It had been a dream to cook for you, a fantasy that I’d swam in for some time – to watch you dip your spoon in the silkened richness of a dessert I was going to make for you. As much pleasure as cooking for one brings, there is nothing like cooking for two, especially when the second is someone as handsome as you.
Earlier in the day, I recovered chilled aquafaba from the fridge. I had expected your arrival later that evening, and I planned our departure from dinner into a chocolate decadence. I whipped the sweetened beige liquid, eager for its transformation from soft to hard peaks. Some people dispose of their chickpea juice, but they’d be a fool because after just a few minutes I had a bowl of cloud. On the stove, water rumbled. The rim of the boiling pot cradled a glass bowl filled with the rubble of a dark chocolate bar. I added a splash of coffee and vanilla extract. The sweet bean’s liquor intoxicated my mind with imagery of the meal after dessert. I couldn’t wait to taste a bit of me under your breath. The bit of me that catered to you, cooked for you, delighted you.
My pleasure for giving to you can’t be commodified or capitalized. It can’t be wrapped up in another homogenized ad about taking a self care day or how a face mask can not only erase your blemishes but your trauma too. This pleasure was purely about reciprocity. When I folded the melted chocolate into the sugary foam and created a mousse for the both of us to enjoy, I knew that watching you indulge in my work would be much more satisfying than any recommended care tips. Tuning into your reaction to my meal, my hard work, my intention, would require my complete presence of the moment. In order for me to indulge in you indulging it would mean my mind would have to be void of distraction. It would mean I was there, with you, and no one else because the only thing that would matter is how you had received my labor for you.
Cooking is one of the few activities that brings me to point zero—to complete mindfulness. Preparing a meal requires an attention to detail, whether it be in your timing, chopping, or intuitive abilities on how much of a particular ingredient needs to be added to something. It asks you to show up for yourself and in return you will be rewarded with far more than a meal. When I cook for myself, I understand that I am putting my health and wellbeing first. When I cook for us, our needs become of equal importance. We’re on equal playing fields and I am both being selfless and selfish at the same time because as much as I want you to be nourished by my food, I want the reassurance that you love it.
I transported coupes of chocolate lather into the fridge, anticipating sheer exhilaration from your first bite.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
1 3.2 oz vegan chocolate bar
1 tbs cold brew concentrate or espresso
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c aquafaba
1 ½ tbs sugar (this will vary depending on how sweet you would like your mousse and how dark your chocolate is)
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Fill a pot with one or two inches of water. It will act as your bottom pot for your double boiler. Add a heat-proof bowl, filled with your chopped up chocolate bar, into the top of the pot. The bowl should not be touching the water. You are trying to create a double boiler.
Melt the chocolate and fold in your espresso and vanilla extra. Once fully melted and silky, set aside to cool.
With a mixer, whip the aquafaba and sugar until the mixture forms stiff peaks. This will take at least 10 minutes. Be patient… it will happen. The cream of tartar will help. This is crucial though because if you stop too soon and fold in your chocolate, the foam will fall.
Fold in the melted chocolate into the whipped aquafaba. Make sure it is fully incorporated so no one is getting just sweetened whip.
Spoon the mousse into servingware and let chill for at least a few hours.
Top with chocolate curls or flaky sea salt.
Andreas is the creator and writer behind The Aphrodisiac Kitchen, a holistic, emotional approach tofood and the ritual of eating. Volume One is now available for pre-order. Follow Andreas here.
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