Every time I opened a can of chickpeas, I wondered: couldn’t we do something with the brine? But time and time again it went down the drain.
Then, a few months ago, I came to know it actually had a name – aquafaba – and a passionate community of people using it in sweet and savoury dishes. Its appeal comes from the fact that it contains a very specific cocktail of carbohydrates and proteins giving it similar properties to egg whites. Yes, you can actually stop using eggs if you only rely on them for emulsifying (mayonnaise), binding (cakes and cookies) or structuring (meringues, mousses).
For those who think there can’t be any more innovation in cooking, behold – the properties of aquafaba were only discovered in 2014, by the French Joël Roessel, who was experimenting with making foam using vegetable ingredients! His findings were published on his blog back then.
If you’re doubting the special powers of aquafaba, this is how it becomes after a few minutes of whisking:
Just like peaked egg whites, right?
Now, why only introduce you to a magical ingredient if I can show you the best recipe I’ve done with it? Behold… the incredibly tasty Vegan Aquafaba Brownies:
Like all great brownies, they are moist on the inside and firm on the outside. And you
Cruelty-free vegan brownies made with aquafaba and coconut oil instead of eggs and butter.
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 80 g chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup aquafaba
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp instant coffee (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/356ºF.
Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add dark chocolate and coconut oil and mix until melted.
Remove from the heat and add brown sugar and instant coffee. Mix.
On a bowl, whisk the aquafaba until it becomes foamy. Then, combine with the chocolate mixture.
Add flour and baking powder to the mixture. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
Cover a 20cm/8″ square baking pan with baking paper. Pour in the mixture and bake for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool, then cut into squares. Enjoy!
You can adapt this recipe for “blondies”: swap the dark chocolate for the same amount of white chocolate (keep the dark chocolate chips), reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup and ditch the coconut oil.
Of course, aquafaba brownies are just a tip of the iceberg of what you can make with this magical ingredient. Here’s a few other suggestions:
- A simple egg-free mayonnaise.
- A fluffy chocolate mousse – follow all the optional steps for the best results!
- A vegan omelet, using chickpea flour.
Have fun experimenting with aquafaba! There’s an endless amount of stuff you can make!