When I came to the very sad realisation that I could no longer enjoy eggs due to my IBS not only did I miss having a free-range organic soft-poached egg for my breakfast, scrambled eggs with toast for a light supper, pavlova at Christmas and family dinners but also chocolate mousse!
Following an interesting chat about foods and diets at work, one of my lovely colleagues from the play specialist team told me about a wonderful and very exciting prospect of making meringue using unsalted chickpea brine…..yes….water from a can of chickpeas!! I could not understand this and went straight onto Pintrest to investigate further. Amazingly, and to my utmost joy, I discovered a vast array of “aquafaba” (water used to cook beans) recipes to make mousse, meringue and pavlovas. I am truly baffled as to who discovered this life-changing technique and how this works but the only way I can try and understand it is that it must be something to do with the protein in the water from the beans that break down and form new structures when whisked at a very high speed for long enough (which is what I am guessing happens with egg whites?) – anybody who does know I would love if you could share your knowledge on this with me!
Anyway, after discovering this new method of cooking, a new world of possibilities was opened to me and I could not wait to get started, and all just in time for Halloween! I began practicing by making little meringue ghosts and as my confidence grew I went on to make chocolate mousse pots for a dinner with one of my very good friends in Farnham (who is also an expert at making cakes so to say I was a little nervous was a bit of an understatement). The mousse went down a storm with my talented cake-making friend, her boyfriend and my fiancé. I have subsequently tried to make a chocolate mousse cake but I still need a bit of time to perfect this…it’s getting there and I will post this recipe soon. For now I will share with you my chocolate mousse recipe which was inspired by so many “aquafaba” and “chickpea brine” mousse and meringue recipes on Pintrest. I was especially inspired by The Vegan Cookie Fairy who’s blog is just so inviting with her scrummy recipes, amazing photography skills and adorable cat!
I just made a few minor alterations and added a few extra goodies to make these little desserts dazzle at the dinner party 🙂
Note: These will need time to set in the fridge so make sure to make them in advance!
Time: prep – 30mins, set – minimum 5 hours
One 400g can organic chickpeas in unsalted water (I also use 380g carton and it always makes enough)
100g of good quality dark chocolate (I always choose vegan to keep this dish dairy free)
1 tsp of Cream of Tarter
1-3 tbsp. of icing sugar or powdered sweetener of choice – add to taste
Chopped hazelnuts and raspberries to decorate
- Drain the water from the chickpeas into a large glass bowl (you can use a plastic bowl but its easier to ensure that it is grease-free with glass). Begin to whisk at a high speed for 6-8 minutes. It should begin to take shape around this time and look like whisked egg-whites.
- Add cream of tarter and continue whisking for another 2 minutes at a medium speed or until stiff peaks begin to form.
- Slowly begin to add sugar/sweetener a bit at a time, while still whisking, and continue whisking for another 5 minutes until stiff you have stiff and glossy meringue-like consistency.
- Place your “meringue mixture” aside in a cool fridge.
- Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water or melt by using the microwave by heating for 40 seconds at first, stirring and putting back in for 10 second intervals (stirring in between) to check that it is melting evenly and does not burn.
- Allow the chocolate to cool before adding to the “meringue mixture” – if you add the chocolate while hot it will turn the meringue into a runny/liquid consistency.
- Using a spatula, add approx. 1/3 of melted chocolate to the “meringue mixture” and very gently fold it in so as not to knock out any air-bubbles in the “meringue mixture”. Keep adding the rest of the chocolate in 3rds in this way until all of it has been incorporated into the “meringue mixture” as the final stage to making your chocolate mousse!
- Gently portion out the chocolate mousse into little glasses or dishes and decorate with raspberries and hazelnuts.
- Leave in the fridge to set for at least 5 hours or over night if you can afford the time.
Love, Emma (Aka The Wholesome Bride) xxx