When I first heard about the amazing vegan egg white replacer “aquafaba” , I thought it sounded very exotic and expensive. If I had paid more attention in Latin lessons in school I might have worked out what it was much sooner. Aqua for water and faba for bean – bean water. Literally, the slightly cloudy liquid you pour out of a tin of beans. Gone are the days that I used to drain away the juice from a tin of chickpeas into the sink, now we save it and make tasty meringues, macarons, chocolate mousse and sponge cakes.
Now I am sure there are some non-believers reading this. I was very dubious that the liquid I threw down the sink would whip up into a delicious white cloud of meringue goodness. But alas, I took my electric whisk to the beige, cloudy bean juice and saw it start to hold bubbles just like an egg white would. It then start to whip up further and I saw soft, white peaks in front of me. I carried on and before too long I was sat with a bowl of firm stiff peaks mix of aquafaba that I could hold over my head and nothing was budging.
Suddenly the world of egg white desserts was once again opened up. Chocolate mousse was a firm pre-vegan dessert for us. After one grim attempt with some melted chocolate and mashed avocado we were resigned to living without it (looked delicious, tasted horrific). But now we can use aquafaba to give us that bubbly texture. I will have to post a recipe for this soon, keep your eyes peeled!
My latest aquafaba creation was a batch of macarons. These little french patisserie treats have always fascinated me. The subtle almond taste, the smooth crisp shell and the light and airy inner. I thought I would start with a classic lemon and raspberry combination, although recently I came across a recipe for a garden pea and mint macaron so perhaps I need to up my adventurous flavour combination.
Have you tried baking with aquafaba yet? Any recipe recommendations? I would love to hear from you below!
Vegan Lemon and Raspberry Macarons
- 50ml reduced aquafaba (see step 1)
- 75g ground almonds
- 75g icing sugar, plus 50g for filling
- 70g granulated sugar
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 5 raspberries, crushed
- The night before, pour about 150ml of the water from a can of chickpeas (aquafaba). Heat until reduced to about 1/3 of the size and you are left with 50ml of reduced aquafaba. Ensure it is cooled completely before cooking with it.
- Sieve and mix together the ground almonds and icing sugar, and stir in the zest.
- Whisk up the aquafaba for a minute until light and bubbly. Add in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and then the granulated sugar gradually. Whisk to stiff peaks until the mixture is thick and doesn’t move when the bowl is overturned. This is best done with an electric whisk/mixer unless you want a real arm workout!
- Fold the almond/icing sugar mixture carefully into the aquafaba.
- Pipe onto baking paper sheets into small rounds of around 3cm in diameter. Tap in any peaks with a wet finger. Leave them to dry for 20-30 minutes until they are not sticky to the touch.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes then open the oven door and leave to cool.
- Mix together 50g icing sugar and the crushed raspberries. Add the lemon juice very gradually until you have a thick icing.
- Sandwich the macaron halves together with the icing.
Serve and enjoy!