Vegan Victory

Consumer demand for vegan options has brought many niche foods and ingredients to mainstream menus. The latest hack has the potential to reshape the basic formula of many desserts.  

Aquafaba, the viscous water created after chickpeas or other legume seeds have been cooked, has vegans, food scientists and mixologists on the hunt for new recipes because of its ability to perfectly mimic the structure and features of egg whites. Stack soft peaks created from egg whites next to a stack of aquafaba-based soft peaks and you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference. 

The implications of this discovery are endless, but the most obvious is that vegans can now eat angel food cake and macarons without suffering the side effects of a compromised substitute altering the texture and flavor. And that’s great news for bakers scrambling to feed vegans. 

Aquafaba has caught on quickly since its 2015 discovery, receiving attention from EaterBon Appetit and The New York Times. Meanwhile, “Vegan Meringue — Hits and Misses,” the Facebook group dedicated to aquafaba experimentation, has seen its membership skyrocket to 49,167 people in less than a year. 

All of this means one thing: The time for bakers to begin experimenting with aquafaba is now.