A week of surprises People come up with plenty of crazy ideas in food, but using the gloop, that dull thickish somewhat stinky liquid found in a can of chickpeas, to make meringues, sounds off the radar, right? No way! Eew, yick and all of that. But hold on!
I first became aware of using what is termed aquafaba – the aforementioned gloop – just a few short weeks ago thanks to an article in an American newspaper. When I went online I was stunned to see a whole new world out there. Yep, aquafaba, meaning bean water, has its own site, and there are plenty of people writing about it and creating new takes on recipes for the vegan market. One site proudly proclaims a recipe for Baked Alaska which is dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan. I'm not sure that soya and sesame were ever part of the original recipe, but you get the drift. There are aquafaba recipes for pavlova (no, the one above is made conventionally, and is the BEST EVER pavlova), pancakes, crepes, macarons and mayonnaise, and a buttercream for cakes which pipes like a dream, the author tells us. Whatever your thoughts, it is headed to a bar or restaurant near you, as it can be used to make foams and to replace whipped egg whites in cocktails. It's star is just rising.
So, I thought I'd have a go. The results were certainly surprising. I don't need to experiment any more, as I eat eggs and don't need to find an egg replacement, but if you do, then online is the place to go.
What else caught my fancy this week? It's been a busy one, and a tad nippy around my neck of the woods, and I've trotted out my fried Chinese-style eggs a couple of times. They are truly incredible, especially when you are starving, freezing and feeling lazy'ish. A 10-minute flavour bomb that will fill you up and warm you down to your toes. I'm not sure you could do anything like this with aquafaba, but who knows ...
And because I've been playing around with chickpeas and ended up with so many after using the can gloop, I tested hummus made from canned chickpeas alongside that made from dried reconstituted chickpeas, and my old nemesis, bicarbonate of soda. Again, the results were surprising, and, well, sometimes in life, you just have to suck it up and move on.
Finally, a recipe for Crying Lamb. A leg of lamb slathered in butter set above a bed of potatoes can't help but be delicious. All the gorgeous buttery lamb juices fall onto the potatoes turning them crisp and golden. There are times when red meat + animal fat + carbs is the most delicious thing on earth. Seriously. Just have a lettuce leaf for lunch the next day to balance it out.MORE