There are plenty of famous foodie personalities who have become notorious for their disdain for vegans. Have a scroll through the backlog of Gordon Ramsay’s comments on the subject, for instance, and you’ll see just how little respect some chefs seem to have for a plant-based lifestyle.
But, in a world where stuffing fridges full of steak and chicken is looking less and less viable, many cooks are having to contend with the fact that veganism actually has a lot to offer the thrifty diner. Animal-sourced items that might once have been plentiful are fast becoming tricky to come by. Therefore, handy hacks that don’t require multiple meaty shopping trips have suddenly become a lot more interesting.
One of the most popular plant-based swaps comes from a seriously unlikely source. For anyone who has a sudden craving for an Eton mess, or another suitably sweet dessert, making your own meringues in world where looking for eggs is like trying to find Bigfoot can be frustrating. Fortunately, there is a nifty two-ingredient alternative that uses nothing more than chickpea water and sugar.
If you're in the mood for vegan desserts, check out our Baileys Vegan Birthday Cake recipe:
While making a delicious meringue without breaking a few eggs might sound like magic, it’s actually all down to one key ingredient. It turns out that chickpea water, also known as aquafaba, behaves almost identically to eggwhites, making it an ideal substitute in dozens of desserts.
In order to make a meringue for instance, you simply need to drain the chickpeas from a tin, reserving the liquid, and whip the resulting water into stiff peaks. By slowly adding sugar until you have a flossy bowl of sugary goodness, you can create a range of desserts without worrying about using up your precious egg supply.
Although plant-based meringues are an obvious benefit, they aren’t the only dishes that can be created from aquafaba. According to a 2015 post from The Vegan Society, the substance can be used to create everything from vegan buttercream to vegan nougat, to vegan chocolate mousse. It might be time for Gordon Ramsay to eat some chickpea-infused humble pie.