Vegan chocolate mousse whips up beautifully with aquafaba


The award for most compelling actor in an utterly unexpected role goes to … the chickpea.

The legume, which also works under the stage name garbanzo, stars in such classics as falafel, hummus and three-bean salad. Vegetarians praise its protein power. Carnivores go for its nutty appeal. The bean has even taken bit parts, subbing for flour in pasta and potatoes in chips.

Late in such an illustrious career, the chickpea might have been a candidate for a lifetime-achievement award. No one expected a box-office smash. No one expected aquafaba.

The plot, based on a true story, goes like this: Software engineer Goose Wohlt pries open a can of cooked chickpeas. As he’s about to toss the viscous goo, he does a double take. Strangely, he pours the liquid into a bowl and whips it like egg whites. Strangely, it acts like egg whites, billowing into glossy meringue.

In a flashback, we see his inspiration: French tenor Joel Roessel and other early bean-water pioneers. As the music swells, the camera pans over a vegan baking a crisp meringue, a pregnant chef folding fluffy mousse, a burly bartender shaking up a fizzy cocktail. All smile with relief: no eggs, no raw-egg worries. In the final scene, the miraculous bean water is renamed aquafaba, which means bean water.

It’s a moving story, revealing the talent, tenacity and transformative range of the chickpea. No doubt it deserves the academy’s highest honor for work well done.

Aquafabulous Mousse

Prep: 20 minutes

Chill: 2 hours

Makes: 4 servings

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60 percent cacao)

1 can (15.5 oz.) chick peas (aka garbanzo beans; I like Goya brand)

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Melt: Break up chocolate. Melt in a double boiler. Scrape into another bowl and let cool a bit.

2. Drain: Pour chickpeas through a strainer, catching liquid in a wide measuring cup. Save chickpeas for another recipe. (We¿ll have one here next week.) Measure 3/4 cup liquid (this is aquafaba) into the bowl of an electric mixer.

3. Fluff: Whisk cream of tartar into aquafaba. Using the electric mixer, whisk until white and foamy, about 1 minute. Slowly cascade in sugar, whisking constantly, to glorious sturdy peaks, about 4 more minutes. Whisk in vanilla.

4. Fold: Using a soft spatula, gently and thoroughly fold chocolate into meringue. Heap into a serving bowl. Cover and chill 2 or more hours.

5. Serve: Scoop into small bowls. If you like, garnish with orange zest, a few candied nuts, or, if no vegans are looking, whipped cream.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

Webb Report: The Onion’s version of Mayor Adler is pro-werewolf
Webb Report: The Onion’s version of Mayor Adler is pro-werewolf

In college, I swore I saw a ghost while driving around off Convict Hill Road with my friends one night. I also heard strange voices in the American-Statesman newsroom on Halloween a few years back when I was working the graveyard shift. Aside from watching “Teen Wolf” reruns all weekend after having my wisdom teeth extracted, though, I...
Enter the hypnotic, disturbing beauty of ‘Koyaanisqatsi’
Enter the hypnotic, disturbing beauty of ‘Koyaanisqatsi’

Anyone who was lucky enough to see “Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance” in the early 1980s will never forget it. The experimental movie about the tensions between the environment and the tentacles of modern urban life broke into the national consciousness without the use of words. First-time director Godfrey Reggio used slow-motion and...
A quarter sheet pan is plenty big enough to hold all my love
A quarter sheet pan is plenty big enough to hold all my love

Nobody would mistake me for being hip and trendy. I have been wearing clogs - not the same pair, mind you - since the Ford administration. Yet I am YASSing and inserting heart emoji on behalf of the quarter sheet pan, which is surfing a wave of popularity. Deservedly so. There it is on social media, roasting a one-pan meal for two. Toasting a handful...
Harissa-rubbed leg of lamb is fit for any special Sunday meal
Harissa-rubbed leg of lamb is fit for any special Sunday meal

Just when you think there are no new recipes or cooking techniques, America’s Test Kitchen comes in with a surprise, like blooming spices for this harissa-rubbed lamb in the microwave. This dish is from one of the company’s new books, “How to Roast Everything: A Game-Changing Guide to Building Flavor in Meat, Vegetables, and More&rdquo...
‘Black Panther’ director has always sought superheroes who look like him
‘Black Panther’ director has always sought superheroes who look like him

When Ryan Coogler was a kid in Oakland, Calif., an older cousin got him hooked on comic books. “X-Men.” “Spider-Man.” He liked all of them, but he was looking for more. “I went to the comic book shop that was by my school and asked if they had any black characters,” Coogler recalled. That was the moment Coogler discovered...
More Stories