Rumored to have been discovered by Joël Roessel, a French tenor on the hunt for a vegan egg alternative, aquafaba has recently exploded in the food community. What is aquafaba? It's Latin for "water bean" and is the name given to the brine left over from canned chickpeas. 

When lightly whisked, aquafaba resembles fluffy egg whites, and can be used in both savory dishes and baked goods. The exact ratio of aquafaba to egg seems to vary depending on the recipe, but, generally, three tablespoons of aquafaba equal one whole egg, while two tablespoons can substitute one egg white. Aquafaba from pre-canned chickpeas is the most commonly used (and the easiest to get hold of), but using leftover water from cooking dried chickpeas yourself works just as well.

The egg replacement can be prepared using a handheld whisk or a stand mixer, and the peaks should match those of the eggs in the original recipe. For whole egg replacements, the aquafaba should be whipped just enough to resemble a sticky egg-like consistency, as this acts like a binding agent. Conveniently, aquafaba can also be stored in the fridge or freezer (keeping in the latter for about six months). This makes aquafaba incredibly useful (and affordable) for those seeking egg replacements, and the following examples show how the bean-based water can be used in your favorite foods.

Things to Make With Aquafaba

Vegan Meringues

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Angela Pizzimenti

These vegan meringues are made with 1/2 cup aquafaba whisked to stiff peaks along with sugar and cream of tartar. The baked result is a firm-to-the-touch meringue that's hard to distinguish from its egg-based counterpart. The added food colouring makes this recipe a little special, and you can rest assured that it does not taste of chickpeas.

Vegan Mayonnaise

In 2011, the UK-based condiment brand Rubies in the Rubble was founded, advertising its products as #CondimentsWithAConscience. It now boasts an aquafaba-based mayonnaise, available in a range of stores, including Waitrose and Whole Foods. However, like most condiments, aquafaba mayo can also be whipped up from home, with a plethora of variations available.

Vegan Macarons

Amrita over at Crazy Vegan Kitchen has been experimenting with aquafaba-based recipes for years, and has a number of macaron recipes behind her that prove aquafaba is an easy alternative to eggs. These macarons require 350 grams aquafaba simmered and reduced before cooling overnight. If you're looking to advance from basic meringues, CVK shows that you're never short of variety.

Are you intrigued by this wonder ingredient yet? Whether you're looking to replace the foam on decadent cocktails or are searching for your new favorite ice cream, this humble ingredient might just be the kitchen hack you need.