A few months ago I stumbled upon a recipe using aquafaba as an egg replacement. I was intrigued as to what aquafaba actually was. With a little investigation I discovered that aquafaba refers to the water found in a can of garbanzo beans.
My intrigue quickly turned to nausea.
I tucked the idea of using aquafaba far away…until this week.
We deal with multiple food allergies in our home. I’ve considered it an adventure of sorts in trying to recreate traditional recipes into gluten free, egg free versions. I’ve mastered making gluten free cookies without eggs. I’ve successfully made cupcakes and birthday cakes as well. Muffins are a breeze.
But then there are brownies. Thick, fudgy, chocolatey brownies. They have been my nemesis. Try as I may, I have been unable to work my magic. Every single attempt has wound up in the trash…an inedible mess…a disaster each and every time. My stumbling block has been eggs. I’ve used mashed bananas, applesauce, flax, and the like to try to replace the egg. My conclusion? Brownies simply need eggs to be brownie-like.
This week my mind revisited aquafaba. Maybe, just maybe this would be the answer to my brownie dilemma.
After purchasing a few cans of garbanzo beans, I got to work. First, I drained and reserved the liquid from the beans. I warn you; the smell is quite unappealing . Just try to think about brownies, not garbanzo bean liquid.
I then placed the liquid into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beginning on low speed, I gradually increased the speed to high. I then allowed the mixer to do all of the work while I looked on. Within 60 seconds I was utterly mesmerized. What once was a cloudy, foul liquid was transforming into a light, airy, snow-white cloud right before my very eyes.
I then proceeded to fold the whipped aquafaba into my brownie batter (which was from a box to save money for my experiment). The batter was thick and it proved difficult to mix the two together. I popped the pan into the oven and baked it for 20 minutes…then 10 minutes more…then for another 10 minutes, and finally for another 5 minutes. I soon realized that these brownies were as done as they were going to be.
I removed the pan from the oven and allowed it to rest on the stove top. I noticed that the top of the brownies were bubbling like hot mud. Nope, I’ve never seen brownies do that before. I allowed them to cool for an hour. I then gently lifted the parchment paper from the pan and laid the “brownies” on a cutting board. These were indeed some strange looking brownies. Normally brownies are nice and thick, These were roughly a 1/4″ high…no exaggerating. Also, the batter was still present but in a very condensed form (likely from all that bubbling activity). Needless to say, these brownies were not fit for man or beast, and yet again, found a home in the trash.
Determined to conquer and win the Battle of the Brownies, I made one last ditch effort. This time I decided that I would reduce the liquid aquafaba instead of whipping it. I placed one cup of aquafaba into a saucepan and allowed it to reduce by half. This took approximately 7-10 minutes. I then did away with the boxed mix and worked with my own brownie recipe.
I placed one stick of butter (salted) into the hot aquafaba. I also stirred in one cup of dark (60%) chocolate chips. I continued to stir until all of the ingredients were melted and completely mixed. Then, in the same pot, I stirred in one cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder.
I transferred the mixture into the bowl of my standmixer (fitted with a paddle attachment). Next, I added 3/4 cup Bob’s 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour, a 1/2 cup potato starch, and 1 & 1/2 teaspoons double acting baking powder. I mixed everything together until all of the ingredients were just combined (don’t overmix).
I lined an 8″ x 8″ glass baking dish with parchment paper, then spread the brownie batter into the dish.
So far, so good. The batter looks normal (and tastes normal).
I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and baked the brownies for 25 minutes.
I held my breath and expected the worst.
Upon removing the dish from the oven, I immediately noticed that there was no hot bubbly mud…this was good. I then noticed that the brownies were nice and thick…this was very good. I was then astounded to find that a nice crust had formed on top of the brownies, and what was sitting in my baking dish actually resembled real brownies…this was very, very good.
I allowed the brownies to rest for an hour. I then lifted the parchment paper ends and transferred the brownies to my cutting board. I trimmed the edges, then cut out nine squares.
Now for the moment of truth…the taste test.
They were perfect. They tasted like brownies, thick, fudgy, chocolatey brownies. I kinda of felt like dancing, but I restrained myself!
Say hello to my new baking friend, aquafaba.
Gluten Free & Egg Free Brownies (That Taste Like the Real Deal)
yields 9 squares
1 cup aquafaba (you’ll need two cans of garbanzo beans)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, salted
1 cup dark chocolate chips (60%)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Rodelle unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 & 1/2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
(see directions above in the text of the posting)