What is Aquafaba?
When adding more plant-based foods to your life, it’s common to look for foods that replicate the taste, texture and chemical properties of more familiar animal-based foods. Hearty, unami burgers made from beans and grains. Milks made from nuts and seeds. Eggs as a binder in baked goods, made from flax or chia seeds. But one thing that has been incredibly hard to find a replica for, without turning to highly-processed ingredients, is egg whites. Egg whites are light, fluffy and make peaks, and you just can’t make a meringue or macaron without them. That is, until now.
Meet AQUAFABA. Aqua-what??? Aquafaba is the liquid drained off a can of chickpeas. Yes, what you normally strain out and dump down the drain. Whether you want to call it aquafaba, chickpea brine, chickpea liquid, or why-am-I-using-this-this-can’t-be-right, it’s all the same.
Chef Morgan created this vegan pavlova recipe using aquafaba and we want to eat it every single day. Trust the ingredients, and instructions, though they might sound odd. If you want to experiment more with aquafaba and the range of things you can make with it—your favorite plant-based bloggers have also probably created some to-die for recipes that can inspire you.
- Liquid from 1 can (16oz) low-sodium chickpeas, chilled
- 1 cup vegan confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Pinch fine salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1 can (16oz) coconut milk, chilled overnight
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Fruit Topping
- Fresh seasonal fruit as desired (peaches, kiwis, berries, are some of our favorites)
Preheat oven to 250°F and line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Beat chilled chickpea brine with a mixer until stiff peaks form, about 10 to 15 minutes.
While continuing to beat brine, slowly add sugar one scoop at a time. Beat until hard peaks form.
Add in cornstarch, cream of tartar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Immediately, fill a piping bag with mixture. Pipe mixture onto parchment paper into 6 equal sized circles. Always starting at the center and working outwards. These meringues will spread a bit in the oven, so make sure there is extra space on your baking sheet.
Place in oven immediately. Bake for 1 ½ -2 hours until the outside is slightly browned. Do not open oven to check pavlova – only use the oven light. Once slightly browned, turn off oven and leave pavlovas to cool completely, about an hour.
Coconut Whipped Cream:
Remove only coconut cream (the thick white substance).
Using a mixer, or an immersion blender, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add in vanilla extract.
Top each meringue with whipped cream and fruit.