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.