In the spirit of making easy and quick dishes —it is summer after all— I made this chocolate mousse.
This is no ordinary mousse though, it is a dairy-free one, made with coconut milk. The first time I made this, it was revelatory. I have always made the traditional mousse with eggs, or the one with lots and lots of cream, or even the one with water (This, anyone?), but never vegan mousse. I am not vegan nor I plan to become vegan, and the reason for making this was simply because I love the flavor of coconut. I grab every chance I get to include it in my sweet or savory dishes.
The principle is the same as when making coconut whipped cream. You place the full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for a day, during which time the coconut milk separates into cream (fat) and water. You open the can, scoop out the solid coconut cream and keep the liquid to use in shakes, smoothies or any other drink or cakes even.
You take the coconut cream and whip it really good, together with cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, a sweetener, agave syrup in this case, and vanilla extract, and after a few minutes you have a mousse that’s light, fluffy and creamy with the intense flavor of cocoa and the subtle flavor of coconut. That simple.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go make it!
Chocolate mousse with coconut milk (Vegan/Raw)
You can substitute the agave syrup with rice brown or maple syrup, if you don’t mind its flavor. I wouldn’t suggest you use honey (which is not vegan) as it is too sticky and a bit denser and it also has a more pronounced flavor. You can also substitute with coconut sugar (2 Tbsp would be enough) or sieved icing sugar (start with 3 Tbsp, taste and add more if you think it needs it).
I have tried this mousse with different coconut milk brands and unfortunately not all brands yield the best result. Some don’t seem to whip as good as others. So if your mousse doesn’t become as fluffy, try another brand. Find a brand that works, and stick to it. Also, look out for the ingredients list. You want it to contain coconut milk and, since it’s a can, some kind of preservative, but don’t buy those that have more ingredients. Finally, do not use light coconut milk. The reason this works and whips up to a mousse is because of the fat in the solids of the coconut milk.
Yield: 4 small servings
1 can coconut milk (400 ml), full-fat
25 g (2 heaped Tbsp) Dutch-processed cocoa (or raw cacao) powder, sieved
30 ml (2 Tbsp) agave syrup (nectar)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Coconut whipped cream, to serve
Coconut flakes, to serve
Raspberries or other berries, to serve
Special equipment: stand or hand-held electric mixer
Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge the night before, or preferably 24 hours before you want to make the mousse. During this time, the coconut cream (fat) will separate from the coconut water. The cream will rise to the top and the water will accumulate at the bottom of the can.
When you open the cold can, you will see the hard cream on top. Scoop it out carefully using a spoon until you reach the water at the bottom of the can, and add the cream to the bowl of your mixer or in a large bowl (if using a hand-held electric mixer). Don’t add the coconut water that has remained at the bottom of the can because the mousse might be watery and it won’t whip up well. You need that fat in order to make a thick mousse. You can use the water in smoothies, drinks etc., or discard it altogether.
To the coconut cream, add the cocoa, agave syrup, vanilla extract and salt and using the whisk attachment (or a hand-held mixer), whisk on high speed for a few minutes (it usually takes 3-4), until you have a light and fluffy mousse with soft peaks.
If your coconut mousse is a bit lumpy/chunky, something that tends to happen and I don’t mind it one bit, it means that the coconut cream has not been whipped enough. Whip it a couple minutes more.
You can serve it immediately (at this point, it will be super smooth and fluffy), or keep it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap for later use (up to 3 days). If you leave it in the fridge for more than a few hours, it will firm up. The flavor will not be affected, though, and it will still taste delicious even after 2-3 days.
Serve the mousse with a dollop of coconut whipped cream, a few coconut flakes and some raspberries and enjoy!