Something magical happens when you whip up aquafaba, the fancy word for bean water, aka thick liquid found in your can of BPA-free chickpeas (or in your home-cooked beans). It gets fluffy, airy, and absolutely reminiscent of meringue – sans eggs. Fold in melted chocolate, a dash of coconut sugar, and a few more goodies into the bowl, and you’ll have yourself a decadent, vegan chocolate mousse recipe made with the most culinary savvy ingredient around.
Aqua-what? If you’ve never heard the word before, fret not. Aquafaba was coined in 2015 by a now 50,000-strong community group on Facebook (Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses!) who had been experimenting with chickpea brine for its surprising abilities to replace egg whites in recipes. Decadent treats like cakes, brownies, marshmallows, meringues, ice cream, macaroons, and more could be made vegan simply by using aquafaba as an egg alternative.
Aqufaba’s versatility has led to chickpea water totally becoming a thing and finding its way into gourmet and home kitchens, prepared foods like mayonnaise, cocktails, (whiskey sour anyone?) and pop-up restaurants around the country. News outlets like The New York Times and Bon Appetit are even writing on the marvels of chickpea brine, noting aquafaba to be a vegan wonder ingredient.
Nutritionally speaking, the research and nutrition information on aquafaba is minimal. However, according to Aquababa.com where a nutritional analysis on aquafaba was taken, chickpea brine does contain trace nutrients. According to the analysis, one tablespoon of aquafaba contains 3-5 calories along with trace amounts of calcium, iron, and protein.
Nutrition and vegan wonder ingredient aside, using aquafaba also helps to cut back on food waste. I’m sure you’ve poured countless cups of chickpea water down the drain without even giving a second thought to repurpose it. Now that aquafaba is a known culinary ingredient, you can be economical and kitchen savvy at the same time — a total win-win.
Using your chickpea brine for a decadent chocolate mousse recipe is definitely a way to take advantage of your culinary forte. By simply folding in a high-quality (organic, fair-trade, and dairy-free please!) dark chocolate into whipped aquafaba along with sweet and mineral-rich coconut sugar, and warming vanilla you’re able to make this vegan chocolate mousse recipe in a cinch. Due to the fact that the recipe uses no refined sugars, oils, dairy, or any other animal products, it’s suitable for many dietary restrictions as well.
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Chocolate Aquafaba Mousse
6 ounces dark chocolate (dairy-free)
1 (BPA-free 15-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
Pinch of sea salt
Fresh raspberries, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs to serve
Roughly chop dark chocolate and place in a double boiler, or in a glass bowl over boiling water on the stove. Gently melt chocolate, stirring every now and then until completely melted. Remove from heat and pour chocolate into a large bowl. Set aside to slightly cool.
Drain chickpeas, reserving liquid aquafaba, and store chickpeas for another use.
In a large bowl add in aquafaba (about ¾ cup should be reserved) along with cream of tartar. Using a hand mixer, mix on high speed for 7-10 minutes, or until soft peaks begin to form. Add in vanilla extract, salt, and coconut sugar and beat until mixed.
Add ½ the melted chocolate to the whipped aquafaba and fold until incorporated. Fold in the remaining ½ aquafaba until smooth and combined.
Gently spoon chocolate mousse into glasses, small mason jars, or ramekins. Cover and let set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
Sprinkle with coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and raspberries to serve. Enjoy!
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Photos by Kate Gavlick