Tag Archive for aquafaba

Sugar Free Aquafaba Meringue

One of the questions I get asked a lot, as an aquafaba expert (should I even be bragging about that?!?) is, can you make a sugar free aquafaba?

The answer is, of course, yes. However, it depends on a few factors.Sugar Free Aquafaba

If you’re using the aquafaba as an egg replacer in say, a cake, you’ll most likely use it straight up (ie unwhipped) or whipped, but without sugar. When I make waffles, for example, I whip the aquafaba, but I don’t add sugar to it, because there’s sugar already in the recipe. Some recipes, I just add it straight to the batter.

The challenge comes when you’re using aquafaba for meringue. Aquafaba is much less stable that egg whites are. The protein structures aren’t as strong, so that’s why sometimes it deflates, or doesn’t even make a meringue at all.

Even more so than when you’re using egg whites, aquafaba needs a little assist. I primarily use cream of tartar, though if extra support is required, I bring in the xanthan gum.

Sugar also helps to stabilize the meringue. I’ve experimented with different types of sugars, and some work better than others. You can see those results here.

So, to answer the question, yes, you can make aquafaba without sugar, but if you’re making a meringue out of it (mousse, pie topping, or making macarons or pavlova), you’ll want to add some sugar to stabilize it.

For those of you trying to kick the evil sugar habit (and good for you, you’re a better person than I), there are loads of sugar substitutes. My own personal favourite is monkfruit, but in my experiments, it did not react well with the aquafaba.

Stevia works, most certainly. But I am not the biggest stevia fan. I’ve tried many times, but I can’t get past the metallic aftertaste. Hey, maybe my taste buds are just super sensitive, but as a recipe developer, that’s not a terrible thing!

The sugar substitute that’s worked best for me is xylitol. Unlike stevia and monkfruit, which are plant-based sugar substitutes, xylitol is a sugar alcohol. It comes from, weirdly enough, the bark of birch trees. It only rates as a 7 on the GI, whereas regular sugar is somewhere around 60.

I like that you don’t have to do any math with it. It works in equal ratio to sugar, so when you’re substituting Xylitol for sugar, you just use exactly the same amount. This is one of the other things I do not like about stevia–I can never seem to figure out what the exact right amount to use is.

So there you go! Sugar free aquafaba meringue is incredibly accessible.

Empress 1908 Gin Cocktail {Vegan}

I am a girl who likes a good cocktail. I appreciate the ability to mix flavours and the creativity that comes with being a good bartender. It is, I think, an underrated skill. 

As Vancouver has become more and more interested in food, it’s also become more and more interested in locally-produced craft beer, wine and spirts, and this makes me really happy. I’d much prefer to support a local producer if possible. 

There are a few great spirits producers in the Okanagan (Legend is one of my faves), and here in Vancouver we’ve got Long Table, Sons of Vancouver, Odd Society, and Sid’s, just to name a few. 

Vancouver Island also has seen a crop of distilleries over the last few years, specializing in gin. Sheringham is killing it right now, winning tons of awards. I have long loved Stump Gin, which tastes like Christmas trees. And then a few years back, Empress 1908 Gin burst onto the scene, and got tons of attention for its delicate qualities and gorgeous blue-purple colour. 

I got to visit the distillery in Sydney and see how they make it. The colour comes from Butterfly Pea Tea, which brews up blue, but turns purple when you add acid to it. 

This is a classic “sour” recipe. That means you have a base spirit (in this case the Empress 1908 Gin), an acid (often lemon or lime juice), a simple syrup to sweeten (in this case I’m using a plain simple syrup, but it gives you an opportunity to be creative and add another layer by flavouring the simple syrup), and often it’s finished with egg whites. The egg whites foam as you shake the cocktail, making a creamy white foamy layer on the top of the cocktail. 

Now, some people have anxieties about consuming raw egg whites, and some people are vegan, so I used aquafaba instead. 

And in case you’re worried your cocktail will taste like beans, let me put your mind to rest. I’ve done side-by-side blind taste tests using egg whites and aquafaba, and there’s no way to tell the difference. 

a purple ombre cocktail garnished with flowers

So, here is my version of the Empress 1908 Gin Cocktail, but done vegan. 

Empress 1908 Gin Cocktail {Vegan}

Ingredients: 

  • 1 ½- 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ¾ oz simple syrup
  • ¾ oz aquafaba
  • Butterfly pea tea for garnish (optional)

Method: 

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