions say to put the meringue into a pastry bag or zip lock bag to pipe out the cookies. I just used a spoon to put dollops on the parchment. I could have put them much closer together--they don't spread out, and like I said, this makes a LOT of cookies.

I put them into a 200 degree oven for 2 hours, then went about my other work. 


After I took them out of the oven, they began to crisp up immediately. I popped them off the paper, and they were so light. You will notice they aren't browned. Some folks use a little kitchen blow torch to brown them, but I was okay with the white glossiness. Then I took a bite.

Oh.

Great.

Granny's.

GARTERS!

They tasted wonderful. No bean flavor at all. Sweet and light with a crispy texture. 


The instructions say to store them in an airtight container in the fridge to keep them crisp. Yeah, they made into the container, but they never made it into the fridge! Obie and I kept walking past the container and having 'just one more'. We ate the entire batch in a day. I wasn't too worried, cause we don't do the binge thing often, and with the chores we had that day the extra calories were appreciated in the cold weather!

Obviously, if you don't like canned beans, this recipe is not for you. However, since I use them for other recipes, I will definitely be putting the brine to use. After all, you are paying for that liquid, just like you do with canned corn or green beans and other liquids in canned foods. I save the canned veg liquids in a container in the freezer for soups, mix powdered milk in them for gravies and sauces, etc. Now I can use up the bean liquid, and nothing goes to waste.

As for baking with aquafaba, I have read that 2 tablespoons of the liquid replaces one egg white, while 3 tablespoons will do for a whole egg. I think the video I have above talks about making chocolate chip cookies using the liquid. I have some frozen bananas I will be making quick bread with, and I will be trying the brine in it. If you don't have enough liquid for a recipe, you can freeze it, add to it, then thaw and use in recipes.

I hope I rocked your baking world today!

Well, I got chores. Later y'all
© Evelyn Edgett 2018



4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I made a second batch yesterday, using the brine from a can of kidney beans added to the chickpea brine. I added in a tablespoon of cocoa, and the color was a bit darker, with a slight chocolate taste/

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  2. Ya know, I've heard of this before - making such things with the brine from chickpeas - but I guess I was skeptical. WOW! Mind. Blown. Now I just 'may' have to give this a try! Thanks for sharing the detailed instructions.

    ~TMH~

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome--nice to know that after all the great things I get from your blog, I actually did something you can use! Seriously, just your sandwich bread recipe alone had made my life better.

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