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A newly-discovered "magical" egg replacer has been under our noses—and in our pantries—this whole time.
This Lemon Meringue cake is made with eggs—but it could be made with chickpea water instead!
The ideal replacement for eggs has been under our noses—and down our sinks—this whole time. As it turns out, the watery dregs from cans of chickpeas are the incredible, edible egg replacement we've been looking for. Leftover canned chickpea water, or aquafaba as it has recently been Latinized, was first whipped into fluffy piles by Dan Barber in his March pop-up restaurant, wastED, then recently used in baked goods by French chef Joël Roessel. Roessel's first experiment, a meringue, launched an entire Facebook group dedicated to experiments with aquafaba. Since then, Slate and The Kitchn have experimented with the mystery ingredient to successfully make their own meringue, which looked so good we had to try it ourselves:
We placed the chickpea liquid into the bowl of a stand mixer and whipped it for about 15 minutes, until it formed beautiful, egg-worthy stiff peaks. Sarah, who tested the recipe, was initially concerned about the water's strong beany flavor and smell, but whipped in some sugar and vanilla to mask it. She baked the meringues at 250º F for about 40 minutes. When she removed them from the oven, the bean smell and flavor were completely gone, and they had almost the exact texture of egg-based meringues. We drizzled them with some chocolate and flaky salt to pair with the nuttiness of the chickpea liquid.
More: Out of eggs? Take a crack at this egg-less, vegan cake.
This discovery may revolutionize vegan baking (as well as the moment when you set out to bake a cake only to realize that the carton of eggs in the refrigerator is actually empty). No more ground flaxseed, commercial egg replacers, and science experiment-worthy combinations of vinegar and baking soda. Forget about trying to whip mashed bananas into "stiff peaks." Keeping in mind that 3 tablespoons drained chickpea liquid (each can yields about 1/2 to 3/4 cup) is the equivalent of about 1 egg, here are some recipes to try it with (then let us know how it works!):
- Lemon Meringue
- Rye & Rhubarb Anytime Cake
- Chocolate-Almond Croissants
- Alice Medrich's Best Cocoa Brownies
Recipes for your leftover chickpeas:
- A Warm Pan of Chickpeas, Chorizo, and Chèvre
- Toasty Roasted Chickpeas, Cajun Style
- Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus
- Moro's Chickpeas and Spinach (Garbanzos con Espinacas)
Have you used aquafaba? Did it yield uncan-ily egg-cellent baked goods? Tell us in the comments below!
Photo by Mark Weinberg