Saturday, 7 May 2016

VEGAN MERINGUE AND HOW TO MAKE AQUAFABA

VEGAN MERINGUE AND HOW TO MAKE AQUAFABA
This is a guest post from my daughter Rachna on mother's day

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Rachna :
For Mothers’ day, I thought what better way to celebrate it than to take over the responsibility of writing a post on her blog. As a former food blogger myself, I know what a responsibility it is to run a food blog, but also what joy and excitement it brings! This blog is like another baby of my mom’s, she relishes in all the posts she writes, blog events, anniversaries, and competitions she takes part in. And this baby is turning out to be a treasure box repository of recipes and how-to advice, that I hope to refer to whenever I need to cook something special. To contribute to that repository is an honor and I hope I can do that more often. Now onto my first contribution post on Aquafaba.



Eggs add a lot of qualities to a dish, especially a baked recipe. Mostly it adds a spongy texture to cakes, gives the sponge body, form, and shape. Egg whites also have the quality of foaming and increasing in volume, once air is incorporated into them. But for those following an egg-conscious diet/vegan, it has always been a challenge to replace eggs with a suitable plant-sourced replacement ingredient, one that would bring about the same desired qualities. For the most part,there are several egg replacement options for cake sponges, like bananas, condensed milk, applesauce, yoghurt-cream combinations and then you have the store bought egg replacer. Most cakes come out fine with some or all these alternatives, but there was no ingredient that could mimic the foaming of egg whites until now!



There have been some experiments with flax gel foams, but some trials are proving it to be less reliable, sometimes the foam collapsing when exposed to any heat, and that it may not be recommended for French macarons. And then we have aquafaba! You know how sometimes things are just in front of your eyes, and you don’t realize the importance/quality of them until someone else shows it to you, aquafaba such a thing. Aquafaba is the water that most beans are boiled in (or come with the beans in their tins) and lots of times discarded. DISCARDED, yes!! It’s like a colleague from work (who has a background in the oil and gas industry) was once telling me, when they first discovered natural gas, it was a byproduct of petroleum extraction. Upon its discovery they didn’t know what to do with it and so they burnt it up in flares for several decades before figuring out a way to extract it and use it. And now it is a precious bio fuel that the earth is running out of. What a waste!



There’s a sense of blasphemy associated to that, realizing you were discarding something with such wonderful qualities! A lot of people were throwing it away and not knowing its amazing capability to foam up. And off course, we can’t discuss aquafaba without thanking the French chef and software engineer respectively, Joel Roessel and Goose Wohlt, who discovered its ability to foam. Since his discovery in Dec 2014, there have been many experiments going on with aquafaba by ardent foodies and many online resources on this, and also a facebook discussion page on Aquafaba – Hits and Misses! So of course when I first read about it, I had to go make some of my own, and since dried chickpeas is always available in my pantry, I decided to make mine from scratch. And I made the basic meringue out it. And it came out great and was really yummy! 

Since aquafaba is such a new discovery, there are many claims and experiments going on and many are shared online, and I will share all my research tips that I have read that I feel are credible - with an asterisk (*).
  1. Soak about 3 cups of dried chickpeas overnight or for 6-8 hours. Add enough water for the beans to soak, as they will quadruple in size.
  1. Discard the water they were soaked in, as this water is said to contain toxins that cause bloating and gas for some after consumption. (* However, some people are reporting a thicker aquafaba when using the soaked water for boiling the chickpeas).
  1. Boil the chickpeas in at least 6 cups of water in a pressure cooker until the chickpeas are well cooked. This depends on the type of pressure cooker, I cooked them 10mins on high and then 15 more minutes on medium flame. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, they will probably cook at least an hour on medium high flame in a regular pot. (* Some people are reporting success cooking the chickpeas in their slow cookers, and getting a good amount of aquafaba).
  1. Once chickpeas are done, drain the chickpeas in a sieve and leave them dripping for a couple of hours. This will drip out all the aquafaba you need. (* Some people are recommending to cool and refrigerate the chickpeas for a few hours in the liquid they were boiled in, and then drain them in a sieve – so as to extract more aquafaba, but I have not tried this)
Alternatively, skip the previous 4 steps and open two cans of unsalted chickpeas, and drain them for a few hours. I decided not to do this as I didn’t want any preservatives in my aquafaba.
  1. If the aquafaba is not part jelly like it may be too ‘dilute’. Here you need to guess it thickness, it should look like regular egg whites, if too water, just heat it up and reduce some of the liquid until you see it jelly like. I had about 300ml that I boiled down to 185ml (boiled off about a third of the water). When it started looking like jelly like or egg whites, then I had the aquafaba for the recipe.

Aquafaba Meringue


I decided to make the basic meringue before trying something more complicated like French macarons and pavlova.
INGREDIENTS
  • 185ml Aquafaba
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1/5 tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
METHOD

  • Start with the aquafaba and cream of tartar and start whisking it in a stand mixer. You could use an egg beater if you don’t have a stand mixer. (* some people are saying it may take a little longer for the aquafaba to start foaming up compared to egg whites, so be patient – certainly do not beat this with a whisk and your bare hands, you need am electric beater or stand mixer)
  • The aquafaba will begin to foam. When it reaches soft peaks, add the vanilla and continue beating, add the sugar bit by bit until the mixture froths up into stiff white peaks. Continue beating, until you can pick up the bowl and turn it upside down and the mixture will not fall off. (This is tricky – if the foam is not ready, it might start sliding off the bowl)
  • Once it reaches stiff peaks bowl-upside-down-it-doesn’t-fall-stage, then you can pipe shapes into a parchment paper lined baking tray or just spoon dollops of it on a tray and bake in a preheated 200F oven. Bake them for about 2 hours. If they are smaller then they may be done in 1.5 hours and if they are bigger than usual, then maybe keep them in for 2.5 hours. This also depends on if like them softer and chewier then keep them for a lesser time or if you want them crisper then keep them for a bit longer.
  • Once done, let me them cool completely and then peel them off the parchment paper. They are ready to keep and can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.
I am sending  this recipe as my blog post entry with Meatless Monday, What do you do this weekend and Sunday foot and fitness party, and with Happy healthy and green party,   and with Hearth and soul and with Cook blog share, 
and with Tasty Tuesday and with Welcome home wednesday party  and with Way wow link party., and with full plate thusday   And with Real Food Friday and with My Two fav things on Thursday.    and with Bake of the week,
And with Fiesta Friday and w and with Sweet inspiration link party








 




 


















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54 comments:

  1. It looks so soft and delicious. .I can say at my home before opening the lid of jar..all will be finished 😊😊😊

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    1. Thanks Moumita, for your lovely comment dear.

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  2. ooh those look pretty thanks for linking up today

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  3. We were just doing this for a Pavlova we were making but I think I will stick with the traditional method. Now after seeing this I'm debating again. Thank you for linking up with us for Meatless Monday!

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    1. Thanks very much Sarah for your comment and for the visit.

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  4. These look delicious! I'm not vegan but I've passed your recipe on to a friend who is :)

    http://natalieslife.com/2016/05/slow-cooked-asian-pulled-pork

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    1. Thanks very much for your visit and the comment.

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    1. Thanks very much Gayathri for your comment.

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  6. Anything Vegan and I am up for it...I don't have eggs too!

    Appreciate your details here.

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  7. These meringues look so light and delicious! Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend?!

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  8. These look lovely! Aquafaba is yet another new discovery for me, from your blog! I learn so much here!

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  9. Wow these look tasty! What a great healthy snack they would make and having the chickpeas in there gives it a lot protein. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & tweeted.

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    1. Thanks Marla for your comment and for your tweet and pinning.

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  10. I love meringues! So light. These look delicious!

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  11. It looks so soft and delicious..beautiful share

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  12. Lovely looking meringues! :) Aquafaba -- how interesting! I hadn't heard of it...

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  13. I have never heard of Aquafaba but wow I cannot believe that they are vegan meringues! They look so good. Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

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  14. All of my life, desserts like lemon meringue pie have been some of my favorites. It's so nice to learn how to make a vegan meringue now. I can't wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing this at the Healthy Happy Green Natural Party! I’m Pinning and sharing this!

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    1. Thanks Deborah for your lovely comment and for pinning and sharing.

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  15. Delicious vegan meringue, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting.

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    1. Thanks Swathi for your comment and for pinning and tweeting.

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  16. Sadhna, this is so cool. I am amazed at the things you make with chickpeas! I have not tried the flour either, I need to get some. These are some amazing legumes! And the meringues that you made are gorgeous! I never would have guessed that they weren't made with eggs. My daughter loves hummus, and we are going to make our own soon, I will try to do it this way, and save the aquafaba and then use the chickpeas for the hummus! How fun!

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    1. Thanks very much dear Nikki, for such a nice comment.I like your idea of making humus and then use aquafaba.

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  17. I've never seen a recipe like this using chickpeas. Very interesting! Thank you for linking up with us at Welcome Home Wednesdays. Can't wait to see what you have for us this week!

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  18. Very Interesting and new recipe. Love it. It looks super delicious. I have to try it soon.

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  19. Interesting...Looks very healthy too

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  20. Isn't it amazing what you can do with aquafaba!? I'm still experimenting with an aquafaba no-refined-sugar meringue but I've made some lovely chocolate mousses, gluten free bread and also used it as a coating for sticking spices to roasted nuts! My son loves meringue so I might use your recipe and make some more - last time I made them he couldn't stop eating them :) Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday.

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    1. Thanks very much for your comment, I have also tried chocolate mousses. Other recipes you have mentioned, I am going to try soon.

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  21. Looks so soft and delicious. Beautiful post!

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  22. What a great looking recipe!! And you did a great job as a guest writer!! You should be proud Sadhna!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Pinned!

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    1. Thanks Elaine for your comment,and for pinning, yes i will join this week again.

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  23. I love meringue and more if it is vegan!


    Thanks for sharing with us at Sweet Inspiration party, enjoy the rest of the week!

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  24. I keep meaning to try this! Who'd have thought this would work so well! Thanks for joining in with #BAKEoftheWEEK !

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    1. You are right, Sarah, it is really wonderful the it is working and we can make without using egg. Thanks for your visit and comment.

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  25. You definitely know how to make them! They look soft and shiny - just perfect!!

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  26. my favorite one must try.
    shobha

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