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Making egg-less meringues with chickpea water or aquafaba – first attempt.

I make meringues quite a lot for fruit mess, which is one of my signature desserts whenever I’m entertaining at home. Although it only requires at minimum 2 ingredients (eggs and sugar), it’s a pretty technical dish that requires egg whites with no trace of yolk, absolutely clean utensils with no trace of grease, just the right amount of beating, etc. You can check out my post on making meringues here.

I have always thought that egg whites is irreplaceable in meringues. There’s no known ingredient that could whip up stiff like egg whites and then dehydrate beautifully in an oven into beautiful, crunchy, airy, sweet biscuits.

Back in May, I read an article on New York Times about aquafaba and I was just completely and utterly mind-blown. WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS SORCERY!?

# – Aquafaba on NYT.

Aquafaba is basically water that has been cooked with legumes such as chickpeas and canellini beans. So, that water that you drain off from a can of chickpeas, that’s aquafaba. For some reason, it has the ability to mimic the properties of egg whites and this was only discovered in 2015 by some dude named Goose Wohlt. So yeah, it’s a pretty new thing and honestly I am surprised I’ve only heard about this a year later.

After reading the NYT article, I knew I was going to attempt it. I know it sounds silly for somebody who cooks and bakes pretty regularly, but I really hate separating eggs. For some reason, I am horrendous at it. It’s one of my most hated things in the world and so to be able to make meringues without having to separate those evil eggs?

SIGN ME UP, BUTTERCUP!

# – I am so bad at separating eggs I actually bought this piece of shit that does not work. Maybe it’s still just me.

Anyway, back to present time. Today I finally got a chance to use a can of chickpeas for lunch. So, I made sure to reserve the drained liquid from the can and I was like, I am putting this aquafaba meringue thing to the test!

# – So I poured the liquid into my mixing bowl.

# – Put my beaters to it, and started beating.

OMG, it’s foaming up!!!!! It foamed up so easily, even easier than egg whites?

# – Getting to soft peak.

# – I sprinkled some icing sugar and continued beating until stiff peaks.

OMG,I could pipe it out!!!!!

# – These are my uncooked eggless meringues made from aquafaba and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from regular meringues. It tasted vaguely of chickpeas. Stuck em into my preheated oven of 130 degrees.

I was so excited by it all, I was updating dayre the blow by blow account of my aquafaba meringue making adventure. I tasted victory and glory. I couldn’t wait to eat my eggless meringues tonight with a pile of whipped cream and sweet yellow kiwis.

# – Showing off on Dayre.

I even shared my dayre post to Facebook cause, hell yeah I felt smuggggggggggg. And just right after sharing it to FB, I went to check the oven and this greeted me:

WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE AQUAFACKA IS THIS!!!!??????

I had to choose between removing this flattened, dead mess from my oven or delete the damn smug dayre post from my Facebook. I chose the latter.

And then I took the aquafailure out of my oven and cried. Okay I didn’t cry but I was really DULAN lah.

That is why, I am filing this post under Cooking Failures (go on, read it you probably need some laughs on Monday) and I could only speculate that the reasons to this messed up experiment were two:

1. My oven was too hot. I rechecked all the aquafaba meringue recipes and they’re all between 110c – 120c. My oven was 130c.

2. Not enough sugar. This was most likely it, as I don’t know why I just kinda of sprinkled and tasted the batter instead of measuring out the sugar LIKE I NORMALLY DO. Likely too little sugar -_-

If anyone has any inkling on where I went wrong, please do enlighten me.

Anyway, I’m not about to give up on aquafaba. I’m on a mission to make completely eggless meringues. Just you wait.

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Macaron Attempt Episode 1

I had gotten a bag of ground almonds at a steal last weekend. All I could think about was macarons. I made them, I was very clear about the flavours…I wanted After Eight inspired macarons.

I whipped some melted dark chocolates and cream for the most decadent chocolate ganache filling.

My macarons actually didn’t look half bad out of the oven. They were puffy and more than half had feet! I was thrilled. The peppermint scent emitted was simply gorgeous.

# – Peppermint macarons.

I let them cool down. Then I began the process of assembling the macaron sandwiches. A big smile across my face. I gently eased my thumb and index finger around a macaron. Lifted my fingers and….

CRAP. Bugger was stuck. I tried another one….stuck. All of them were stuck. I started sobbing. Yeap, I broke down. I cried like a dumbass.

Dramatic? You wouldn’t understand until you got a decent batch of macarons and they got stuck to your waxed paper.

# – I pried and pried. But to no avail :(

Lessons learnt:

1. Grease the damn paper.
2. Go easy on the peppermint essence, it’s a macaron, not breath mints!
3. Never ever, ever have too high an expectation at your first try at making macarons.

Thanks for reading.

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My cheese baked rice that was not :(

I was really excited about making this dish. My boyfriend absolutely loves it. Whenever we visit one of those Hong Kong themed restaurants, he never fails to order this. One layer of cooked rice, followed by a layer of meat sauce then topped off with cheese and baked till top is bubbly. Easy right?

So easy I didn’t even bother to look at a recipe. That was how cocky I was. Well, as it panned out, my version of cheese baked rice turned out quite bad :(

It was edible…okay let me rephrase, the crust was edible and now and then some bits of rice. The rest? Atrocious.

How could something that looked so good out of the oven and smelled so heavenly turned out to be a complete disappointment?

# – Perfectly good cheesy crust…what could go wrong? Right?

And every cooking failure is a lesson I have to learn from. From my disastrous cheese baked rice, I’ve learnt:

  1. Not to add beans I’ve never cooked before into perfectly fluffy rice just because I need to use some of them up.
  2. Never to buy too many cans of beans I’ve never cooked before because they were discounted. Refer to point above.
  3. Not to leave too much liquid in the meat sauce. Okay, to be more specific….drain the damn tuna. It won’t take too long.
  4. Not to cook too much of something you’ve never made before.
  5. Stick to the cheaper cheeses for first time dishes!!!!!
  6. Don’t EVER, EVER, forget the salt

# – Cannellini beans….not such a smart idea now is it?

I suppose that’s the nature of cooking, you can have some good days but you will bound to experience some bad days too.

If you’re attempting some form of cheese baked rice, and for some unknown odd reason you feel like dumping a can of cannellini beans into your rice, please, I implore you, DON’T!

# – This is an illustration of “BAD MOVE”.

So I screwed dinner up. It’s not too bad, all I had to do was take over the dishes duty and the BF’s successfully pacified. So there, if you’ve encountered any cooking disaster, don’t be discouraged and keep on cooking folks!

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