Monday, January 25, 2016

Orange Muffins - #MuffinMonday

Orange Muffins - Passion Kneaded

Some months ago, a Food52 article appeared in my Facebook feed. It had the typical click-bait headline ( "Magical New Egg Replacement!") and I almost skipped over it. But then I became curious. From time to time, I do bake eggless treats and I have a friend who is allergic to eggs (sometimes) so I thought I'd check it out, if only to share the information with her.

"... the watery dregs from cans of chickpeas are the incredible, edible egg replacement we've been looking for."

Say what now?! We're not even blending up the chickpeas? Just pouring off the liquid and using that?! Is it April Fools Day? I kept digging and digging and there were more and more articles and an entire Facebook group dedicated to this "miracle". I spent a long time reading and it did not seem to be a joke. I did remember that the liquid from cooking chickpeas can become a bit gelatinous after refrigeration so perhaps these people were only slightly crazy. They were making meringues and pavlova with the stuff though - not just throwing it into a muffin.

The next time I cooked a batch of chickpeas in my slow cooker, I saved the liquid. (Oh, I should use the term that they use - aquafaba. Chickpea liquid, chickpea brine...those don't have a nice enough ring - this is aquafaba.) I just never had time to whip the stuff or bake with it so I eventually threw it away and never thought of aquafaba again.

Orange Muffins - Passion Kneaded
Nice tops!
I remembered aquafaba again when I was trying to figure out what to make for my chickpea fudge post. I almost used the aquafaba then but decided to save aquafaba's debut (on my blog, that is) for Muffin Monday. Between you and me, I think I was still a little hesitant to whip the stuff into some honey butter. Yes! They do make butter from this stuff. And "mayo" too. It is indeed miraculous.

I kept things simple with an orange muffin. Do you know how hard it was to find an exemplar recipe? Almost every orange muffin recipe had another major ingredient added in. Orange + cranberries were pretty popular but I wanted the oranges to shine. I don't (can't) eat oranges often so they weren't going to share the stage with anything else in my muffins - except for the aquafaba, of course. But I assure you, if I didn't tell you there was chickpea liquid in these muffins, you'd have no idea. I'm still reeling from black bean brownies that tasted like black beans so I wouldn't lie to you. I am assured that it is the same with the meringues and buttercreams that people have made. I promise to do more experimenting and report soon. For now, enjoy these lovely muffins and be sure to check out the other #MuffinMonday muffins after the recipe.

Orange Muffins - Passion Kneaded

Orange Muffins Recipe by: Kelly   
Yield: ~8 muffins

3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 cups (240g) all purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons orange zest
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk 
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea water/brine)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Grease the wells of a muffin pan or line with cupcake liners.

For the topping, rub together the sugar and orange zest for a few minutes then set aside. 
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, rub together the sugar and orange zest for several minutes to release the oils. Next whisk in milk, oil, orange juice and the aquafaba, 
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold until just mixed. I try not to do more than 10 stirs. 
Divide the batter among the muffin wells. I got 8 muffins filling my wells almost to the top. 
Sprinkle the topping on each muffin. 
Bake for 5 minutes then lower the oven temperature to 375F. Bake for another 10-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. 

  • One fairly large orange gave me 3 tablespoons of zest so I needed two oranges to get enough for the topping as well.
  • Be gentle! Don't overmix.   

 #MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

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  1. Tell me more about this miracle aquafaba! I'll have to try this recipe someday :)

  2. Very interesting Kelsey. Had you shared this before the chickpeas and honey challenge, I would have saved my liquid.

  3. I see what you mean about this one being perfect for next month, Kelly! What an unusual ingredient. How have I never heard of this before? I throw that cr*p out, well, the stuff in the can. I've been known to save liquid from home cooked chickpeas for soup but I had not idea it could be whipped, etc. I cannot wait to see your future experiments, but, meanwhile, the muffins look fabulous!

  4. What a cool discovery! The muffins are so beautiful too. Such a lovely high rise without spreading out!

  5. Haha, I tried black bean brownies recently - yea, there's not fooling anyone with those things!
    This "aquafaba" is quite interesting. Now I want to try it too - but yea, I'm not sure how I'd feel about using it for meringue!

  6. Kelly,
    I am intrigued. I wonder where the aquafaba name came from? I'm game to try it, as I hate to waste anything edible. Shoot, while my mom was visiting she used the leftover olive brine to make slow cooker greek chicken meat. Great in tacos.
    I've got a couple of oranges left from the band fundraiser--it really helps me eat seasonally when they all come at once.

  7. Hi there! I was about to drain the water from the chickpeas I just cooked, when I remembered having heard about this thing used as an egg replacement. I thought I could give it a try, but first I needed to search a little bit about it in order to be sure about what was I doing.
    Then I found this recipe and I started as soon as I read it. Instead of orange juice, I used the kumquats I had (I blended them with a little water and that's it) and since here in Argentina we put dulce de leche (kind of milk caramel) on everything, I did put it on the center of the muffins. They came out delicious, and I want to share it with everybody.
    This aquafaba thing is a miracle! Thanks for sharing your recipe!