Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Book Review & Giveaway: Aquafaba!


Oh my gosh, I am so super excited about this book. Unless you've had your head in the sand, you've probably heard a lot of chatter in the last couple of years about the amazing miracle of chickpea water (the liquid from cooking your chickpeas/from a can of chickpeas). In particular, the water, which has been officially named "aquafaba" can be used with great efficacy to replace eggs in any number of sweet and savory applications. I've been a part of the wonderful aquafaba facebook group for a couple years, and I've followed many of the posts - but up until now I had only experimented with using aquafaba as an egg replacer in baked goods (with amazing results, btw!). 

My pal Zsu Dever has written a book all about this liquid miracle, "Aquafaba." So, when Zsu and her publisher invited me to be a part of the blog tour (and offer a giveaway!) - I knew this was my chance to get serious, tackle my fears, and finally dive into the glory and mystery of the future of vegan food!!!! 

aquafaba is cool!


Let me just say straight off the top, that this is a great book - it's full of well-researched and well-tested recipes and information about something that is really new and cutting-edge in the world of veganism. There are a wide array of recipes and the instructions are very clear. The book has some working assumptions: for instance, that you have a stand mixer (i do not), and many recipes also assume you have a slow cooker/Instapot (i also do not). That said, I was undeterred - as you'll see - and the book always gives clear alternate instructions for people who don't have a slow cooker.


my jerry-rigged system

As I said, I don't have a stand mixer... but I was also determined not to be left behind on this exciting Aquafaba bandwagon! So I got my trusty little electric hand mixer, bungee-corded it to my Vitamix, and put a metal bowl underneath the mixer. I had to use some vegan books to get the bowl to the correct height. This was not as good as a stand mixer, and it took *forever* -- but it worked!!!


DUDE.

Check it out!!! Here's the thing. This took me almost 1 hour of whipping with my little set-up... It's supposed to take about 15-20 minutes with a stand mixer, though! Every once in a while, I'd turn off my mixer and let the motor rest a bit. Also, I'd turn the bowl often, because (unlike a stand mixer, where the whisk gets rotated around the bowl) otherwise the mixer was just whipping one part of the stuff. But really, isn't this just amazing? My mind was pretty much blown. I was so happy to conquer my fear of a new technique! 

big smiles for the desirable "stiff peaks" !!! 

Crustless Chile Relleno Quiche

So, what did I make with my fluffy fluff? The first thing I made was Zsu's amazing Chile Relleno Quiche. The aquafaba is whipped and then folded in with pureed cashews (or tofu, I used half and half), plus a lovely mix of seasoning and a load of freshly roasted poblano peppers.  The recipe calls for a crust (and provides a recipe), but I always prefer crustless quiche, and this worked just fine. 

slice of fluffy heaven

This quiche had a wonderful flavor and a super light and airy texture. Although I love a tofu quiche as much as the next vegan, it was pretty exciting to make a quiche that had that classic lightness to it! There is another quiche recipe in the book too, and once I get the hang of it, I see that I could just start ad-libbing in all sorts of quiche directions! This dinner was a huge hit with Mr. VE&T too - in fact, he ate almost all of it and I had to request that he please leave me a piece for breakfast the next day. ha ha. 

this recipe calls for a stand mixer
(I used a hand mixer - and patience - with good results)


It's SuperFluff and her amazing sidekick, FluffDog!


Toasted Oat Waffles, with homemade applesauce

Ooooh, I just LOVED these Toasted Oat Waffles! This recipe makes a wonderful, healthy waffle: very low in sugar, no added oil, and full of toasted rolled oats. The oats are toasted and then blended into a flour - and the end result is a beautifully rich flavor that's a bit nutty and earthy. Just remembering these waffles is making me want to make more for tomorrow morning. These are definitely one of my favorite new waffles and I know I'll make them again and again. Plus, served with some warm applesauce and cinnamon, they make for a delicious and totally reasonable weekday breakfast. So fun! 

this recipe doesn't require any special equipment (other than a waffle iron and a blender)


Hollah for the Challah!

I didn't grow up eating Challah bread, and I'm not even sure when I ever had it for first time, but somewhere along the line -- before going vegan -- I developed quite an affection for this delicious, semi-sweet braided bread. Over the years I've tried several vegan versions of challah bread, with mixed levels of success, but when I saw an aquafaba Challah, I knew I was going to try it out. This bread takes a while (two rises, and then a third rise after braiding, then baking time) - but very little of it is active time, and the results are 100% worth it! 

it's what on the inside that counts.

Let's just say that when I made this loaf, I promised my bread-loving friend (who is also Jewish and has been enjoying Challah her whole life) that I would save some for her, but then we ate it all. Oooooops. So, when she and her family came over for dinner this week, I made a second loaf for them. Of course, loaf #2 turned out perfect and amazing too. I got a text message from her later that night: "Omg. The challah. Makes me want to freak out. It is So So So Good. Chew is great, moisture lovely. !!!" ha ha ha. That's a direct quote, in case you were wondering. This is definitely my new Challah recipe!

this recipe doesn't require a stand mixer, or any special equipment

CHALLAH
Zsu's publishers, Vegan Heritage Press have agreed to let us bloggers share the recipe for this amazing bread! The recipe makes two loaves, so each time I made it, I just halved it for one loaf. What was I thinking? I"ll never make that mistake again.
(from Aquafaba, copyright © 2016 by Zsu Dever. Used by permission.)

Dough
3/4 cup warm water (not hotter than 110°F)
6 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
6 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
5 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 pinches turmeric
1/2 cup aquafaba (see Note below)

Aquafaba Wash
1/4 cup aquafaba (see Note below)
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch

1. Dough: Combine the water, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup, and yeast in a medium bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes to proof. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons of the maple syrup and oil.

2. Combine the flour, salt, and turmeric in a separate medium bowl and set aside.

3. Add the aquafaba to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and use a whisk to beat the aquafaba until light and frothy, about 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and about 4 cups of the flour mixture. Knead the dough in the stand mixer or using a large wooden spoon. Mix well and add the rest of the flour mixture as needed to create a firm dough; try adding most, or all, of the flour mixture. Knead the dough for 10 minutes to develop the gluten. The dough should be smooth and push back when poked.

4. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Deflate the dough and let it rise again until doubled, about another hour. Divide the dough in two and divide each half into three, four, or six pieces, depending on how you would like to braid the dough. Keep the pieces covered until ready to use.

5. Roll each portion of dough into a 12-inch long, tapered rope. Braid half the ropes into a challah loaf. Set the braided dough on a baking sheet, repeat the process with the other half of the ropes, and cover each loaf with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.

6. Aquafaba Wash: Combine the aquafaba and arrowroot or cornstarch in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until thickened. Cool slightly before use. (For a sweeter, slightly sticky wash, combine 3 tablespoons aquafaba with 1 tablespoon maple syrup; no need to heat the maple syrup mixture before use.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

7. Brush the aquafaba wash all over the bread and bake for 10 minutes. Brush the bread with the wash again, continue to bake for 20 to 25 more minutes, and check the bread for doneness. If the bread is browning too quickly, tent it with foil or continue to bake it upside down. Tap on the bottom of the bread; if it sounds hollow, it is probably ready. Cool before serving.

Makes 2 loaves

Note: Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.


Soft-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

These amazing cookies use the aquafaba as egg replacer, and Zsu's recipe for Soft-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies is based on Somer's recipe which you can fine online here. I made this big batch of cookies for a family dinner party, celebrating FOUR October birthdays in our family. I know of few ways to satisfy everyone's tastes better than chocolate chip cookies! These were a total and complete super-hit and I brought home an empty platter at the end of the evening. My brother's fiance was one of the birthday guests being honored, and she is crazy about coconut, so I added a couple tablespoons of coconut flour, and a big handful of some lightly sweetened organic coconut that Edwards & Sons sent me recently. The coconut was nice in these cookies! These cookies were pretty much perfect and will definitely be one of my top chocolate chip cookie recipes from now on.

this recipe requires no special equipment


Nougat!!!

Oh my gosh. A while back, someone posted a nougat recipe in the Aquafaba Facebook group and I pretty much freaked out. Nougat is something that I really loved in my pre-vegan days, but it is always made with egg whites, and usually with honey too. I've really missed it, and I was eager to try making it with the miracle of aquafaba!

This recipe was definitely a bit intricate (candy making always is!), but not hard to follow. The fact that I had to whip my aquafaba for 1 hour with my silly handmixer bungee cord set-up made it take a bit longer than it needed to -- but I was busy enjoying myself in the kitchen so it was okay. When it finally got to the stage of pouring the hot syrup into the whipped aquafaba meringue, I couldn't believe my eyes: it was turning into nougat!!!! SO amazing! The recipe calls for lemon zest, and add-ins of your choice: I used toasted hazelnuts and toasted almonds. It is so incredibly delicious. Also, isn't it beautiful?  I am really over the moon about how well it turned out.


I was pretty much freaking out as I watched my ingredients transform into nougat!!


my nougat candies all wrapped up and ready to be distributed.

I wrapped up all my nougat chunks in little squares of parchment paper (it's pretty sticky stuff!). I am planning to give these candies out on my Halloween morning yoga class - a perfect opportunity to hand out candy to my yoga students! This nougat is soft and chewy, with the lovely crunch of the toasted nuts, and you can definitely taste the lemon zest too. After being in the fridge, it gets more firm and less soft. There's a note in the recipe that you can reduce the quantity of aquafaba by half to yield a more firm nougat, and maybe I'll try that next time, just to see the difference. I'd like to take some of these and roll them in tempered chocolate and make little chocolate bars! 

this recipe calls for a stand mixer
(I used a hand mixer - and patience - with good results)


Chickpea Gulyas

One thing about making all this aquafaba, is that you will also end up with a lot of chickpeas in your life! ha ha. Luckily, both chickpeas and aquafaba can be easily frozen! That said, I love that "Aquafaba" (the book) also has a wonderful section in the back full of recipes for all your chickpeas. And of course they are great recipes!

Zsu is Hungarian, so the Gulyas (aka "goulash") caught my eye right away - this was a lovely and hearty stew with chickpeas (of course), carrots, potatoes, tomato, and a myriad of lovely spices and seasonings. Mr. VE&T always loves the flavors of Hungarian food, so I knew he would love this - and he did! 
chickpeas look like cute little butts


Korean Dak Galbi

YUM! I used up the last of my precious bag of Korean rice cakes on this dinner - and it was a very worthy use for them. This was a really, really delicious meal that was satisfying in every way: sauteed tofu cubes and chickpeas full of protein, rice cakes and sweet potatoes (I used purple sweet potatoes) for substance and starchy goodness, cabbage and fresh herbs for a veggie blast, and loads of spices and gochujang sauce for flavor and heat. Mmmmm. I loved this meal a lot. 


we are certified fluff-heads now that we have seen the glory of aquafaba

~~~
This is all I've made so far, but I have many more recipes that I am eager to try. Most of what we've heard about from aquafaba has to do with sweets and meringues, but actually this book is full of a surprising variety of recipes - just to give you an idea, here are some of the recipes I want to make:

Condiments Chapter: Butter, Country-style Aged Sharp Cheddar, Caesar Dressing
Breakfast Chapter: Baked Donuts, Classic Waffles, Fluffy Pancakes, Matzo Brei, Crepes
Lunch and Dinner Chapter: Levantine Kebabs, Swedish Meatballs, Eggroll Wrappers, Brioche, Hot Cross buns
Sweets from the Pantry: Marshmallows, Chocolate Mousse, Lemon Meringue Pie, Ice Cream
Sweets from the Oven: Espresso Macarons, Autumn-Spiced Bread Pudding, Pound Cake
Bean Recipes Chapter: Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Hummus, Curried Caribbean Coconut Chickpeas, Pulled Seitan Chickpea Roast

Overall, I think this is a super exciting and interesting book - I've absolutely loved everything I've made from it, and I loved even more the joy and challenge of learning about new ingredients and new techniques. After almost 17 years of veganism, it's pretty wonderful to create flavors and textures in my home kitchen that I haven't had in years. Also, even if you don't have a stand mixer, I encourage you to consider this book -- there are plenty of interesting and delicious recipes that don't require it, and maybe you could fix up a cheapo hand mixer like I did. It just takes patience, but the results were really good.  

I felt some intimidation about really trying some of the new techniques with aquafaba, especially with my atypical equipment!, but I was absolutely impressed with how clear and helpful Zsu's instructions are throughout the book. I also really appreciated how much Zsu kept the community spirit of the online aquafaba group - she gives a lot of credit to the various people whose discoveries and recipes paved the way for her own recipes. I love this book! 

GIVEAWAY!
Guess what, lucky United States readers? I get to giveaway a copy of "Aquafaba!" To enter, leave a comment here and tell me if you have tried making anything yet with aquafaba, or which of the recipes I mentioned sound good to you, or really, any comment you want. **** Be sure to leave your email address or some way for me to contact you, or else I will just pick a different winner! ****
Gooood luck! 






43 comments:

  1. Oh Amey, I wished you would review this because I knew you would cover whether or not a stand mixer was needed and you granted my wish. And I love your solution to the recipes that do call for the mixer! Super excited to get this now. Honestly I am most excited about aquafaba because I (as I know you do as well) use a ton of chickpeas ... and always hated to waste all of that chickpea liquid. Great to have a use for it now.
    :-) jen e.

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  2. This book is going on my Christmas list for sure! I've made quite a lot with aquafaba, both savory and sweet, but I'd love a comprehensive cookbook!

    One thing that always makes me laugh about the the aquafaba/vegan meringue Facebook group is when folks ask what the heck to do with their leftover chickpeas. Ha! I never have a problem with that!

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  3. I haven't yet! I always forget to save it!

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  4. I've made meringues and used chickpea brine as an egg replacer, both with good success.

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  5. I actually did just recently try Aquafaba...I made Julia Child's classic chocolate mousse...I can't wait to try more AF recipes...and I follow the FB group too...

    ~Have a lovely day!

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  6. The "chickpeas look like cute little butts" is probably the best illustration I've ever seen in my life. LOVE IT! :D

    I have never whipped it up but I use aquafaba as the egg replacer in my bread mix and it works great! The Chocolate Mousse sounds like something I need to make... STAT!

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  7. Love your stand mixer rig! I just use a hand mixer also but I've not been so creative about it... I've only made meringues and mayonnaise with aquafaba, but I'm certainly going to try the challah soon!

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  8. I have been too scared to make anything with aquafaba....even though I have some homemade chickpea water in my freezer, waiting for me to gain confidence! This makes me feel like it's possible...I think I'm going to defrost it and make those cookies first!

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  9. Okay, so I know I'm not eligible to win but I wanted to comment anyway! I am SO SOLD on this cookbook! As soon as I have somewhere permanent to live and can get my gadgets outa storage I will for sure be getting a copy. You had me at toasted oat waffles and by challah I was like, okay, cool, I'm in for sure, and then you KILLED ME with the nougat pic's! I can't even tell you how much I miss nougat, I once found it in a vegan store in Poland but when I read the ingredients? Not vegan! It was such a sad day but now I know that nougat is within reach & I cannot wait to make it.

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  10. First off, Amey, your book reviews are always so amazing! Thorough, informative, exciting and full of great doodles! Thank you for that! (Of course, they also make me nearly always want the book you are reviewing, so the publishers and authors should thank you, too, haha!)

    Secondly, this book looks so great! I have not yet made anything with aquafaba. I don't eat many sweets at all, but it sounds like this book has plenty of savory recipes too. Those toasted oat waffles sound great and I love the idea of topping them with applesauce. And that nougat looks especially amazing - I might have to make an exception about my sweets rule for that. Thank you again for the great review!

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  11. chickpea butts are too cute
    i've made some frostings and meringues with whipped aquafaba as well as brownies with it still liquidy. i definitely appreciate the chapter on what to do with all the chickpeas you've drained, i'm definitely guilty of wasting a few in my experiments.
    i'm all over that challah recipe, thanks for sharing, and have the nougat on my list. that was always one of my favourites!
    thanks for a great post & fantastic giveaway!

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    Replies
    1. whoops: lydia_webster@yahoo.com

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  12. Nougat!! I've wanted to make that since going vegan, but totally forgot about it over the years. It's time for a long-awaited reunion, at last!

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  13. I have made meringues, chocolate mousse and mayo. Those soft batch chocolate chip cookies look fabulous and I totally want to try that recipe!

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  14. All of the recipes you reviewed look great but I would first want to make the nougat candy. Homemade candy is always a treat to share because few people make it.

    I must get on the aqua faba bandwagon!

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  15. My reaction to your post:
    OMGOMGOMGOMG.

    I can't believe this book exists! :) Soooo cool. Did I understand you correctly that she uses homemade aquafaba and not the liquid from canned chickpeas? Because that's even better!! I'm obsessed about aquafaba chocolate mousse but I have to admit it's a struggle to do it with homemade liquid.

    Anyway, amazing review as always :) I'll have to find a US address eventually eheh

    Love,
    Inês

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  16. This book looks great. I'd like to try making the nougat first. The egg roll wrappers are appealing too. So many great recipes!

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  17. I want to make the bread pudding and the pound cake. I've tried vegan recipes for these in the past and was disappointed.

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  18. I love to bake. That challah is lovely. You have been very busy! Maybe it's the cute mixing bowl that keeps you cooking. :)

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  19. Thaw quiche and the nougat look/sound delicious! I haven't tried cooking with aquafaba yet, but I have a jar of it my fridge from just a few days ago that I was trying to figure out what to do with! Thank you for the tip of freezing it-i think that's what I'll do. :) I've had this book on my 'wish list' and would love to own it...thank you for the opportunity!

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  20. I don't live in the States, so I'm not taking part in the contest.

    I will definitely check out this book, it's the first time I hear about it. Times flies so quickly, I would never have thought aquafaba had been a thing for a couple of years already.

    Oh, also, I am also "celebrating" 17 years as a vegan soon. Cheers!

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  21. I've made Somer's *amazing* chocolate chip cookie recipe, and I've made that 4-5x so far. I foresee eating LOTS of chickpeas in the future, just to get to the brine! Those chocolate chip cookies are magical. I doubled the recipe the last time that I made them, and we ate all of them over a 3-day weekend--that's about five cookies a day per person in my household. So... this cookbook sounds fantastic! ceevegnashville [at] gmail [dot] com

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  22. I've made aquafaba and have seriously been amazed with the results! I can't wait to get my hands on this cook book and get busy in the kitchen! So many of the recipes sound DELISH, I don't think I can choose just one.

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  23. I have not had the chance to make anything yet, but I've had a mason jar with aquafaba in my fridge for a while now, in hopes to make macaroons, since I've never had one!

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  24. Trina smith9:32 AM

    I have tried making meringues, first attempt was an epic fail. I finally figured it out and they came out good. I saved the chocolate chip recipe, I want to try the bread and quiche.

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  25. How exciting!! I am ITCHING to try out aquafaba in my kitchen and might have to fashion a DIY stand mixer like you did! I'd really like to try making a lemon meringue pie for Thanksgiving!!!

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  26. I haven't as yet, but I'm intrigued by the nougat karengdelaney *at* yahoo (dot) com

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  27. Okay, DON'T PUT IN THE GIVEAWAY cause I already have it (did my blog tour post a couple days back), but I just want to say that this book is the bestest! I made the other quiche (sundried tomato & artichoke), and it was so good! Also, the chewy fudge brownies were amazing. I must try that nougat and the Korean dish. Sadly, I haven't made it to the chickpea chapter yet!

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  28. I'm a new vegan and struggling with the loss of comfort foods. I recently fell upon aquafaba on youtube. I couldn't believe my eyes. However, I've been very nervous about hiding the bean flavor. I'm looking at doing a bread and brownie recipe. (Vegan and gluten free) Hanwilson.cpdt(at)gmail(dot) com

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  29. My family have been craving the meringue creations I used to make many years ago when eggs were a staple in my house. I'm dreaming of Daquoise in our future with the help of this book - fingers crossed and thanks for the giveaway! (Next giveaway should be for a stand mixer!)
    fireweedstation@mtaonline.net

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  30. I've used aquafaba in cookies and bread recipes successfully. This cookbook would be super inspiring to have and makes me want to put my lab coat on and experiment in the kitchen :)

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  31. "So I got my trusty little electric hand mixer, bungee-corded it to my Vitamix, and put a metal bowl underneath the mixer."
    Ah clever girl you are! I thought I was the only person without a stand up mixer.
    It looks like you made so many wonderful recipes with aquafaba! I think the soft-batch chocolate chip cookies the best. Yum. Everything looks so good though. I still haven't experimented with aquafaba, I'm so late to the game. I need to get on this bandwagon.
    Superfluff and Fluffdog are SO CUTE!

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  32. Terri Cole8:32 PM

    Last year, I successfully veganized my favorite Christmas cookie from childhood, using aqua faba. It's a macaroon that uses coconut, sugar, corn flakes and egg whites, and when my grandma made them I was in Heaven! I thought I would never taste them again so it felt like a small miracle when it worked!

    gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

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  33. Gabrielle12:25 AM

    I've only made waffles with AF and they were AMAZING!

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  34. My little nephew (just turned a year) was recently diagnosed with PB, wheat and egg allergies. I don't want him to feel left out of being able to eat things, so I'm on a mission (yeah, I'm the "best" auntie) to make as many goodies as possible available to him. I just learned about aquafaba this week and I am thrilled. Can't wait to try it out! Thanks for the chance to win.

    sarah at bonanzagirl@gmail.com

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  35. I have wanted to try aquafab but haven't yet. I really think I would make good use of this book. I love cooking.

    zula154@yahoo.com

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  36. My allergy-free marshmallow fluff! I could finally have vegan marshmallow without the soy!

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  37. Anonymous10:14 PM

    I've used it as an egg replacer unwhipped, on the FB group, but not adventurous yet. Would love to try the nougat, but haven't made candy before. ec925 'at' usa 'dot' net

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  38. You weren't kidding, you made a lot of stuff! That yummy quiche may be the first recipe I try. Or maybe the challah. Or the waffles. I love your excited nougat face! And you're right, chickpeas do look like tiny butts!

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  39. Stephania8:06 AM

    OMG!!! Nougats sound delicious!!! Can't wait to try them!

    Stephania: josephstephania@gmail.com

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  40. Challah is one of my favorite breads in all the world and I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

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  41. I would love to try and make 7 minute frosting. I use to love it. It is like a marshmallow frosting and I use to add it gingerbread cake all the time.

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  42. Wow!!!!!!! Aquafaba is magical stuff! I didn't know the depth of what it could do. I'm super duper amazed and hungry. The challah bread and that nougat and the quiche and the oat waffles with homemade apple sauce are calling out to me...... plus as usual your quirky drawings are on point! <3

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