06 October, 2015

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

 Delectable, rich, dark and sinfully delicious!

Made with just two, vegan ingredients.


You see, I love chocolate mousse, but have never liked the 'eggy' ones, or the 'gell-ed', or 'tofu-ed', or 'flaxseed-ed', or other such ones, which somehow, totally lack the right texture of a good mousse.

So when I chanced upon this magical egg-white replacer called aquafaba a couple of months ago, this was one of the first few dishes that I tried out, and was thrilled to discover that it works so well.

Of course there's always the even simpler and excellent option of just whipping together chocolate and water (gasp!).  What, you haven't heard of Heston Blumenthal's famous molecular gastronomy technique?! :D

But there's no such thing as too many good options, is there?!


So, after having tried aquafaba (AF for short) in several bakes and dishes, I'm happy to report that the results are pretty good, though it's not always entirely fail-proof. 

Homemade Aquafaba. (No salt. Recipe here.)
The bubbles are because I poured
it into the cup just before this picture.
Aquafaba (read it's history here), is the liquid from cooked chickpeas, or kabuli chana, which is a fairly well known staple in my kitchen - hooray!

See here for how to make this at home.

Christened thus, because it is just "water (from) beans" or "aqua faba" in Latin, by Goose Wohlt (check out his blog) who propelled it's discovery (after he serendipitously chanced upon a rather obscure video by a french chef and blogger Joël Roessel) along with an explosion of experiments in the vegan circles.
It works with many varieties of  pulses (beans, peas, lentils, legumes) with varying degrees of success.
Vive la good old 'dal-ka-paani' - yes, I've tried that too.

There is also a facebook group called Vegan Meringues - Hits and Misses which is a great place to discover more and share with other enthusiastic experimenters.

Next on my to-try list is the vegan mayonnaise. (Update: Here it is!)

Just remember, after visiting these sites, there will be a strong temptation to make too many dishes with sugar as the primary ingredient! You have been warned. ;)
Ingredients (Just 2):

1. Aquafaba - 1/2 cup (around 125ml) (See here for how to make at home)
2. Fine quality chocolate - 100 gms, chopped.

I used 70% bittersweet couverture chocolate from Cocoacraft which is an excellent, local, Kerala-based single origin chocolate. Bournville is another vegan option, if desired. If not, try Lindt, or any good quality chocolate like Belgian.
  


       NOTE:

  • The level of sweetness was perfectly fine for everyone of us (we're fans of 80% cocoa chocolate which is far less sweet.)
    But, if desired, powdered sugar (to taste; unrefined khandsari or coconut/palm sugar are good options) can be added  after soft peaks are formed, to the whipped AF, and then further whipped till stiff.  It will  have the added benefit of stabilizing the foam.
  • For this mousse, please use only the very best kind of chocolate that you are able to get, because that is exactly what the end result will taste like, in fluffy version!
  • The chocolate flavour was deep and intense, and no "beany" taste whatsoever, even without any vanilla or any other added flavours. But feel free to add some if you like, depending on the chocolate you use. Though it would be a good idea to wait it out a bit, because although the mild chickpea flavour is obvious in the whipped foam, after the chocolate mixing and subsequent chilling, it all but disappears.

Method:

1. Melt the chopped chocolate in a bain marie (or a dish placed over simmering water).


2. Whip the aquafaba till stiff peaks form. If using sugar, add in after soft peaks are achieved, and continue whipping till stiff.

Soft peaks at first. Keep whipping.

 The "upside-down" test after the stiff foam consistency. 
(It should stay in the bowl when turned upside down. 
- If it landed on your head instead, then it wasn't yet done.)

3. Sacrifice Mix in a little of the precious foam into the melted, slightly cooled, chocolate......

 ...to lighten it up for easy mixing.

4. Then gently fold in the chocolate mixture by spoonfuls, into the whipped foam.

'Gentle' is the keyword here. Though, if you would have noticed, the "stiffly beaten" foam is now already gone a bit soft.


Whipped AF apparently does not 'hold' for too very long, especially without the aid of sugar, cream of tartar to stabilize it as in the meringues. (I was also multitasking with lunch-making on the side, and kept delaying all the steps, else I would have caught it in a stiffer, finer-bubbled stage when incorporating!


 But not to worry, it still works fine for the mousse. The slightly larger air bubbles reminiscent of the "Aero" chocolate, though of course the taste - and even texture - can't actually compare.

Thoroughly folded in and mixed well now.


Pour into ramekins and chill until set.

Essentially, we're just suspending air in the chocolate mixture and setting it in the fridge.
Once the chocolate is set, the light, airy texture remains, the foam was just a means of trapping the air into it before setting.

And that's it!


It sets beautifully with a smooth surface and a moist, fluffy texture beneath.



Well, I think this is just perfect as it is - with just a few organic cocoa nibs for garnish.


But the kiddos think there's no such thing as too much chocolate goodness, and promptly whip up a chocolate sauce with jaggery, which gets poured on top of the mousse with good effect.


Quite delicious, with the sauce topping, too.


It was also tried with a dash of fresh whipped cream (not vegan, that) and approved. Picture could not be taken because they are fast disappearing. A good sign, it indicates success.



The great thing about this mousse is that it brings out the clean, pure chocolate flavour in a delicious, airy texture with none of those distracting tastes getting in the way, which is what happens when you have those other additives like cloying dairy cream, or eggs, or gelatin/agar, or tofu, or chia/flax, or nuts or coconut and what not.


Totally decadent.

No comments:

Post a Comment

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...