aka Vegan Chocolate mousse.
I recently discovered Alex French Guy Cooking on YouTube and, as one does when discovering new content, went on a massive binge.
As the name of his channel suggests it’s all about tasty food and cooking. His videos are inspirational, with some fantastic close ups and camera angles for the ultimate food porn experience, and above everything he’s super entertaining to watch! To the point that we all sat down together as a flatfam (or flatmily?) and watched episode after episode.
The reason I am telling you all this is that one of his videos particularly stood out to me: a mini series on the humble chickpea. Now I myself am quite the chickpea enthusiast and with the amounts of chickpeas we consume as a flat, what we next found out thanks to Alex is literally the most exciting thing to have happened last week. It turns out chickpea juice (i.e. the liquid from chickpea cans) behaves just like egg whites! Meaning they can be whisked up into stiff peaks and used for baking!
And having thought about it for a bit, this actually makes sense as well. Chickpeas are very high in protein, so it would also make sense for the brine in which they have been cooked to have picked up some of that through the cooking process as well (and to link it back to egg whites, they are of course pure protein).
Aquafaba has the ability to mimic functional properties of egg whites in cooking, [and] can be used as a direct replacement for them in some cases, including meringues and marshmallows. Its composition makes it especially suitable for use by people with dietary, ethical, or religious reasons to avoid eggs – thanks Wikipedia 😉
Needless to say I had to try it for myself. And with a bit of tinkering with Alex’ recipe (big up!) and another raw vegan cheesecake recipe I made with the following:
Chickpea juice chocolate mousse tart
The recipe for this is easy and straight forward to follow. Start to finish you will only need about 30 mins to prepare this – excluding the 4hrs the mousse needs to set in the fridge!
For the base, begin with prepping a loose bottom cake tin by lining the bottom with cling film. This will make it easier to get it out of the form later on.
For the base, combine 1 1/2 cups of pitted dates with 1 1/2 cups of almonds and a dash of water in a food processor and blitz until you’re left with a uniform base. It will be quite sticky to touch, but that’s exactly what we’re going for as it will make it easier to press the base into the bottom of the tin and along the sides. If you can, try and get it as even as possible both in terms of height and thickness along the border. Set aside in the fridge to allow it to firm up while we move on to the chickpea mousse.
Pour the chickpea juice (aquafaba) into a clean mixing bowl and start whisking with an electric mixer. You’ll want to mix at a high speed until you get to stiff peaks – it took me a good 10 minutes to get it to that point and I was having my doubts on whether this would work for about half the time, so don’t be alarmed if your aquafaba won’t firm up at first. Once you’re getting to soft peaks (at this point it will also start looking like something you’d expect whisked egg whites to look like), start adding in 3 table spoons of sugar one at a time. Set aside once your peaks have stiffened up completely.
Microwave 1 cup of dark chocolate in 10 second intervals until melted. Add a few table spoons of the chickpea peaks and stir to combine. Next, pour half of the chocolate mix back in with the chickpea peaks and carefully fold under – you want to make sure not to beat out too much of the air that you’ve just spent 10 minutes getting into the chickpea juice! Fold in the other half of the chocolate mixture and you’re good to go.
Once that’s done pour the chocolate chickpea mix into the base and leave to set in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, or even better over night.
I have to say I am really happy with the result! The mousse is light and airy, not too sweet, and super chocolaty! The one thing I’d do different next time is either use a different tin – a bigger one ideally – or divide the mouse into several smaller tins, as the weight of the mousse was pushing down on itself as you cut into it and it had to hold its shape by itself. As you can see from the pictures above it did for the most of it, but just not quite…
All in all this is a great little treat that can be put together in no time at all. Oh, and did I mention you can also freeze chickpea juice?! I will definitively be making this more often and can only recommend it!
- 1 1/2 cups almonds
- 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
- Liquid of one can of chickpeas
- 3 table spoons sugar
- 1 cup dark chocolate