I have never been a fan of eggs. They’ve always kind of grossed me out. It was only when I worked at a restaurant where we had brunch with eggs many ways that I really learned how to cook them (ironically from my vegan since a kid chef). At that point , I learned to eat them and would enjoy them sometimes, but truthfully when I really thought about it, they still grossed me out. Talk to many classic pastry chefs and they can’t even imagine not using eggs (and other dairy products) in their creations. I know there’s science behind what happens with eggs and dairy in a dish, but as time went on, I really became curious on what alternatives could be used for eggs. In culinary school we learned about flax eggs (fleggs) (flax seeds or powder soaked in water ) and much more recently people told me about (and I used) the Vegg product (created by an egg fan who went vegan and NEEDED to create a replacement for their beloved eggs. I used that product in one of my classes and have made scrambled Vegg and they’re pretty impressive. Similar texture, taste, etc. And if you’re really adventurous, you can use the magic of molecular gastronomy and make an “egg” with a yolk. Pretty cool! They do have a baking mix, which I have not used, but it’s definitely on my list of things to try.
For years, I’d heard about aquafaba and how vegans went wild over it. What is aquafaba you say? Never heard of it you say!? I can guarantee that you definitely have interacted with it, but didn’t even know that it was aquafaba. It’s the water that canned beans float in (or if you cook your own beans and legumes, the leftover water that the beans were cooked in. ) You probably threw it away! Little did you know you were sitting on a goldmine. According to the Aquafaba: Hits and Misses Facebook page
“What is aquafaba?”
Aquafaba is the name (coined by Goose Wohlt) for the liquid drained off a can (or pot) of chickpeas, or other legumes. (Loosely, Latin for water = aqua, bean = faba.)
“How in the world did anyone ever think of using chickpea liquid to make meringues?”
Goose saw a French video in which chocolate mousse was created using the whipped liquid. We later discovered the (as far as we know) originator of this technique, Joël Roessel, who has also joined our community”
What amazes me is that it was a FRENCH musician (Joel Roessel) was the one who discovered it. I put French in all caps because in my mind, the French are very attached to their gastronomy and are one of the foreparents of pastry. Oooh La La. I couldn’t even imagine that it would be someone French that would be at the forefront of VEGAN pastry.
Aquafaba can be used 3 Tablespoons to 1 egg in baking and other recipes (mousses, cakes, etc.) and in that mysterious little French cookie otherwise known as the macaron (not to be confused with the macaroon, equally (if not more in my book) delicious (the moist coconut treat often associated with Passover and often is dipped in chocolate. (see below for a fun graphic that I saw recently and made me smile.)
A few years ago you could not go down a street in NYC without having a little macaron bakery with the rows of rainbow colored/flavored macarons staring at you. While the traditional version is made with eggs (and sugar and butter) they too can be made with aquafaba!
Intrigued? Then I suggest to come to my Vegan Valentine’s Sweets Class TOMORROW(!) Tuesday, February 11 at 6:30pm. We’re going to be making crispy pink aquafaba kisses (meringues) in addition to vegan dark chocolate truffles. Yay Valentine’s Day! Yay Sweets! Click here to buy tickets. Or just send me a note for alternate means of payment. Looking fowarard to seeing you there!