This is likely the EASIEST recipe that I've ever created, and arguably also one of the best desserts I've ever eaten. I've always been a fan of chocolate mousse, ever since my first taste over a decade ago at the recently closed Patisserie Gâscogne.

I made it daily when I worked as a pastry chef at a Montreal resto, and it quickly became one of their best-selling desserts. However, that version was loaded with 35% cream. Rich and decadent, yes, but not so nice on the tummy for those of use who are lactose-intolerant.

Now, I've come up with a waistline-friendly,  2 ingredient SUPER easy vegan option that is arguably just as decadent, without the tummy aches or the added fat that cream can bring. The secret ingredient? Aquafaba.

For those of you not familiar with the lingo, aquafaba just means the water from your can of beans (usually chickpeas.) WAIT, WHAT?! You may be thinking. "I don't want no beans in my chocolate!" Just breathe and relax. You need to trust me on this one. This isn't that black bean brownie that your enthusiastic co-worker insisted that you eat because you totally can't taste the beans (Newsflash Barbara, I tasted the beans.) Aquafaba, when properly prepared, ultimately takes on the flavour of whatever it is mixed with - in this case, that flavour is delicious chocolate. It has similar properties to eggwhites, which makes it a great vegan egg substitute in meringues and macarons. t's quite revolutionary in the vegan baking world, with new books coming out often.
Check out my aquafaba cookbook recommendations here and here!

So, let's get to the fun part - whipping it up! It really is magical. Drain a can of chickpeas, reserving as much liquid as possible. Pour the liquid into your stand mixer and turn it on. After about 5 minutes, you'll have soft peaks. Go a little bit longer, and you'll have stiff ones.

**It is very important, much like with whipped eggwhites, that you use it immediately after beating to make your recipe. If you don't, it will deflate and separate, which is never fun.**

2-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Mousse

160 g good quality dark chocolate
liquid from one can of chickpeas (about 1c)

Melt chocolate over a double boiler OR - take the lazy but simple route and put it in a microwave-safe bowl and zap it for 30 seconds at a time, mixing in between, until fully melted. Allow to cool slightly before using.

Pour aquafaba into your stand mixer. Beat with wire whisk on medium-high about 5 to 7 minutes, until semi-stiff peaks form.

Fold in melted chocolate with a spatula. Do not overmix.
Divide mixture evenly into small mason jars or ramekins. (It may look soupy, but don't worry. it will stiffen when cool!)
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

Enjoy as-is, or top with chocolate shavings, fresh or dried fruits, or candied nuts.

Hey world! Happy 2018! Though I'm not one to make resolutions, I do enjoy the excuse for a good thorough housecleaning and organizational purge. This includes cleaning up and re-organizing the accumulated stuff on my laptop, especially  the endless list that is my bookmarks file. I have been bookmarking my favorites long before the Pinterest era.

Each time that I've discovered a good cookie recipe for instance, I've bookmarked it, and for my own reference, I  usually name it something that will help me easily access it. My bookmark list includes:

... and so on.

I've noticed that there are a LOT of recipes on my list entitled BEST EVER. The thing is, every time I make something that is better than the last, it really does become the best ever. Then came a few weeks ago, when my husband forwarded me a recipe for "brown butter chocolate chip cookies with toffee bits and chocolate chunks." I knew immediately that I needed to try it. I wrote the recipe down with a few tweaks after the first test. Surprisingly, I did not name this recipe "Best Cookies Ever," because that would be a lie. They are BETTER than the BEST EVER! Since the Internet definitely needs ANOTHER recipe for chocolate chip cookies, after many requests, I've decided to share my secret with you today.

These crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, melt-in-your-mouth delicious cookies are definitely hard to beat.

Better than the Best
Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies
recipe adapted from Bon Apétit Magazine

1 cup salted butter
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate wafers, roughly chopped if large (also known as discs or pistoles)
1/2 cup chopped Skor bar or Heath bar or toffee bits (optional)
Flaky sea salt

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until butter begins to brown, about 5 to 8 minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all of those delicious brown bits. Allow to cool about one hour, until it begins to solidify. To speed up the cooling process, if you live in the current polar vortex that is Canada, cover the bowl and place outside for about 25 mins. (A freezer works equally well.)

Preheat oven to 375F. 

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream cooled butter with sugars until combined. Add eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, chocolate & toffee bits (if using). Paddle just until incorporated. 

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
Use a small ice cream scoop to place cookie dough balls onto paper. Do NOT press down.
Leave at least an inch in between each cookie, as they will spread significantly!
Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt. 

Bake at 375F for about 9 minutes.
You'll notice each batch may take a little less time as your oven runs hot, so keep an eye out!

Allow to cool completely before enjoying.