Have you heard about aquafaba? Aquafaba is the sludgy liquid that you drain out of a can of chickpeas before using them. Aquafaba is the slime you rinse down the sink before you make hummus. Aquafaba is also - get this - an amazing substitute for egg whites when whipped.
I know! I didn't believe it either. Our resident Evil Genius/ Kitchen Scientist Anne Radcliffe told me about it, and then I spent a morning asking her incessant questions about why and how it works. She's a patient woman.
Here's the thing: for some reason I was really hesitant to try it. I mean, really. It's the gross stuff from the can of chickpeas. Finally, I got up the nerve to save the liquid on a day I was making hummus, and thought, what the hell. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn't work, and I've wasted something I would have rinsed down the sink anyway.
People, it was amazing. I urge you to try this recipe just for fun. If you have small children at home, it would be a fun experiment - with very tasty results! My kids absolutely loved these little meringue "ghosts."
The aquafaba whips up just like egg whites, but you need a stand mixer for this - it takes some time. I'm so excited about this that I'm going to attempt an angel food cake next. It might be a little ambitious, but I will keep you posted on my results, no matter what they are!
Preheat oven to 250 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a stand mixer, beat liquid from chickpeas (aquafaba) with cream of tartar on high for approximately 15 minutes. The mixture should form soft peaks, very similar to egg whites.
Add sugar and vanilla, and beat for another 5 minutes.
Scoop into little mounds on parchment paper, and bake for approximately 90 minutes, or until meringues are quite firm.
Be impressed with yourself - you just made meringues out of chickpea liquid!
Yield: 3 dozen meringues
Look. LOOK! It really does form soft peaks - just like egg whites!