Frozen Chocolate Mousse

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Many years ago, I had a recipe for pareve ice cream that was perfect, except for one thing: it called for raw eggs. I revised the recipe a while back by heating the eggs with sugar until they reached a safe temperature. But, that was kind of a pain to do.

Now, I have veganized that recipe, replacing the eggs with something that has recently been dubbed aquafaba, a neologism for the liquid left over from cooking beans. It seems that this liquid can be whipped into something very much like meringue. It can be turned into meringue cookies, topping for lemon meringue pie, marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, Italian meringue buttercream and more . . .

In the last several months, there has been a flurry of experimentation with this in the vegan community. It seems to have started with Jöel Roessel, who discovered that the liquid from cooked chickpeas could be whipped into meringue and then posted about it on his blog, Revolution Vegetale. It really took off, though, when Goose Wohlt shared his experimentation with this technique via Facebook (full story here and here and here). There is much more information on this Facebook page.

Theoretically, all you need to do for aquafaba mousse is whip the liquid from a can of chickpeas until it forms a dense white foam and then fold into the foam some melted chocolate (3.5 ounces). I think that the mousse has better texture when sugar is whipped into the aquafaba foam. The added sugar makes for a dense, stable meringue instead of a delicate foam. To balance the added sugar, I add in some cocoa powder and oil.

I have tried this mousse various ways. I am giving you two versions I especially liked. The first version has more sugar/cocoa/oil. The meringue is especially stable, but the resulting mousse is very light and delicate instead of dense and firm. If you like a denser, firmer mousse, try the second version, which adds in more chocolate and reduces the cocoa/sugar/oil.

Frozen Chocolate Mousse
This needs to be served frozen. It is a little too soft when just refrigerated. Also, it needs to be chilled overnight for the flavors to meld together. There is a slightly salty chickpea broth flavor that is faintly evident right after you make the mousse, but it disappears by the next day.

6 oz. liquid strained from 14.5 oz. can chickpeas (if you have a little less liquid, don’t worry)
3.75-5 oz. sugar (1/2 to 2/3 cup–my husband prefers the extra sugar, but I like it more bittersweet)
3 oz. oil (6 Tbsp.–can reduce this to 4 Tbsp.)
3.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. coffee powder

Whip the bean liquid until it forms into a dense foam. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, while continuing to beat the “meringue.” Beat the “meringue” until stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters.

Melt the chocolate with the oil. Stir in the coffee powder and cocoa. Stir until everything is completely smooth.

Fold some of the “meringue” into the melted chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then fold together the chocolate and meringue.

Spoon the mousse into 4 oz. mousse cups. You should get about 8-10 servings (I got 10 servings, but I was very careful about being gentle in folding together the chocolate and “meringue” to minimize deflation) .

Variation:

Deeper, Darker, Denser Frozen Chocolate Mousse
This doesn’t have to be served frozen because it has a denser texture, but when served frozen is much closer to ice cream than the previous version. It has a firmer texture because extra chocolate replaces some of the cocoa/sugar/oil in the previous version.

6 oz. liquid strained from 14.5 oz. can chickpeas (if you have a little less liquid, don’t worry)
2.5 oz. sugar (1/3 cup)
2 oz. oil (4 Tbsp.)–use coconut oil for the flavor and firmer texture, if you like
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. coffee powder

Whip the bean liquid until it forms into a dense foam. This should take about 15-20 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, while continuing to beat the “meringue.” Beat the “meringue” until stiff peaks form when you lift the beaters.

Melt the chocolate with the oil. Stir in the coffee powder and cocoa. Stir until everything is completely smooth.

Fold some of the “meringue” into the melted chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then fold together the chocolate and meringue.

Spoon the mousse into individual serving cups or into one large container. Freeze for several hours before serving.

This will fill a quart container, with a little extra leftover.

 

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4 Responses to “Frozen Chocolate Mousse”

  1. Princess Lea Says:

    I’m always on the search for a pareve cake frosting that is not made from non-dairy whip (trans fat, shiver) and I hate the taste of coconut. I heard about the bean meringue and was absolutely psyched. I tried it with just confectionery sugar and while it came out amazing, it didn’t store very well, even in the freezer. I was wondering if adding some sort of oil (like palm shortening) would stabilize it for longer storage and still not deflate the whippiness. I see you did! I’m galvanized to experiment again!

    • pragmaticattic Says:

      Yes, the chocolate mousse stores well in the freezer, better than the fat-free strawberry mousse. There have been experiments with making swiss meringue buttercream with the aquafaba, but I haven’t myself experimented with that.

      Not to digress, but you can make a nice chocolate glaze for cake by combining coffee or pareve “milk” and chocolate:

      Glaze:
      microwave in a bowl until hot and then stir until smooth and creamy:
      1/3 cup pareve milk (soy, rice, almond, coconut)
      6 oz. chocolate, chopped

      Let the glaze cool until it is thick enough to spread over the cake. Spread the glaze over the top and sides of the cake. Reserve some glaze for drizzling over the topping.

      Take a look at the s’more cake recipe. I used this recently on another cake with great success.

      Also, I have made great chocolate frosting by combining avocado (yes, I know, a little odd) with cocoa, sweetener, vanilla and melted chocolate. The avocado replaces the butter, but you need to flavor aggressively to drown out the vegetal taste.

  2. Princess Lea Says:

    Thank you! So informative!

  3. Leora Says:

    I will have to try bean meringue – my kids also hate the taste of coconut. Thank you for this recipe!

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