I love weekends! The little bit extra time to putter in the kitchen is truly enjoyed. This weekend I attempted my maiden aquafaba voyage.
Aquafaba is basically chickpea or garbanzo bean brine from the can discovered by a likely desperate-for-meringue-egg-allergic-genius. The history of aquafaba still contains more mystery and legend than fact. But there is science to support its function. The basic science involves vigorous whisking/beating to transform the starches, proteins and yet to be discovered substances in the bean brine. For this chocolate mousse recipe you beat the aquafaba into stiff stiff peaks like you would for a meringue. I added a touch of cream of tarter to help it along but that is not required. Fortunately there is an entire site dedicated to informing the globe and growing the aquafaba community. Check it out at aquafaba.com Aquafaba is holds great potential for recipes vegan, egg-allergic or just those of us that like an alternative. It also feels good to not waste something. New hashtag to trend? #magicbeanbrine
This chocolate mousse recipe is very simple, minimal ingredients, giant flavor and the opportunity to make different variations. Try altering the cocao percent (but more than 70%), the extract (almond, mint, orange), or the toppings (berries, ginger, herb, smokey salt, bacon…….). The beans I used had some salt added. If you use a version without salt, you might want to add a touch to the aquafaba to enrich the flavor.
Dark Chocolate Mousse
- 3/4 cup aquafaba, or the brine out of one 15 ounce can of garbanzo/chickpea
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- range of 1-4 tablespoons powdered or caster sugar, depending on how sweet you want it and how pure your cocoa is
- 100 – 160 g dark chocolate, again this is a bit flexible. I used a mix of 85 and 90% because that is what I had on hand.
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or other extract, like almond
- Toppings: cocoa nibs and almonds (or all sorts of other exciting things)
- Other options: try PB2 powder along with powdered sugar or some finely ground coffee (not brewed)
- Set up a double boiler or bain-marie (if you are feeling fancy frenchy) to melt the chocolate.
- Put the aquafaba #magicbeanbrine into a big bowl that is completely dry, no water, no oil etc (just like a fussy meringue). Add the cream of tarter if you are using it and salt if your base brine is low or free of salt.
- Using an electric mixer, unless you have tons of energy and mad whisking skills, beat the aquafaba from at least 5 to 15 minutes on high speed. You will watch it foam up. After maybe 10 minutes or so, taste it. At this point I sprinkled in the first table spoon of powdered sugar and beat it in. I repeated this until it was sweet enough for my sweetheart. You could add the sugar at the very end as well.
- You will be done beating/whisking when really stiff peaks are formed
- The chocolate should be melted by now. Add in the vanilla bean paste if using. Stir and remove the melted chocolate from heat.
- Ideally in a dry clean third bowl – pour in your melted chocolate and add about a quarter of the meringue and start folding the chocolate and meringue together. Continue folding and adding meringue until well combined.
- If you add the chocolate in a big dump you risk the chocolate seizing up and getting grainy and weird.
- It took me a lot more folding that I thought to really get the chocolate and meringue mixed together. It will lose some volume/loft but that is ok, there is still air in there to make if fluffy and mousse-y.
- Once combined, pour into glass jars or bowls or wine glasses, however you want to serve. I used canning jars. Just a 1/2 cup serving or so is plenty.
- Add toppings.
- Pop in the fridge to firm up for a few hours if possible.
- Part of me next time wants to try a creme brûlée burnt sugar topping on this next time…..
I have seen variations of a paleo chocolate mousse with coconut cream or avocado but i really like the simplicity of this recipe. I might add some coconut cream next time around just to see how it changes it other than extra calories? Your choice of chocolate will also be influence by dairy tolerance and sugar preferences.
A few other of my favorite egg-white recipes better watch out too
- Rhubarb Custard with Meringue
- Meringue Rules of Engagement & how not to break them
- Lemony Coconut Macaroons
There are a few other recipes out there that I reviewed and mushed together to try my hand converting bean brine to a dessert brimming with antioxidants. Check them out too and then share back how you transformed the #magicbeanbrine.
Interesting article (from PETA no less?) with more aquafab-u-lous-ness. Macarons!!!!