I’ve been meaning to share this recipe with you for a while now! This past summer, the mister and I went to his family reunion in Grand Mesa. If you associate what I associate with reunions, you’re probably thinking about Aunt Ethel’s special jello surprise, cousin Susie’s mystery meat casserole, mountains of deviled eggs (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), hot dogs, and of course, macaroni salad. I must have been in some strange family reunion twilight zone, but there wasn’t a speck of jello surprise to be found.
When you come from a family of lacto-impaired-vegetarians, meat-atarians, and gluten-freegans, people have to get a little creative, especially when it comes to dessert. My cousin-in-law Lena, who has mad vegan skills, whipped up a batch of this mousse. The mousse was silky smooth with the luscious texture every good mousse should have, but was much lighter. Fresh berries were a perfect match. The dessert was satisfying without being overly rich or heavy. Unlike other vegan desserts, the ingredients in this one are simple and straight-forward–coconut cream, cocoa powder, and sugar. Lena kindly agreed to let me share the recipe, which is on the menu at Evolution Fresh, the juice bar and nom-worthy healthy restaurant she manages in Seattle. Thanks Lena!
It’s a beautiful thing when the world’s diverse eaters can unite over a dessert that everyone loves and can feel good about eating! If only everyone’s family reunions could taste this good!
Vegan Coconut Chocolate Mousse
Recipe adapted from cousin Lena and Evolution Fresh
The biggest secret to making coconut mousse successfully is temperature. Coconut cream must be cold in order to whip up. If you happen to have xanthan gum on hand, it helps to firm up the mousse even more. If you can’t find cans of coconut cream, you can use the cream from 3-4 cans coconut milk (not light). If using regular coconut milk, refrigerate the cans for at least 2 days, then use only the cream from the top, saving the clear coconut water for another use (It tastes great in smoothies!). Makes a great topping for berries!
If you can get your hands on it, Mayan cocoa powder makes a great variation on the basic mousse. If you’d like to imitate the taste of Mayan cocoa powder, you can add a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne.
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut cream*, refrigerated for at least 2 days
- 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional, used for thickening)
Scoop the chilled coconut cream into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the coconut cream on medium high speed 4-5 minutes, until fluffy and forms peaks. If using xanthan gum, add to the mixture and beat for a minute. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until incorporated. Chill or serve immediately.