Written by Deborah Reyes
Aquafaba is the latest vegan egg-replacer trend used in vegan baking.
I love French macaroons. As a baker, I learned that a typical macaroon recipe consisted of meringue (a mixture of well-beaten egg whites and sugar) mixed with almond flour. In my attempts to find a vegan macaroon recipe, I never imagined there would be a single ingredient that could mimic the same qualities as a meringue made with egg whites.
With a simple search for the perfect vegan macaroon recipe, I discovered Aquafaba or “water bean.” I have used several vegan substitutes for eggs in the past such as flaxseed or egg replacer in baked products, but I’ve never seen something quite like this before. In 2015, an American software engineer named Goose Wohlt, in the search for the ultra-egg replacer, discovered that chickpea brine, when whipped, had all the properties of egg whites. He then invented the name “aquafaba”, based on the Latin words for “water” and “bean.”
Who would have thought that something as simple and inexpensive as the water we end up throwing out from our canned beans would be the most accessible, easy, and convenient vegan egg replacer? This liquid can replace eggs in a meringue including Pavlova, mousse, baked Alaska, buttercream, and more! Because it has a similar consistency to egg whites, this liquid can be whipped up with sugar to form a delicate cloudy-like glossy meringue that can be used in baking recipes.