We've been using chickpea water, also known as aquafaba, for a few years now in vegan cakes and meringues- then wondered if you can also use it in sorbets where usually you'd use egg white. A quick bit of reading around implied you can... so here are the first experiments. We were pretty pleased with them- in fact the chocolate version got the verdict "this tastes like it came from a SUPERMARKET!!" from the 11-year-old...
It turns out any water used for cooking any beans will work for making a froth like egg white- except that dark coloured beans will make a coloured froth. Below is shown water from two tins of chickpeas being turned into stiff-peak froth after a few minutes' whisking. We usually cook our own beans from dried- but it's hard to cook them with little enough water to make the liquid strong enough to whisk, so it's easier to use tins for this...
For elderflower sorbet:
500ml elderflower cordial
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
liquid from one tin of chickpeas (from UNSALTED chickpeas- take care it's not a salted tin!)
You will also need
A large bowl
A tub to put in the freezer- preferably metal
An electric whisk: This could be done by hand but bean liquid is MUCH harder to whisk than egg- it would take a very long time
Chill the chickpea water and cordial/juice and zest mix overnight in a fridge or for a couple of hours in the freezer. This will help stop the mix separating as it freezes.
Whisk the chickpea water until it stands in stiff peaks.
Slowly whisk in the cordial and juice.
Pour mix into a freezer tub or metal baking tray.
Stir every couple of hours until set, to make sure the mix isn't separating. You should end up with a lovely fluffy dessert in a few hours- depending how cold your mix was to start.
For chocolate mint sorbet:
As for chocolate mint granita
Lquid from one tin of any kind of bean (UNSALTED)- the colour doesn't matter as the sorbet will be dark brown anyway, which will mask even black bean or kidney bean coloured water.
This is JUST kidney bean water- nothing added yet!
Chocolate mint sauce being added to stiff-peak whisked kidney bean water
Ready to eat- all fluffy!
Make the granita liquid and chill it.
Follow the instructions for elderflower sorbet above.
Enjoy as a dessert or as a treat. As noted above, this was VERY popular here - especially the chocolate one.
We do find that delicate flavours with bean water taste a bit... beany. In the same way that delicate flavours with egg can taste a bit eggy- but most of us are more used to that taste so don't notice it. We don't find anyone notices when cakes contain bean water, but with meringues and sorbets it does make a bit of a difference- it just means for making vegan frozen desserts, I personally wouldn't use bean waters for very light flavoured sorbets- I'd make a granita instead.
These recipes (especially the chocolate mint) are strong tasting- so the amazing fluffy texture of the whipped bean water is DEFINITELY worth adding!