Recently I was very kindly sent the new 3-in-1 stick blender from the Fearne Cotton collection by Swan, thanks to Housing Units. As a huge fan of the ex-BBC Radio 1 presenter turned healthy baking goddess, I was looking forward to trying out this new versatile and stylish kitchen gadget which whisks, blends, blitzes and chops, making life easier when it comes to cooking or baking.
Without taking up too much room on my kitchen counter, which now consists of baby things like a steraliser and bottles along with my other essentials, so this was a big win from the start. As well as the beautiful pastel lilac colour, I found it easy to switch between the stainless steel blade, blender handle and balloon whisk and very straightforward to use; sometimes gadgets can be a bit too complex but I liked the two speed levels and variable speed controller option as this was comprehensive enough for what I’ll be using each component for.
My first recipe using the balloon whisk is a festive themed, vegan friendly chocolate mousse using an ingredient I’ve seen pop up in countless recipes but something I’d not tried until now: AQUAFABA – the water/brine in a can of chickpeas. Sounds mad doesn’t it? That’s why it’s taken me so long to actually give it a go, because I wasn’t convinced…But I’m actually mindblown by how amazing the result is!
Using only a few ingredients, the Fearne by Swan whisk was ideal for whipping up the brine for a good 4 minutes to allow stiff peaks to form before folding in some melted dark chocolate; the effect was a bubbly, light, airy mousse – you couldn’t tell the difference. The only note I’d make about this recipe is when adding the topping, ALLOW IT TO COOL. I was impatient and added it while still hot, which made the top of the mousse lose air and sink a bit – although it was still delicious. A wonderful and super easy dessert to finish off your Christmas dinner 🙂
- 1 x can chickpeas, drained – keep the brine and tip into a large bowl
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 30g stevia or coconut sugar (I used Natvia)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150g dark chocolate, broken up into pieces (can be dairy-free, vegan, contain no refined sugar – I used Montezuma’s)
For the cranberry & almond crunch –
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (I used LucyBee)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (I used Indigo Herbs)
- 4 tablespoons buckwheat groats
- 4 tablespoons dried cranberries (I used Indigo Herbs)
- 4 tablespoons flaked almonds
- First place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a small pan filled with water, heat on low until melted. Set aside and leave to cool – this is important!
- Next place the chickpea brine in a large bowl and use an electric whisk to beat for around 3-4 minutes until fluffy. Add in the cider vinegar and continue whisking until stiff peaks form.
- Add in the stevia/coconut sugar and whisk once more until thick and glossy.
- Carefully fold in the melted chocolate along with the vanilla extract until combined – don’t knock too much air out! Spoon between 3-4 small glasses and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
- Meanwhile make the cranberry crunch: Heat the coconut oil and maple syrup in a small pan then add the buckwheat groats, cranberries and almonds. Cook on a high heat and continue to stir for a few minutes, allowing the ingredients to caramlise and go sticky. *This is where I went wrong! I spooned this over the mousse while still hot – instead, leave to cool completely and it will go hard. Break up into pieces THEN sprinkle over each one – then enjoy!*
A huge thanks to Housing Units for gifting me with this product. You can read more about the Manchester-based home furnishing store over here 🙂