In this summer’s post on my favourite egg substitutes, I cheered about the versatility of chickpea water, or aquafaba. With its properties mimicking both the effect of egg whites and egg yolks, it’s a bit of a miracle ingredient in the vegan kitchen, while at the same time it’s incredibly easy to come by. Whenever I drain a can of chickpeas, I collect the liquid and freeze it, so I’ll always have some of it at hand. So far, it’s served me perfectly for making meringues, macarons and chocolate mousse. Which made me wonder if it would work just as well for making pancakes. And I’m glad to report: it does!
Pancakes are a weekend favourite in our house. By now, both me and the girls can make them with our eyes closed, although we do open our eyes to rummage through the flour drawer and experiment with different flour combinations. Among others, this has resulted in delicious double chocolate pancakes with chickpea and chestnut flour and oat and buckwheat pancakes with cherry compote. Made with flax eggs and baking powder, they’re light and delicious and I love them. Yet recently I have also been craving my old non-vegan quark pancakes, which are taken to the next level by folding whipped egg whites into the batter. And this is where the aquafaba comes in.
Aquafaba can be whipped stiff just like egg whites, and when you fold it into your pancake batter, it turns your resulting pancakes into fluffy little pillows of deliciousness. So if you’re feeling fancy and you’re in the mood for a quick and easy breakfast, these are for you. I made them with a mixture of quinoa flour, buckwheat flour and spelt flour, because of their high levels of protein and their amazing flavour. The basic batter recipe works equally well with regular wheat flour or any flour combination of your own preference, though.
I happened upon a batch of fresh plums this week, so I topped these pancakes with a quick, jammy vanilla and plum compote, combined with coconut yogurt, fresh raspberries and fresh plum wedges. Alternatively, fresh soft fruits being scarce this time in winter, you could make a compote using frozen fruits, or top the pancakes with baked apples or fresh citrus wedges. Whichever topping you choose, I wish you happy brunching!
Fluffy aquafaba pancakes with maple and vanilla plums – makes about 16
for the pancakes
- 120 ml aquafaba, drained from 1 400 g tin of chickpeas
- 70 g quinoa flour
- 70 g buckwheat flour
- 70 g spelt flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 300 ml almond milk
- sunflower oil, for frying
for the topping
- 700 g ripe red plums
- 1 tbsp. rapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup or agave syrup
- seeds from ½ vanilla pod, or ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 300 g coconut yogurt
- 150 g raspberries
- fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Using a stand mixer or a hand whisk, whisk the aquafaba to stiff peaks.
In a large bowl, mix the flours, the baking powder and the salt. Add the almond milk and stir until smooth, then gently fold in the whipped aquafaba.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and brush it with a little sunflower oil. Spoon in three ladlefuls of the batter. Fry the pancakes for 2-3 minutes, until the bubbles emerging on the surface start to pop, then flip over and fry for another minute until golden. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and keep them warm, while you bake the remaining ones.
To make the compote, stone the plums. Cut half of them in wedges and set aside; coursely chop the remaining plums.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan. Add the chopped plums. Over a low to medium heat, gently fry the plum pieces until they are soft and start to release their juices. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla seeds, then take off the heat.
To serve, stack 2-3 pancakes on each plate. Top them with a spoonful of coconut yogurt, a spoonful of the compote, fresh raspberries and the reserved fresh plum wedges. Garnish with mint leaves and enjoy.