A few weeks ago, I started seeing lots of aquafaba-based marshmallow fluff and meringue recipes and photos pop up on some of the vegan blogs I follow. Although I’m definitely not a baker or dessert-maker, I was curious to try making aquafaba fluff myself. (“aqua” is Latin for “water” and “faba” is Latin for “bean” hence the name.) I had a can of chickpeas, some sugar and a Kitchen Aid mixer, so I was all set.
To make the fluff, you put the excess liquid you usually strain and rinse off of canned chickpeas into a Kitchen Aid mixer, start on slow, then increase the speed to high and it magically whips up into a beautiful marshmallow fluff in about 7-10 minutes. See the video below, via VeganBreak:
I first tried using the fluff in an angel food cake recipe, and it failed miserably. Then I tried to make another batch but ruined it by adding in ingredients before whipping the chickpea brine. By my fourth try, I had a beautiful fluff that I decided to add some xanthan gum and coconut cream to further thicken, and it worked beautifully! You can whip it up and serve as is, or throw some blobs into a dehydrator for a more sturdy texture. They refrigerate well and taste just like a gooey marshmallow with no beany taste at all.
Yield 10-12 large marshmallows
for the vegan marshmallows
- about 1 cup brine from 1 can chickpeas
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar or process regular sugar in a blender until fine
- 2 tsp xanthan gum
- ** 1/3 cup coconut cream [optional — see note in recipe below] (place unopened can upright in freezer for an hour or in refrigerator overnight to allow the fat to properly rise to the top of the can)
- pinch salt
for the rest
- vegan graham crackers
- dark chocolate, melted
- Place the chickpea brine into a Kitchen Aid mixer. Using the whisk attachment, start on the low setting for a minute or two, then slowly increase to the highest setting for 7-10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and frothy, and forms stiff peaks.
- Drizzle the sugar into the aquafaba. Wait one minute, then add in 1 tsp of the xanthan gum. Process one minute more, then add in another teaspoon of xanthan gum, whisking for 1-2 minutes more.
- ** I had a few readers express that adding the coconut cream resulted in the mixture deflating. I did not experience this, so add at your own discretion. If you leave the coconut cream out, this recipe will still produce a thick, marshmallow-y texture!! **
- If using the coconut cream, break up the coconut cream into small pieces and drop into the aquafaba very slowly (it will collapse if you add it in too quickly), then add the salt and process 1 minute more. The mixture should be airy and thick. Taste and add extra sugar or salt as needed.
- To create sturdier marshmallows, pipe or spoon 1 to 2 tablespoon-sized dollops onto a flexible, non-stick screen and place into a dehydrator. Dehydrate at 110 degrees for 8-10 hours, or until the outside has developed a texture firm enough to hold its shape. The inside should still be gooey and soft.
- Serve with vegan graham crackers and melted chocolate. You can lightly toast the edges of the marshmallow with a butane torch or a lighter if you want.
TIP: To make the mixture thicker or thinner, use a little more or little less xanthan gum. You can use straight out of the mixer as a marshmallow fluff, dehydrate for longer or shorter to obtain the desired texture. The coconut cream is optional.
Refrigerate if not using right away. It holds its shape and texture well after refrigeration.
For more aquafaba-based recipes, check out these blogs!