Aquafaba chocolate mousse is a spin on a classic French Mousse au Chocolat. Despite the French name, it's one of the easiest desserts to make and will make you look like a top chef. The mousse is light, fluffy, and airy with a lot of chocolate flavor. For the skeptics among you, let me re-assure you, this dessert DOES NOT taste of chickpeas at all. If I hadn’t just told you what’s in it, you would have thought that it’s an indulgent chocolate mousse. This aquafaba chocolate mousse is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free.
If you're not familiar with aquafaba, I have an entire blog post dedicated to it - what it is, how to make it (in case you want to prepare aquafaba from scratch rather than using canned), how to whip it without fail, and how to use it in recipes - whipped or unwhipped.
This aquafaba chocolate mousse blog post builds on it. It goes deeper into why aquafaba doesn't always form stiff peaks and why, even if it does, the peaks tend to collapse over time.
Watching a bowl of aquafaba transform into whipped cream-like peaks is a magical thing, but sometimes things don’t always go as planned. A few mistakes can arise that can prevent the liquid from cooked chickpeas from whipping properly.
How to Whip Aquafaba
- Start with concentrated aquafaba. The more thick and gelatinous the aquafaba, the easier and faster it will whip. If your aquafaba isn’t thick enough (usually not an issue with canned liquid), reduce it on the stovetop first. Thin aquafaba won’t whip properly. Keep in mind that there is no standardized aquafaba, so it takes some practice to recognize the right consistency. If you'd like to make aquafaba from scratch (using dried chickpeas) but have no experience with it, follow this guide.
- Cool the aquafaba. If your aquafaba is hot (either because you just finished cooking your chickpeas or because you decided to reduce it), let it cool to room temperature first. Warm (room-temperature) aquafaba works the best for whipping - it stretches faster and creates a higher volume than hot or cold aquafaba.
- Avoid plastic bowls and utensils. Plastic develops a thin coat of oil (fat) over time, which is very hard to thoroughly scrub off. Fat makes it nearly impossible for proteins in the aquafaba to unravel and start foaming bubbles. (The same is true for egg whites). So, metal, glass, or ceramic bowls and utensils are preferred.
- Whip the aquafaba first, then add other ingredients. As with regular egg whites, whip the aquafaba first to a stiff and glossy consistency before you add anything to it. For instance, this aquafaba chocolate mousse calls for chocolate. Chocolate contains cacao butter (fat). If you added the chocolate into the aquafaba while it was unwhipped, the aquafaba would never form peaks. The same goes for other ingredients that contain even a little bit of fat, including cocoa powder, coconut butter, nut butters, extracts, essential oils, etc. Be aware that certain types of concentrated fat can destabilize the foam even when it's already whipped.
- Use a mixer. A hand or stand mixer is your best bet. Aquafaba does take longer to whip than egg whites, so don’t attempt to whip by hand. It generally takes 8-10 minutes to see semi-firm peaks using a hand mixer and 3-5 minutes using a stand mixer. The higher the speed, the better. However, just like whipped egg whites or heavy cream, you can over-whip aquafaba. Once stiff peaks form, no matter how many minutes it took, stop whipping. Whipping too long can cause the aquafaba to deflate. How do you know you have reached stiff peaks? Stiff peaks are firm, glossy, without any visible air bubbles. Soft peaks, on the other hand, lean slightly and have a few tiny air bubbles. The ultimate test is flipping the bowl of whipped aquafaba upside down and the aquafaba not falling out.
How to Prevent Whipped Aquafaba from Collapsing
If you refrigerate whipped aquafaba (without any other ingredients added), it will deflate over time and go almost back to liquid. However, by simply re-whipping it again later (I have re-whipped aquafaba even 3 times), it will whip back up to perfectly beautiful, stiff, glossy peaks like it was the first time.
The problem arises if your aquafaba collapses while you're folding it into other ingredients. If that happens, there is no recovery (unless the ingredients you folded the aquafaba into contain no trace of fat. In that case, you should be able to re-whip it). To prevent the aquafaba from collapsing in the first place, here are a few tips:
- Stabilize the aquafaba. Aquafaba without a stabilizer deflates much easier. The most neutral stabilizer is cream of tartar (tartaric acid), but you can also use lemon juice (citric acid) or apple cider vinegar (mainly acetic acid). The acid keeps aquafaba moist and elastic, thus sturdier. Another option is to use a little bit of agar powder, which thickens and strengthens the mousse.
- Fold gently. When you start folding the whipped aquafaba into other ingredients, do so gently, being careful not to destroy all those airy little bubbles and deflating the mixture. Aquafaba may be miraculous, but it’s not quite as stable as egg whites.
Tips for Making Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse
So what makes this aquafaba chocolate mousse so light and airy yet thick and creamy? Two ingredients - aquafaba and chocolate. That's it.
- Aquafaba: the most amazing thing about aquafaba chocolate mousse is the extreme amount of fluffiness. You can hardly achieve this with an avocado or coconut cream based chocolate mousse. If you're concerned about the chocolate mousse tasting like chickpeas, don't be. Pure aquafaba does have a mild chickpea flavor and smell (canned aquafaba has a more pronounced taste than aquafaba from dried chickpeas). However, once you add the chocolate, the chickpea taste is undetectable. If you're particularly sensitive, you can add also other flavorings, such as vanilla extract.
- Chocolate: There are no other ingredients to add flavor, so use high-quality chocolate you like. Keep in mind though that chocolate that doesn't exceed 65% cacao yields the smoothest texture. So, choose semi-sweet chocolate for best results. If you like dark chocolate flavor, you can use a higher percentage chocolate. The mousse just won't be as smooth (and sweet).
How to Make Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse
- Chop the chocolate. Chocolate comes in solid bars or small chips. If you're using chocolate bars, chop them into uniform pieces so they'll melt evenly. Chocolate chips are already the ideal size for melting.
- Melt the chocolate. There are several ways to melt chocolate. I prefer using a double broiler because it allows for melting chocolate using indirect heat (steam) rather than direct heat from a stove or microwave. This indirect heat helps to heat - and melt - the chocolate more gradually, which greatly reduces the risk of overheating the chocolate. The result is perfectly smooth, glossy melted chocolate. To create a double-broiler, place a saucepan on the stove and add 1-2 inches/2.5-5 cm of water. Place a dry, heat-proof bowl over the saucepan. The bowl should fit over the pan so that the outer edge of the bowl touches the upper edges of the saucepan (to create a "seal" that will trap steam within the saucepan). Finally, add the chocolate into the bowl and turn the heat to medium-low. As the chocolate begins to melt, stir it with a rubber spatula to ensure even melting. After removing the bowl from the double boiler, wipe the bottom of the bowl to prevent any water coming into contact with the chocolate as water can cause the chocolate to seize.
- Cool the chocolate. The chocolate needs to be at room temperature before adding it into the whipped aquafaba. Hot chocolate will either make the aquafaba collapse or make the mousse grainy.
- Whip the aquafaba. Once the chocolate is cool (don't start whipping before then because whipped aquafaba collapses over time), transfer the liquid aquafaba into a clean bowl and whip it until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whip until stiff peaks form - the peaks will stand straight up when the beaters are lifted from the mixture. (See detailed instructions above).
- Stream in the chocolate. You can either stream the melted chocolate into the aquafaba while the mixer is still running, or gently fold the aquafaba into the melted chocolate. Mix only until uniform, then set aside. During my trials I found that it I stopped the mixer and added the chocolate into the aquafaba, the chocolate would sink to the bottom of the bowl and begin harden. This made it impossible to distribute the chocolate evenly into the mousse.
- Chill. Divide the mousse between individual glasses or serving bowls. The mousse is sometimes pour-able, and sometimes it’s more scoop-able, depending on the type of chocolate you use and the exact temperature it was when you added it in. Regardless of the consistency, place the mousse in the refrigerator and chill until completely set, for at least 2 hours.
How to Serve Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse
You can serve the aquafaba chocolate mousse as is or garnish it as desired. It pairs perfectly with coconut whipped cream, fresh raspberries, chocolate shavings, or even a simple dusting of cocoa powder.
More Chocolate Mousse Recipes
There are many options for making vegan chocolate mousse. Other than aquafaba, you can also use coconut cream, tofu, avocado... here are a couple of other chocolate mousse recipes I have made:
- Coconut Chocolate Mousse: compared to the aquafaba chocolate mousse, this coconut chocolate mousse is much lighter, creamier, and smoother, but it's not as fluffy or airy.
- Aquafaba Coconut Chocolate Mousse: a combination of the aquafaba chocolate mousse and coconut chocolate mousse (recipe coming soon!)
If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse
- 1 cup aquafaba *
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar (optional)
- 1 cup chocolate , finely chopped
- Melt the chocolate. There are several ways to melt chocolate. I prefer using a double boiler because it allows for the most control, using indirect heat (steam) rather than direct heat from a stove or microwave. This indirect heat helps to melt the chocolate more gradually, which greatly reduces the risk of overheating the chocolate. The result is perfectly smooth, glossy melted chocolate. To create a double boiler, place a saucepan on the stove and add 1-2 inches/2.5-5 cm of water. Place a dry, heat-proof bowl over the saucepan. The bowl should fit over the pan so that the outer edge of the bowl touches the upper edges of the saucepan (to create a "seal" that will trap steam within the saucepan). Add the chocolate into the bowl and turn the heat over medium-low. As the chocolate begins to melt, stir it with a rubber spatula to ensure even melting. After removing the bowl from the double boiler, wipe the bottom of the bowl dry to prevent any water coming into contact with the chocolate as water can cause the chocolate to seize.
- Cool the chocolate. The chocolate needs to be at room temperature before adding it to the whipped aquafaba. Hot chocolate will either make the aquafaba collapse or make the mousse grainy.
- Whip the aquafaba. When the chocolate has cooled (whipped aquafaba collapses over time, so you don't want to start whipping it until the chocolate is ready), then transfer the liquid aquafaba into a clean glass or metal bowl (avoid any plastic bowls and utensils). Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the aquafaba until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whip until stiff peaks form - the peaks will stand straight up when the beaters are lifted from the mixture. It generally takes 10-15 minutes to see firm peaks using a hand mixer and 5-7 minutes using a stand mixer.Be careful not to over-whip the aquafaba. Once stiff peaks form, no matter how many minutes it took, stop whipping. Whipping too long can cause the aquafaba to deflate.
- Stream in the chocolate. You can either stream the melted chocolate into the aquafaba with the mixer still running, or gently fold the aquafaba into the melted chocolate. I prefer the first method but both work. Mix only until uniform, then set aside. Note: The aquafaba can deflate a little once the chocolate is added (that's normal), but it shouldn't turn into liquid. By the time you’ve added all of your melted chocolate, the mousse tends to be more of a pourable consistency.
- Chill. Divide the mousse between individual glasses or serving bowls and place it in the refrigerator until completely set, at least 2 hours.
- Serve. Garnish the chocolate mousse with coconut whipped cream, a light dusting of cocoa powder, or even some more shaved chocolate (optional). Serve cold, straight out of the refrigerator.
- Store. Leftover aquafaba chocolate mousse keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
**Nutrition information is approximate and may container errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.