Cooking experiment: Vegan chocolate mousse
When you have to deal with a lot of things at the same time, including the end of maternity leave, a change of job and a kid doing poorly at home, there is nothing better than focusing on taking care of yourself a little and therefore preparing your favourite dessert. For me, this means looking into designing a proper chocolate mousse.
Readers that have been following OUTSIDE THE BOX for a while know that we have been testing a lot of recipes and topics: breads, mozzarella, chocolate spread, pasta...we never hesitate to put our hand in the batter and test new stuff.
My latest project has been egg-free, vegan chocolate mousse. And as my son put his thumb up and finished his bowl without a stop, I can say it was a great success.
The key ingredient to preparing a mousse without eggs is aquafaba, the water that remains after cooking chickpeas. If you do not cook chickpeas yourself, keep the water from the can or jars in which they have been stored. By mixing it with a blender for a few minutes and adding some sugar you will reach a very foamy consistency which is closed to whipped egg whites or meringue. This is what you will need to do to get your mousse up.
If you want to learn more about aquafaba and find new vegan recipes, I suggest you have a look at the Minimalist Baker page on the topic.
And now, let's talk business: How do we do it?!
You will need:
- a can / jar of chickpeas
- 100g of baking chocolate.
- 50g of caster sugar - optional
- 1 ts of coconut oil - optional
- vanilla, coffee extract, cocoa.... - optional
Many recipes are available online, but the structures remain the same:
reserve the water that comes from a 400g approx. can of chickpeas, which you will able to use for your favourite hummus, curry, salad or burger. You should get approx 250 ml of aquafaba water.
melt the chocolate, ideally on a bain-marie if you want to avoid any fat to it. I have always cooked with butter, but for this mousse au chocolat I have added a tea spoon of coconut oil which I found give a nice flavour to the final product. The recipe works of course without any source of grease, too, as there should be some already into the chocolate itself. Feel free to add also extra cocoa, coconut, vanilla, coffee extract etc...that can help enhance the flavours at the end.
whip the aquafaba in a bowl until the fluff is firm, the same way as egg whites would be after a short while. Be ready though: it will take quite more time than what you are used to with eggs, count minimum 5 minutes of whipping at full speed.
when the aquafaba starts solidifying, you can include some sugar to it, to reach a meringue-style consistency.
when ready, slowly incorporate the aquafaba mix into your melted chocolate with a spatula to keep its structure light and fluffy.
reserve in the fridge for a few hours - it gets even better after a night in the cold.
The result should be comparable to an egg-based chocolate mousse; I ended up however with a rather fluffy one, which I blame on my lack of patience and the following reduced time I spent on whipping the aquafaba. The consistency ended up slightly grainy, as the chocolate somehow formed chocolate chips (Do not ask me why, but it made it awesome after all). But as I said, it collected most thumbs up (including mines) so this is a keeper for now!