Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 9-8-2015 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Recently, we have been hearing about “Aquafaba” or "water-bean", which has been described as a “magic raw egg white replacer”, and we really wanted to see what all the buzz was about.
For those of you who don’t know, aquafaba is simply the juice that forms when beans (legumes) are cooked, which can be obtained by straining canned beans. Most of the experimentation (to date) has been done with meringue and baked goods with garbanzo bean (chickpea) aquafaba as an egg white replacer.
This lovely little cake has pretty much convinced us that aquafaba really IS pretty magical.
You could never tell that this cake isn’t a traditional recipe. It is rich and moist, without being gummy, with no bean taste after baking. Just fabulous!
We've filled and topped it with fresh strawberries and our Coconut Vegan Whipped Cream. What's not to like?
CAKE RECIPE HELP /
Whipped aquafaba and sugar to stiff peaks:
We've adapted this recipe from the Swedish Vegan so it is lighter and rises higher, using more intricate egg white foam cake mixing techniques. We thank her for all of her hard work and experimentation. We have also researched that for best results, the aquafaba must be cold, and to use it from white-colored legumes for no bean taste after baking; you may notice a bean aroma during mixing, but that will dissipate during baking. Chilled aquafaba will thicken up and even coagulate, which is preferred for beating purposes.
For the cake:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup COLD aquafaba or garbanzo bean liquid from one 15oz. can of garbanzo beans, preferably low-sodium; refrigerate the can the day before needed. SEE NOTE* below.
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil, mild tasting
1 recipe Coconut Vegan Whipped Cream; refrigerate the can of coconut cream the day before needed. Make the recipe when assembling the cake.
For the garnish:
1 pound small strawberries
Powdered sugar for dusting
NOTE*: The day before you bake the cake:
1. Refrigerate a can of garbanzo beans. The aquafaba or the garbanzo bean liquid inside the can MUST be cold, so it will whip up faster.
2. The day of the recipe, drain the liquid or aquafaba from the garbanzo beans, into a liquid measuring cup. Make sure you have 2/3 cup.
Note that one 15-ounce can yield a scant 1 cup, however, the average can of garbanzo beans, drained, contains about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of aquafaba.
Cover and refrigerate.
3. Save the garbanzo beans and refrigerate for another use.
STEP I: HEAT THE OVEN AND PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS
1. Position the oven shelf to the middle of the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spray a 5-inch cake pan with non-stick spray, then line with a round of parchment.
3. Cut out a strip of parchment to make a collar because the cake rises higher than the rim of the pan.
The parchment should be about 20-inches long and 3 1/2-inches high.
Fit the collar into the pan, and secure the overlapping ends with a paperclip at the top of the collar.
Spray parchment pan liner and collar with non-stick spray.
Set pan aside while you make the batter.
4. Sift the flour and salt together.
STEP II: MAKE AND BAKE THE CAKE
Make the cake:
1. Pour the aquafaba into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, then add the sugar.
5. Whip the aquafaba/sugar mixture on high speed until it is thick and falls slowly off the whisk in thick ribbons.
This will take about 4 minutes.
Add the vanilla and mix briefly, until combined.
6. Unclamp the mixer bowl.
Add about half of the flour mixture to the aquafaba, and fold gently, with a large rubber spatula, until combined.
7. Add the oil and the rest of the flour, and fold until combined, being careful to not overmix.
Bake the cake:
1. Scrape the batter into the pan, and bake the cake for 43-47 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick, poked near the center of the cake, comes out clean.
Place baked cake on a rack to cool, in the pan, for at least 20 minutes.
2. After 20 minutes, carefully remove the parchment collar and invert to remove the pan.
Remove the parchment, then set the cake upright to cool completely.
You can bake the cake 2 days ahead, and keep it wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
STEP III: ASSEMBLE THE CAKE AND SERVE
NOTE: The finished cake is best served the day you assemble it.
1. Cut the fully-cooled cake into three equal layers, using a very sharp serrated knife.
Look at that beautiful crumb!
2. Pick through the strawberries and set aside 4 or 5 of the most beautiful strawberries for the top of the cake.
Choose small ones, because the cake is quite petite.
Slice about 10 strawberries into 1/4-inch slices.
3. Place the bottom layer of cake, cut side up, on a mini cake stand, or serving plate.
Cover the layer with strawberry slices.
4. Put a large dollop (about 1/2 cup) of the whipped coconut cream in the center of the layer, and spread it evenly, leaving a 3/4-inch border around the edge of the cake.
Place the second layer on top of the cream, and gently press down to spread the cream to the edges of the cake.
Repeat the above steps with the second layer of cake.
5. Place the third and final layer on top, and top with the whipped coconut cream.
Use the back of the spoon to gingerly spread it, leaving a border around the edge of the cake.
6. Place 4 or five of the reserved strawberries on top, then dust them with powdered sugar.
This cake is best served immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Refrigerate the filled and frosted cake for UP TO two days; the cake really sucks up the moisture from the strawberries and cream during storage.