If you haven’t had your friends talk to you about aquafaba yet, you will soon. Especially if you run in circles where people abstain from eating eggs. Vegans are hailing it as the most creative culinary invention since sliced bread — saving heroic chickens from the hard work of egg-laying and offering a perfect replacement in any recipe that requires the structure eggs offer.
You probably even have some aquafaba in your pantry right now.
Aquafaba (“aqua” as in water; “faba” as in beans) is the brine resting in any can of beans. Most users of aquafaba use the brine of chickpeas, a.k.a. garbanzo beans, because they tend to be the most flavorless and whip up the best.
I love baking. I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan, though, so using eggs, dairy, and/or warm baby cow blood are in my list of go-to ingredients. Still, the thought of aquafaba intrigued me (even if talk of “magic bean juice” repulsed my egg-loving husband). Was it true that the nasty brine in a can of chickpeas can whip into a delightfully airy concoction, just like egg whites do?
I performed three baking experiments in order to find out:
First, I wanted to see if aquafaba could be used as an egg replacer in any ol’ baking recipe. So, I made double chocolate chip cookies, vaguely based on the red velvet chocolate chip cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Because if, somehow, the recipe was majorly screwed up — it’d still be chocolatey, right?
So, aquafaba’s connoisseurs tell me that three tablespoons of aquafaba is equal to one egg. You don’t have to whip it up to meringue for this recipe–just open a can of chickpeas and measure out three tablespoons of the liquid into a small bowl. It should be about the consistency of egg whites, or semen, or whatever. Whip it up with a fork until it’s frothy.
The dough, which I could safely eat without the eggs (as if raw eggs would have stopped me from eating cookie dough anyway), tasted fine. Just like regular, delicious cookie dough — with a slight beany aftertaste.
They baked up beautifully. The beany aftertaste? Completely gone. They were as delicious as regular cookies. My children and husband gobbled them up without a second thought.