Aquafaba and Cherry Clafoutis
Last week, I stumbled upon something I had never heard of…Aquafaba. Does this name ring a bell? Have I lived under a rock for the past years??It seems that this aquafaba has become quite popular without me even knowing about it.
Anyway, let me enlighten you, if you are as oblivious as I was. Aquafaba is the liquid that is produced when beans/ chickpeas are cooked in water. The opaque, brownish water that does not look appealing in the least. Naturally, I store my cooked legumes in a glass jar WITH their liquid, but as soon as I use the beans/ chickpeas I discard the water. Well, not anymore. Because this protein rich water is just amazing- it behaves just like egg whites and can be whipped it into fluffy white peaks!!!
To do that, strain the aquafaba through a mesh, then beat it- it’ll take a bit longer than egg whites, about 3 minutes. The good news is that you cannot overbeat it, so just turn on your food processor and walk away.
My first attempt in using aquafaba, did not result in stiff peaks, but resulted in a white, more soft texture. Nevertheless, I used it to make a French Cherry Clafoutis, which turned out incredibly delicious. I think that the consistency of whipped aquafaba depends on the protein content of the liquid. The results are great with liquid found in canned chickpeas, but I refrain from using canned legumes because of their high amount of physic acid (see previous post on activation http://plantbasedhappy.com/?p=6272). I’d rather try to modify my own aquafaba to get the same stiff white peaks! A good way to start is to cook the aquafaba until it has been reduced by half (start out with 1 cup, cook until there´s 1/2 cup left). Let it cool off and store it in a fridge. Only beat it when it´s cold! That does the trick!
But back to the cherry cake- a clafoutis is a baked French fruit dessert…. cherries are usually the fruits of choice and are covered with a batter.
Cherry desserts are always on the top of our dessert list, partly because cherries keep their shape and firm texture even during baking. The only downside is pitting them. But the flavor of the cake makes up for the hard work 🙂
click here for the recipe http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=6937
Cherries are a powerhouse of antioxidants and are well known for their anti-inflammatory benefits, but they are also the only natural source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s internal block and sleep-wake cycles.
A handful of cherries might help me to get over the jet lag on my next trip to Europe? As kids, we would hang cherries on our ears and pretend to have earrings…and, of course, competed in a “spit the pit the farthest” contest. I still play that game with my kids. So much fun!!