Have you ever heard of aquafaba?
I first came across this relatively new word a year or so ago. It seems it was created putting together aqua (water) and faba (from fava beans) because aquafaba is in fact, the water that is usually discarded after boiling pulses.
For years indeed, I have chucked in the sink the liquid from cans and jars of beans, chickpeas and peas. Gosh! What a mistake. It turns out this strangely gelatinous liquid has some magical properties that make it very similar to egg white.
I was intrigued and decided it was time to try it out. There are a ton of recipes out there, mostly for egg substitutes: meringues then mousses and cakes.
Pros and cons?
Can this be really as good as it sounds? I think the jury’s still out as it’s only been a few years since the discovery of the powers of the beans’ water. I found a couple of lonely voices against it (allegedly it’s full of saponin, and if from a metal tin, also full of BPA and the likes, as well as producing side effects such as windy pops.. seriously? )
For now, I am enjoying its use, and the idea that you’re also using a by-product which could otherwise go to waste, as well as being a bit more plant based and planet conscious.
Mousse au chocolat
I stumbled upon recipes for chocolate mousse. Now, I love a proper, rich, french, decadent mousse – but it’s packed full of calories, isn’t it? A treat for special occasions.
What about trying to make one with aquafaba? Yes – please!
My first attempt at using this wonder water was so successful, I have since made this mousse many times over and also used aquafaba in other recipes which I will likely share too.
It actually turns out now it is the pulses that are becoming the ‘left over’ ingredients.
Below is my take on the mousse. Whether you are vegan or not, it’s delicious and easy to make.
Do give it a try, you won’t regret it!
Vegan chocolate mousse
- 150cl aquafaba (roughly the content of a regular size tin of chickpeas / cannellini beans)
- 200gr good quality dark chocolate (60% works great. I have used Guittard brand).
- a large pinch of cream of tartar
- 50gr golden caster sugar
- Yields 4/5 portions depending on serving size
Melt the chopped chocolate in a bain mairie bowl. Make sure you’re happy with the chocolate itself, as this will be the predominant flavour of the mousse. I used a 70% dark chocolate from a big Swiss brand and the mousse was way too sharp and intense! Once melted, cool it down a bit.
Place the aquafaba, sugar and cream of tartar in a high speed mixer with the whisk arm attached. Whisk at high speed for about 8 minutes, until it comes to stiff peaks and resembled whisked egg whites.
I have read online it takes ages, but to be honest I have found it doesn’t take that long…!
With a metal spoon or a silicon spatula, gently fold the melted chocolate into the whisked aquafaba. Careful not to squash all the air out.
Once all blended in, ladle into serving pots and rest in the fridge for about one hour.
Garnish with chopped nuts, toasted coconuts or berries or whatever takes your fancy.
It keeps well in the fridge for a good few days.