Ever since I heard about the chick pea brine used as an alternative to egg whites, I have been obsessed. I have loads and loads of boiled chickpeas in my fridge and freezer and have no idea how to use them up. But the water drained out of those chickpeas is being very useful. My oven has been acting weirdly for some time. I think I need to buy a new oven. I don’t blame the oven. For the past seven years, it has been working hardly and it really needs some rest. As the oven temperature is high, I am unsuccessful at all my meringue attempts except for the basic egg free meringue I posted earlier. So I thought of stopping all the meringue experiments until a new oven arrives and concentrate on cakes and frostings which use egg whites. So my first attempt at creating the egg free Italian Meringue Butter Cream was a huge success.
I also tried an egg free sponge with very little oil along with this IMBC recipe. That is the cake you see in the photo above. Those who don’t know what is IMBC, here is a small introduction. Italian Meringue Butter Cream is a egg based butter cream which is mildly sweet and so light and fluffy. It pipes very well and so is used in cakes as an alternative to the sugar laden American Butter Cream. But making IMBC is not as easy as the American Butter Cream. You need a candy thermometer so that the sugar syrup is added at the correct temperature to the whipped egg whites. And once the sugar and whites are incorporated, they are beat until the mixture is cold. And finally butter is added to get the fluffiest butter cream which just melts in the mouth. If you see, the base of the recipe is egg white. Only an egg white can create an airy fluffy butter cream. And when I came across the recipe which was with out eggs, I noted it down immediately. It follows the same procedure, only that the egg whites are substituted with chick pea brine.
If you are new to this idea, then I suggest you to join the Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses Face Book Group for further ideas. They usually use the brine which comes along with canned chickpeas. Named as Aqua Faba, this brine behaves just like egg whites and there are some research going on about this. As we don’t get canned chickpeas here, I searched for a home made method and tried it. It works amazingly and has no preservatives which the canned chickpeas have. So it a healthier option. Soak the chickpeas overnight. Wash them and pressure cook them for 15 minutes with less water. Drain the water. The water must be thick once cooled. If not you need to reduce it to get the proper consistency. You will be able to get it correct in one or two trials. When I first made the chickpea brine, I couldn’t believe that it would whip up to beautiful peaks. But you need to try it to believe it. Once I saw the way it whipped, I was hooked to it. But it takes nearly 15 minutes to whip to stiff peaks and you really need to be patient. The original recipe is for a vegan IMBC, but I used butter to make it just egg free.
If this is your first attempt at making IMBC, you need to keep in mind some points before starting. Gather all your ingredients before you start working. Add sugar and water in the sauce pan and fix the thermometer to the pan. There will be metal clip at the back of the thermometer to assist you in fixing. You need to multi task for IMBC. So if you can have an assistant, then it would be really great. Owning a stand mixer would be of great help but if it is the hand mixer it is OK. I always make IMBC with my hand mixer. The butter must be at room temperature but should be able to hold shape. Melting butter will create a soupy IMBC. While adding the syrup to the whipped meringue, make sure that you pour it between the mixer blades and the walls of the bowl. Be careful because the syrup would be extremely hot. Before adding the butter, make sure that the meringue is cool. Warm meringue will melt the butter and the IMBC will be soupy. Even after the cooling down of meringue, your butter cream will be soupy once you start adding butter. But don’t panic. Here is where the magic happens. Keep on beating and the mixture will become creamy and fluffy within minutes. But if it does not cross the soup stage even after so much of beating, again don’t panic. Just place the bowl in fridge for 5-10 minutes and beat. IT will come to normal. The temperatures play an important role in IMBC. So make sure that the temperatures remain exactly as the recipe suggests. You will be really proud and happy with the results.
Recipe Source: Geeky Cakes
Chickpea Brine / Aqua Faba-1/2 cup
Sugar-1 cup + 2 tbs
Butter-1 1/2 cups
Place sugar and water in a sauce pan fitted with candy thermometer on low flame.
At the same time start whipping the chickpea brine.
Mix the sugar and water so that it melts completely.
Keep on medium low and keep watch on the temperature.
Keep on beating the brine until it reaches stiff peaks. It may take from 10 minutes to 15 minutes.
Keep flame low for the syrup if you see the temperature increasing at a high speed. We need to bring the syrup to 248°F at the same time the meringue reaches the stiff peak stage.
Now remove the syrup from flame, remove the thermometer.
While keeping the mixer running, slowly pour the syrup inside the meringue. Keep on mixing. Make sure that the hor syrup doesn’t come in contact with the wall of the bowl or the beater.
Once all the syrup has gone inside, keep on beating the meringue until the bowl is cool to touch. It will take around 10 minutes to cool down. Keep on beating and the meringue will become whiter and shiny.
Touch the outside of the bowl. It should be cool.
Once cool, start adding butter by table spoons. Add a table spoon of butter and beat until incorporated before adding the next spoon.
Keep on adding until you finish with all the butter.
Now the mix will be like a curdled soup.
Keep on beating. After some time you will see that the mixture transforms to light fluffy butter cream.
Once the cream is fluffy and there is no soupy portion, you can stop beating.
Use this to frost and pipe.