When I was making my falafel recipe the other day Favorite “Food Truck” Falafel **shameless plug 😉 I started wondering, what is the funny smelling liquid that you drain out of the can of legumes? And, is it healthy or just a salty brine water? I don’t love canned foods because of the high salt content used to preserve the vegetables, but often it is the most convenient food to use and saves you hours in the kitchen (and gets you to the eating part faster!)
Anyway, I started doing some research into this funky liquid and discovered that it is called aquafaba and can be used as a vegan alternative to egg whites in most dishes. Who knew this thick, yellowish liquid should actually be a health nuts most prized possession! Seriously, it’s vegan and gluten free! No dairy, no eggs, no soy, nothing that you normally find in eggs or egg substitutes. It is a naturally occurring liquid from cooking legumes that is 100% edible and incredibly versatile.
I started my adventures in aquafaba cooking with a simple, 3 ingredient, chocolate mousse that I adapted from lazycatkitchen.com. I wanted something chocolaty and decadent that would curb my sweet tooth and keep me on track, eating clean. You cannot get any cleaner than this simple recipe! I added no sugar, so it was the water that I saved from my chickpeas, dark chocolate, and chili powder. That’s it. And it comes out tasting exactly like the fancy, rich, heavy, and loaded with sugar mousse that you get at restaurants.
This mousse is unbelievably light and airy! It is so simple, and uses a product that we normally toss out with no regard to its amazing everyday uses. Next time you’re cooking with any type of legume, don’t throw away the aquafaba! Use it to make meringue, ice cream, French toast, even mayonnaise. The possibilities are endless with this allergen free alternative. Vegan friends rejoice! And no, it doesn’t taste like chickpeas 😉
Chocolate Aquafaba Mousse
- 1 can of chickpea aquafaba (Drain and reserve the liquid)
- Dove dark chocolate, ¾ of a large bar or about 8-10 individually wrapped pieces
- 1 small pinch of hot chili powder
- Optional: 1 teaspoon of Sugar (I find that the sugar from the Dove dark chocolate is enough but if you use a chocolate with a lower sugar content, or you like very sweet desserts, feel free to add as much or as little sugar to your liking.)
- Create a double boiler by placing a metal or glass bowl over a saucepan filled 1/3 of the way with water. Warm over low heat but do not boil. Melt the chocolate in the double boiler, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (You can melt the chocolate in the microwave if you are short on time but be careful that the chocolate doesn’t scorch or it will give your mousse an acrid taste.)
- Once the chocolate has fully melted remove the double boiler from the heat and allow it to cool slightly, stirring occasionally to keep the chocolate from clumping as it cools.
- Open the can of chickpeas and drain the aquafaba (chickpea water) in a large glass bowl. Reserve the chickpeas for another use.
- Using an electric whisk (I used a hand whisk and it took FOREVER, but it is possible.) Whip the aquafaba until you achieve stiff peaks. You cannot over-whip aquafaba, so make sure that you get a good stiff texture, you should be able to hold the bowl upside down with little to no movement in the aquafaba.
- If you are adding sugar, do so now. Fold it into the aquafaba and whisk again if the peaks deflate.
- Make sure that the chocolate has cooled down significantly; if it is warm to the touch it will give your mousse a grainy texture. Gently fold the melted chocolate into the whipped aquafaba with a spatula.
- Add the chili powder (A little goes a long way here!) and mix well.
- Pour the mixture into ramekins, small bowls, or glasses. Place into the fridge to chill overnight.