Theme: Secret ingredient – Is there an unconventional ingredient or product you use to make a certain dish that no one would suspect?
Vegans have been replacing eggs in recipes with banana, apple sauce, pumpkin, flax seed and other plant-based foods for years. However, a good replacement for egg whites in meringues has remained elusive until a couple of years ago…
In 2014, Joël Roessel, a ténor from France, discovered that liquid from cooked chick peas can be whipped into a foam and used to make a vegan meringue. He shared the results on his blog at http://www.revolutionvegetale.com/. Joël says his theory is based on molecular cuisine, science and common sense! However, his recipes were too technical for a wide audience relying on the addition of vegetable gums, starches and stabilizers.
Then in 2015, Goose Wohlt, a software engineer from the US, discovered that stable vegan meringue could be made without any extra ingredients, provided the right techniques were used. He posted a simple recipe on Facebook and the rest is history!
Goose called the chick pea water ‘aquafaba’. The Facebook group Vegan Meringues – Hits and Misses! was set up to encourage discussion and experimentation with aquafaba. It has since been used to make marshmallows, macarons, nougat, cakes, choux pastry, soufflés, royal icing and mayonnaise. The official aquafaba website can be found here. So far, I’ve made some fantastic meringues, macarons, mayonnaise and the best chocolate mousse!