Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Yes, that's right - vegan chocolate mousse with orange flavor! This mousse requires only three main ingredients. This dessert is ideal to impress your guests while being super easy to prepare.
The recipe asks for a key ingredient - aquafaba, i.e., chickpea water. If you have never used chickpea water, do not be afraid, it works like magic in dessert recipes. So, next time you use chickpeas for hummus or in salads, remember to reserve the water (from the can or from boiling the chickpeas) and think of using it in this recipe. Chickpea water behaves similarly to egg whites and that is why, it is often used as a vegan replacement for the latter. To achieve a beautiful aeration of the mousse, the aquafaba needs to get beaten with a mixer until stiff peaks form. This process may take time (usually about 10 minutes), so be patient, it will be worth it!
To make the chocolate mousse, we also need... chocolate! However, in my experience, simply adding melted chocolate to the mousse makes the chocolate seize and form chucks. To obtain a smooth consistency, I prefer adding heated milk to the chocolate to make chocolate ganache. Recipe and instructions, as well as some tips, are described hereafter.
100 g dark chocolate * (I used 85% cacao solids)
100 ml coconut milk
100 ml aquafaba **
1 tbsp stevia *
1 tsp vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
3-5 drops of orange essential oil ***
a pinch of salt
First, prepare the chocolate ganache. In a bowl, break the chocolate down to small pieces. Heat up the coconut milk in a pan on the stove and remove it from the heat when small bubbles start to appear on the surface of the milk near the edges of the pan. Make sure the milk does not boil! Pour the hot milk on top of the chocolate, wait for a minute and start stirring to obtain a smooth and glossy mixture. Set the ganache aside to let it cool down while you prepare the aquafaba.
In a deep bowl, add the chickpea water along with the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Using a mixer, start beating the aquafaba. It may take several minutes to inflate the aquafaba, but do not give up and you will ultimately achieve the desired stiff peaks!
Once the aquafaba is stable (i.e., stiff peaks have appeared), add the stevia (if using) and beat for 1-2 more minutes.
Next, pour the chocolate ganache on top of the inflated aquafaba little by little while mixing gently.
Finally, add drops of orange essential oil for the orange flavor and continue mixing gently until everything is well incorporated.
Transfer the mousse mixture in cups or ramequins, and place in the fridge to set for at least a couple of hours.
When your mousse sets up, decorate it with fresh fruit, fresh mint and/or cacao beans.
* I used 85% dark chocolate and therefore, added 1 tbsp of stevia to the beaten aquafaba. However, you can choose to use a less bitter dark chocolate (80%, 70% or less) and add less or no stevia at all. If you want to replace stevia, I suggest you use any solid sweetener but brown and coconut sugars, as the later will make the aquafaba liquid again.
** Make sure that the chickpea water is chilled (best overnight) before using it. This will ensure successful stiff peaks when beating the aquafaba. On average, stiff peaks stage is achieved within 10 minutes of beating. Do not worry about over-beating the aquafaba - unlike the egg whites, the aquafaba cannot be over-beaten. So, have patience and beat it until you are sure you have achieved stiff peaks.
*** You can choose to use an orange-flavored chocolate instead.