Am I a vegan? No.
Am I a vegetarian? Half-heartedly: only one time in my life have I had a substitute that really tasted like bacon.
That is my secret search, to find the perfect bacon substitute so I can totally switch to vegetarian. Until then, I’m going to eat sushi and continue searching.
Meantime, I am learning new tricks. And, since I enjoy cooking (even if only for myself), I want to try all that I can and share those experiences with you.
The substitutes that Katherine Martinko discusses in her article for wwww.treehugger.com have some wonderful and interesting results. I had not thought of using chick pea liquid, what a great idea. Since I don’t have an oven (yet), I will use that liquid for the next batch of mousse au chocolat.
There are a couple of other things you should know:
1. coconut oil has less ‘coconut’ taste when you buy the cold-expressed kind
2. there are more substitutes for organic sugar than honey: think agave or maple syrup
3. oat milk is amazing, but I still like hemp milk in my coffee or tea better
4. aqua faba: I had never heard of this; in the past I used a combo of chia seeds and liquid to imitate eggs but this liquid does work great (see recipe below)
5. vegan chocolate: way to go!
6. (fresh) lemon juice: I can’t live without it … and I need to start my own tree to see if I can grow my own.
I will start with the aqua faba. I made chocolate mousse, my mother’s old French recipe, and substituted the bean liquid for whipping eggs. It worked!
Then I used avocado instead of whipped cream, and maple syrup instead of sugar, both worked! Melting the chocolate and adding a bit of the avocado to cool it down before adding to the whipped aqua faba remains my go-to trick to combine liquids yet keep their consistency.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe:
1 can of aqua faba (saved bean juice from a can)
quite a bit of maple syrup, A grade, to your own taste
1 t of vanilla bean
100 g of chocolate (minimum of 70%)
Whip aqua faba till peaks hold. Meantime melt chocolate in a thick bottomed pan over low heat. Peel avocado and mash. Add vanilla bean liquid to avocado. Fold maple syrup into whipped aqua faba until you like the sweetness level. Add a tiny bit of the warm chocolate to the avocado and mix, and only then mix avocado into chocolate mixture. Repeat this with aqua faba mixture: first add a bit of aqua faba to chocolate & avocado mixture, then gently fold the chocolate mixture into the aqua faba. Pour into small cups and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Note: if you wait till the next day, a small amount of aqua faba may form on the bottom of the cup. This is no way affects the delicious taste. I am considering adding Cream of Tartar the next time I whip, to see if that stops this from forming.