*This Chocolate Mousse is vegan, dairy & refined sugar free.
There are a few recipes I have in my arsenal that I never thought I would ever consider making “healthier”, or more nutritious, as I prefer to think of it. I’m not sure that I like thinking of food as healthy or not healthy, probably for the same reason that I don’t believe in diets or dieting. I simply believe that there are foods that are full of nutrition and foods that are devoid of nutrition (processed foods and white sugar, anyone?). We should be eating nutritious foods and it’s just as simple as that. Being a serious dessert lover, finding ways to make them better for you is one of my favorite things to do.
One of these recipes that I speak of never wanting to alter is my chocolate mousse. I’ve made it for over a decade and it’s flawless. Milk and egg yolks make a custard, chocolate is melted in, and mounds of whipped cream give it the perfect texture.
That is, until now. Though I do not follow a vegan, or even vegetarian lifestyle, we don’t consume dairy in excess. I’ve cut it out of a lot of our desserts and we all feel a lot better after eating them (the lack of white flours and sugars makes a big difference too).
I wanted to try and make this mousse without the use of dairy. And when you don’t use dairy in a mousse, coconut milk becomes your best friend.
I made this version using coconut milk, cashews, chocolate, a tiny bit of maple syrup to sweeten, along with vanilla and a pinch of salt.
Guess what? It’s incredible. It has the same fluffy/thick texture of a traditional mousse and the flavor is on point. Actually, I thought that this mousse tasted almost exactly the same as the other mousse I had made for so many years. Despite the ingredients, it does not taste nutty, or even coconut-y. It just tastes like the best darn chocolate mousse you’ve ever had. My husband was beside himself with disbelief that a mousse with no dairy or sugar could taste as good as the one he was eating. He usually likes whatever I make, but this one he raved on and on about.
That’s good enough for me!
Another great thing about this mousse? It’s super fast to whip up, provided that you’ve soaked your cashews. If you didn’t soak them overnight, no worries. Place them in a jar and fill it with hot water. Let it sit for an hour, drain, and you are ready to roll.
You do have to let the mousse set up in the fridge for a few hours, but it’s totally worth the wait. This mousse keeps better than a diary version, so you can store them in the fridge for over a week, or even freeze them, if you like.
I dusted a little bit of cocoa powder over the tops before serving and sprinkled crushed pistachios and berries over that. You could add any toppings you like, or leave them off. This mousse can stand on it’s own. It also loves to play dress up, if that’s your thing. 😉
More dairy free desserts:
- ¾ cup Cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 can Coconut Milk (13.5 oz)
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips (60-70% cacao)
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- Place the chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a small saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is fully melted. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Drain the soaked cashews and place them in a high speed blender. Open the can of coconut and pour just the clear liquid in to the blender with the cashews (reserve the thick cashew cream to use at the end of the recipe). Add the salt, vanilla, and maple syrup to the blender and blend the ingredients until they are totally smooth and silky. Scrape down the sides as needed while blending, there should be no lumps remaining when mixture is fully blended.
- Add the cooled melted chocolate to the blender and blend until well combined, scraping down the sides once.
- Add the reserved coconut cream to the blender along with the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Blend until just combined. Make sure that you don't over blend the mixture. You want the coconut milk and oil to be fully combined, but only just because this gives the mousse it's texture.
- Spoon the mousse into 6 small serving dishes or cups. Chill for 4 hours or overnight,.
- Dust with cocoa powder before serving, if desired.