Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Month-of-Few Ingredients: Whipped (Aquafaba) "Cream"

When I first heard about aquafaba, I was skeptical. Bean juice to make whipped “cream”. Using aquafaba as a substitute for egg whites in recipes? Hmm. I wondered if these vegan folks were onto something. Low cal and low fat. Each tablespoon has about 3 calories (before you add sugar!). No cholesterol as only meat-products have it.

So, I started trying things with aquafaba (literally “bean water”) for my monthly food column in The Pinewood News. In prepping for this month-of-few ingredients, I realized it would fit here as well. This recipe is only one way to use the ingredient. Check out my column this summer for more recipes using aquafaba.

Mostly people use chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for aquafaba recipes, but you can use any bean's liquid. I haven’t tried black bean liquid yet, but it’s on my list. I wonder if it changes color like the garbanzo liquid does. See, garbanzo bean just looks kinda like pee.

Rushing around like I was that morning, I totally forgot to take a picture of the juice itself, so here is a stock photo from Fotolia. Yeah, it looks like that. It smells like bean juice, too.

One can of garbanzos yielded one cup of aquafaba. I added in the cream of tartar (for stabilization) and whipped it to foamy. Almost immediately it looked like whipped cream or meringue. The consistency, however is more meringue than whipped cream. It’s a marketing ploy to call it whipped cream. Still, I plan to use mine on crustless pumpkin pie and to top chocolate pudding and ice cream. So use it like whipped cream. I’m wondering about topping some chocolate cupcakes with whipped aquafaba.

Or top your lemon curd with it and broil like meringue. You won’t be able to tell the difference. I'm also going to add some mini-chocolate chips to make meringue cookies.

Whipped (Aquafaba) Cream (more than 2 cups)

16 oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
¼ t cream of tartar
1 t vanilla bean paste
½ cup sugar, extra fine (see NOTE)

Drain chickpeas/garbanzos in medium bowl. Save the beans for a later soup or salad.

Put cream of tartar on top of aquafaba and stir around to mix in. Add vanilla bean paste.

Whip the mixture on low speed until foamy white, then turn to medium speed to finish whipping while gradually adding in the sugar in three batches.

When whipped aquafaba reaches a soft mounding stage (holds it shape), stop mixing. I mixed for about five minutes, but it could be ten to fifteen minutes.

Use immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.

Maybe you buy superfine sugar for recipes. I don’t use enough of it to do that. But for this recipe and others, you need a finer sugar that will dissolve quickly in the liquid. I make my own by measuring the sugar I need into my mini-food processor. I pulse it 10-15 times and that makes superfine sugar for recipes without having to store another kind of sugar. By the way, were you to keep grinding away at your white sugar, you would eventually end up with confectioner’s sugar.

DH’s Rating: Five Tongues Up  Even he didn’t expect that.! I had to coax him (okay, guilt him) into tasting this. I mostly don’t have this problem because he doesn’t ususally see me cooking. If he doesn’t know prune juice is in his beef short ribs, he won’t have a preconceived notion right? But he saw me whipping the aquafaba. Suspicious! But he was pleasantly surprised. “You can’t even tell it’s bean juice.” Right. That’s the point! Give the man a prize!

If you liked this recipe, I’d really appreciate you spreading the word on your social media outlets. Here are some pre-made Twitter and Facebook posts you can use or modify.

Tweet: Aquafaba “Whipped Cream” #recipe from @Good2Tweat You’d never guess it’s bean juice!

Facebook: Have you ever tried whipped garbanzo bean juice? No? Well, now’s your chance to have the latest food fad you never heard of on a table near you. Whip up this recipe, literally, for a whipped cream or meringue substitute. Your most discriminating friends or family will never know!

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