So, something exciting has come about, or more accurately I’ve achieved something I’ve been wanting to and that’s very exciting! I finally made my favourite chocolate mousse recipe without eggs. Light, fluffy, aerated but rich chocolate. My go to recipe has always been the amazing Raymond Blanc’s. Just using egg whites, whipped up to be so light and fluffy, a little sugar added then folded with melted dark chocolate. Recently however, I’ve been on a quest to give up animal produce, although I have other mousse recipes, this is my favourite. Using this method wasn’t something I thought I’d achieve without eggs, I didn’t think I’d be able to replicate the fluffy cloudlike form. But no, the dream is real!
I’ve known of aquafaba and it’s magical properties for a while now, aquafaba is chickpea water, yup, chickpea water. The water remaining after cooking chickpeas, or that from a tin, whips up like eggs whites! Surprisingly when I discovered it I didn’t immediately think chocolate mousse, but lately I’ve had it on my mind. My first couple of attempts were a little heavy, but third time lucky.
What I realised, partly from my own experimenting but also from reading online failures and successes, is that there’s certain rules.
Chill the aquafaba, some say to chill the bowl too, some say to cook the water down before using it. What I found I was doing wrong at first was not using enough water, cooking it down to practically nothing wasn’t working for me, (although your water does need to be a little thick) and I needed to beat it longer. But what I would say, if you want to make a decent size chocolate mousse (as in not one portion), you need about a cup of aquafaba. So I suggest making a big batch of hummus with the chickpeas or maybe my chana masala? (Since it’s so cold outside right now! Sad face.) I have also used the water from black beans very successfully, which I had to beat for 20 minutes but it did form stiff peaks and was delicious.
As well as the satisfaction of making this incredible dessert vegan, it also makes sense to use something that you would otherwise throw out. Let’s rename chickpea water, magic water. ;)
So here you go, the lovely Raymond’s recipe, slightly adjusted by using coconut sugar instead of white sugar. Which, by the way gives a nice rich more caramelly flavour, and aquafaba instead of eggs!
Serves 4 -6
170g dark chocolate – 70% & up – I like 80%
235ml or 1 cup of chickpea water – from a tin or left from cooking chickpeas
30g coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate In a large bowl over a pan of boiling water to make a bain marie, the bowl shouldn’t be touching the water.
Once the chocolate is melted take off the heat and allow to cool a little, stir in the vanilla extract*. Using an electric whisk, a stand alone mixer is really helpful here, beat the aquafaba until you form stiff peaks. This can take up to 20-30 minutes so don’t be afraid to leave the machine running. Once stiff peaks have formed, pour in the sugar slowly and continue to beat for another minute until incorporated.
Scoop out a third of the aquafaba peaks and whisk into the chocolate then fold through the rest of the aquafaba. You should be left with a luscious chocolate mousse. Scoop into glasses to serve or one big serving bowl and chill for at least an hour to set.
Pictured I topped with vanilla cashew cream, raspberry powder and some chopped roasted almonds.
150g cashews, soaked minimum 4 hours to overnight
60ml brown rice syrup or 40ml maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
60ml filtered water
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
* Allowing the chocolate to cool a little is important to the process and the vanilla helps loosen the chocolate so the mousse isn’t grainy.