Aquafaba literally means bean water — the water that’s drained off neutral-colored beans like chickpeas, white beans and cannellini beans.
Vegans have had limited choices when it came to baked goods. The existing substitutes did not have the chemical properties of eggs which made them integral for binding and leavening. But now there is the perfect substitute, and it’s aquafaba. And it’s blown open the world of vegan baking.
This collection of recipes, however, is not only for vegans. It is great for anyone who has an allergy to dairy and eggs. It’s proof that you can go egg-free and still enjoy delicious recipes. You will never miss eggs again. The general rule of thumb is 3 tbsp of aquafaba equals one egg. The protein in aquafaba, when mixed with some sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar, perfectly simulates egg whites. Neutral in taste, you don’t have to worry about your dishes tasting beany.
All your breakfast and brunch favorites are here–from omelettes, French Toast and pancakes to scones and crepes. You’ll enjoy satisfying and sumptuous Vegan Shepherds Pie, Vegan Mac and Cheese or for lunch or dinner. And you can once again enjoy Alfredo Sauce over your pasta. And the meringue desserts are not to be missed — Fruit Pavlova and Sweet Potato Pie to Lemon Meringue Pie. Chocolate Chip Cookies, S’mores Bars, Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Ice Cream are perfect for those children’s birthday parties where allergies are now a prevailing concern.
Now you no longer have to live without the culinary wonders that eggs and egg whites produce. All you need to do is open up a can of chickpeas, drain the water and you’re ready to go.
You see, in order for ice cream to work, it needs fat. Lots of fat. Fat gives it a creamy mouthfeel, but it also helps the ice cream to stay creamy, and not get too hard and unscoopable.
When it comes to making vegan ice cream, many people default to coconut milk or coconut cream, and there’s a good reason for that–it’s full of fat (especially if you’re using coconut cream). Coconut really is the closest substitute for whipping cream in the vegan world.
The problem with coconut milk is that has a very distinct flavor, that kind of overtakes everything it touches. If you like coconut, that’s cool, but if you’re not so crazy about it… maybe not.
I recently started experimenting with Oat Milk. Now, I usually make my own, but there are now commercially-available versions on the market. Part of the reason I love oat milk is because it’s allergen-free. No gluten, no soy, and no nuts, and unlike a lot of commercial non-dairy milks out there, it has a thickness and creaminess that I really enjoy. I’m not crazy about putting regular non-dairy milk in my coffee, because it’s watery, and not creamy enough. Oat milk, however, is thicker, creamier and richer–so I thought it might also be great in ice cream.
When I was writing Aquafabuous! last summer, I spent a large chunk of time experimenting with ice (or “nice”) creams. I acquired an ice cream maker many years ago, and even though I don’t use it year-round, it’s proven to be invaluable. I love making “pure” ice creams, just the basic ingredients, no fillers or preservatives.
When you’re making a traditional (non-vegan) ice cream, the custard part is usually thickened with egg yolks. A trick I learned a long time ago is to separate the yolks from the whites, incorporate the yolks into the cream to make the custard for the base, but then to whip the whites into a meringue and fold into the custard right before you churn it.
What does that sound like?? Aquafaba!! And, as it turns out, it works like a charm when making vegan ice cream.
Some of the recipes in my Aquafabulous! use coconut milk, but this one does not. There is still coconut in here, but in the form of coconut oil. It lends the fattiness needed to make the ice cream smooth and creamy, but without the strong coconut flavor.
I also learned, while writing the book, that you Xanthium Gum makes a huge difference to the texture of the ice cream. It helps immensely to keep it scoopable.
This ice cream tastes like fudgesicles. Except vegan. It’s amazeballs.
In a smallish saucepan over medium heat, add the oat milk, cardamom and sugar. Heat gently just up to the boil and simmer a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes, to allow the cardamom to further steep into the oat milk.
Whisk in the coconut oil and the cocoa powder, until the mixture is smooth. Strain into a bowl and place in the fridge to cool.
Meanwhile, whip the aquafaba together with the xanthium gum until it achieves stiff peaks. I like to whip it for 2 minutes on low, 2 minutes on medium, then turn it up to high for the duration–usually about another 2-4 minutes. You should achieve stiff peaks within 10 minutes.
Carefully pour the cooled chocolate/oat milk mixture into the whipped aquafaba, and fold them gently together until mostly incorporated.
Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream makers’ directions. I use a Cuisinart, it usually takes about 20-30 minutes to achieve the right consistency. Remove from ice cream maker and place in the freezer for a few hours to set.
It makes me sad to write this. I was sad that day. But it was my last full day in Paris, and I was determined to make the most of it.
Now, I’m not a traditional tourist. I like to do things off the beaten track, and food plays a big role in my adventures.
So, for my last day in Paris, I did many foodie things: seeking out Paris’ oldest Patisserie, sourcing vegan macarons, visiting the greatest cookware store, um… ever, and finding Paris’ best donuts. I mean, c’mon, you didn’t expect me to go all the way to Paris and not eat donuts, did you?
I also did do some touristy stuff; like visit Galleries Lafayette for the amazing view, wave hello to the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, and discover an amazing hidden alley full of delights.
And finished off the day with a glass of rose, overlooking the Eiffel Tower.