Sunday, February 9, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Over the past few days my mind has been racing through recipe ideas for Valentine’s Day treats and decadence. Color, flavor, texture, aromatics and spices, accessibility due to food sensitivities and diet restrictions – these are just a handful of things that I’ve considered. After all the brainstorming and numerous ideas I shot down, I am happy to reveal this light, velvety vegan chocolate mousse that is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you begging for more.

If the thought of chocolate mousse typically turns your stomach into knots, fret no more. This dessert is super easy to make and free from dairy and eggs. I topped it with raw cacao nibs because that’s what I had in my pantry. However, fresh strawberries or raspberries would be a beautiful pop of color and a delicious accompaniment to the rich dark chocolate. 

If an amazing, quick and simple Valentine's Day recipe hasn't made your day yet, then click here to learn about the health benefits of raw cacao and why you should be eating more chocolate! Any excuse to eat more chocolate definitely makes my day! 

1 - 12 oz. can of coconut cream (I used Trader Joe’s Extra Thick & Rich – Thai Kitchen brand works well too!)
8 oz. of dark chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s chips – they are dairy free!)
2 tablespoons of coconut water (from the can of coconut cream)
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 tablespoons of raw organic maple syrup
* cacao chips for garnish - optional

Place the can of coconut cream in the refrigerator overnight (the night before you plan to make this recipe).

Remove the can of coconut cream from the fridge – do not shake it. Carefully remove the lid and scoop all of thick cream into a large bowl. Leave behind the coconut water. If you’re using the Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream there will be very little coconut water. That’s fine! You want as much of the thick cream as possible.

Place the bowl with coconut cream back in the fridge while you melt the chocolate.

Create a double boiler. I used a small saucepan and placed a glass bowl, slightly bigger than the saucepan, over the top. Add enough water to the saucepan to cover the bottom of the pan but not too much - you don’t want your glass (or metal) bowl sitting in the water but rather resting over top. Begin heating the water.

Add two tablespoons of coconut water, from the reserved water in the can, to the bowl (sitting on top of the saucepan). Next, pour in the chocolate chips. Stir continuously until the chocolate chips have melted completely and the consistency is smooth and creamy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Using a hand mixer, begin to whip the coconut cream until it starts to thicken. Add the vanilla and maple syrup and continue to beat until it thickens even more and increases in volume. 

Transfer about ¼ cup of the coconut cream mixture to a jar or bowl, cover and place in the fridge. Use this as your whipped topping when you serve the mousse.

Next, slowly fold the chocolate mixture in with the coconut whipped cream. Beat for another 30 seconds making sure it stays nice and fluffy. Spoon the mousse into individual jars, bowls, martini glasses or other fancy cups, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least four hours (it will get thicker the longer it chills).

When you’re ready to serve, remove the mousse and whipped topping from the fridge. Add a dollup of whipped topping to each bowl of chocolate mousse, sprinkle with raw cacao nibs or cacao powder (optional) or top with fresh raspberries or strawberries. Enjoy by the spoonful!!!

* makes four small servings

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