I could easily live off of chickpeas. I love all forms: straight from the can or off the stovetop, hummus, socca bread, chickpea tofu, and now: AQUAFABA! Aquafaba is the water of chickpeas. You can either procure this chickpea water via the canned varieties or by saving the cooking water after brewing up your own batch of chickpeas.
Aquafaba acts as an egg white replacer. The water, similar to egg whites, is packed with proteins, so it whips up into egg-white-like peaks and provides epic textures and volumes to baked goods. People have succeeded in making aquafaba macarons and meringues. I just think this is aquafaba-ulous.
I am starting humbly, and only testing out some tried and true recipes requiring egg whites, like this pound cake. And, let me tell you: we have gotten off to a good start. This cake uses flax seed meal and chickpea water to create this melt-in-your-mouth texture that I haven't quite found in vegan desserts. The aquafaba adds an airiness without adding any hummus flavour. I'm now a huge fan, and I can't wait to do some more experiments with this new discovery.
Vegan pound cake loaf - what you need:
(adapted from: Smitten Kitchen)
- 150 grams of chickpea water (I used the water from a can - it was about 1 can's worth of water for me)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tablespoons of flax meal + 3 tablespoons of water)
- 1 cup (225 grams) of vegan butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- zest of one lemon
Vegan pound cake loaf - what you do:
Start by preheating the oven to 180 degrees celsius (350F) and greasing a loaf pan with (vegan) butter. Then coat the pan with flour and set aside.
Prepare the flax eggs by mixing the flax meal with the water. Store in the fridge while you're preparing the rest of the ingredients so it makes a sort of gel.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
In a large bowl, begin to beat the chickpea water. As the water begins to get foamy, slowly add in 1/2 cup of the sugar. After the 1/2 cup of the sugar is added, continue to beat until soft peaks form from the chickpea water. Set aside.
In another large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat well. Next, add in the flax eggs and beat well.
Fold the flour mixture into the butter/egg mixture until just incorporated. This mixture should be elastic, almost like a dough.
Next, fold in the whipped chickpea water. Continue to blend until fully incorporated, but try not to over-mix the batter.
Pour the batter in to the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 180C for 40-45 minutes, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean. Allow the pan to cool slightly, and then flip the loaf out on to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Quick marinated strawberries - what you need:
- 2-3 handfuls of strawberries, cleaned and sliced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (around 1/2 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Quick marinated strawberries - what you do:
In a medium bowl, lightly toss all of the ingredients together. Marinate in the fridge for 15-30 minutes as the loaf cools.
After the loaf is cool, cut it into slices.
Once the strawberries have marinated in the fridge, spoon them over the loaf. It creates this delicious strawberry shortcake vibe.
Aquafaba for the win! Not only is this loaf cake unbelievably light and airy for a vegan dessert, but it's delicious too. The slight hint of lemon from the zest ties in wonderfully with the sweet and syrupy strawberries. I imagine a dollop of vegan whipped coconut cream would be a heavenly addition to this dessert!