Aquafaba is one of the most exciting vegan food discoveries of recent years. The name simply means bean water and is the starchy water that is drained from cooked pulses, but most commonly chickpeas. This liquid contains proteins from the pulses and can therefore be used in many of the ways in which egg whites are used.
New applications are being discovered all the time, and one of the most exciting is that it can be whipped to high soft peaks, making vegan meringues a reality. While aquafaba is easy to use, you can run into difficulties if it’s the wrong consistency, so the basic rule of thumb is that it should be similar to that of egg whites. The liquid drained from good-quality canned or jarred chickpeas has good viscosity and should fit the bill. We’ve experimented with lots of different methods using cider vinegar, cornflour and so on, but have found that the plain caster sugar approach works the best.
You can find the original recipe on page 203 of our vegan cookbook.
liquid drained from 400g can good-quality chickpeas, which should yield 100ml quafaba
pinch of vanilla seeds
110g caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 130°C. Gas Mark a. Line 2 large baking sheets with silicone mats or baking parchment.
- Whisk the aquafaba in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment at high speed for at least 15-20 minutes until stiff white peaks have formed.
- Mix the vanilla seeds into the sugar. With the mixer running, add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time, whisking well after each addition until the sugar granules have dissolved before adding the next batch.
- When all the sugar is incorporated and the meringue mixture is thick and glossy. it’s ready.
- Spoon full but not heaped large serving spoons of the meringue mixture on to the lined baking sheets, spaced apart. Alternativelų, spoon the mixture into a large meringue piping bag fhtted with a
large piping tube.
- Bake for 1-2 hours until the meringues are fairly firm on top and on the base, but check by removing one from the oven and leaving to cool for a few minutes. When ready. remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on the mats or paper. If you don’t have anything else to put in the oven, you can leave them
in the switched-off oven to cool.