Sunday, August 12, 2012

5 Minute Dairy Free Chocolate Mousse

Here it is: My 5 minute chocolate mousse recipe. And it's soooo ridiculously easy!!! Chocolate mousse traditionally ranges from thick, dense and creamy to light, airy, whipped and smooth. They are ALL equally brilliant in my book.

THIS particular mousse is on the thicker side (especially when chilled). It is great by itself, but also wonderful as a filling for tarts, as a fruit dip, in parfaits and even perfect for frosting a cake (a chilled cake of course). Before we get to the recipe though, lets talk a bit about working with coconut milk.

Some tips on coconut whipped cream....

Full-fat (canned or boxed) coconut milk is an AWESOME thing if you are dairy intolerant! It's a great way to still enjoy the creamy goodness of 'real' cream in cereal and soups, as well as in your morning coffee! You can also mix it with filtered water for a great coconut milk beverage. I'm not so much a fan of the pre-made stuff in the dairy section. But best of all, you can make COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM! 

If you haven't already been introduced to the 'holy grail' of dairy-free whipped creams....then let me do it now! All you have to do is chill a can of FULL-FAT coconut milk (usually overnight), pop open the can, scoop out the thick cold cream and whip it up! There are, however, a few things to keep in mind before you get started....

1. Most recipes that call for the 'chilled coconut cream' are dependent on you getting some good thick cream from your cans of coconut milk (which often yield about 1/4 to 1/2 cup worth per can). Occasionally, when you open a can you will find that there's very little separation of the cream and water. When this happens, you will just need to try another can. It happens from time to time and it's just the way it goes when making coconut whipped cream. But those cans aren't wasted. You can use them for all kinds of other things. I like to freeze the extra coconut milk into little ice cubes for later use. 

2. Another great option is to use the 'dessert' coconut cream by Aroy-D (check it out below), this stuff is ALL creamy goodness and no liquid (water). For the most part though, you will get good cream off of any brand as long as it's not the "light" kind. Just be sure to give it enough time to chill in the fridge for best results. 

3. If you want even thicker cream, scoop the chilled cream from the cans, set in a fine mesh strainer and pop it back in the fringe for an hour or more. I have even done this without the strainer, just re-chilled the coconut cream in an air tight container and it thickened up nicely.

That said, I do have a few brand preferences....

Natural Value: Natural Value already has a 'gum' free version out (meaning it's just coconut and water) As of next month (September 2012) their canned coconut milk will also be BPA free and Kosher. An organic version is also available. This coconut milk will NOT work for making mousse or "whipped cram", but for everything else it is my favorite

Native Forrest: This brand is organic and BPA free, which I LOVE. It does contain guar gum though, which can be a problem for some sensitive individuals and people on restrictive diets.

Aroy-D: This brand is an "Import" and available at most Asian grocery stores or online. It is BPA and supposedly guar gum free (the boxed one only). What's nice about this brand is that they offer a 100% coconut cream version! Perfect for making 'whipped cream' right out of the box. This brand is NOT organic.

Wilderness Family Naturals: This brand offers full-fat coconut milk and cream (like Aroy-D). It is not technically organic, but still very high quality. (I personally do not use this coconut milk/cream product as it contains small amounts of xanthan gum, which I am sensitive to. If you are not sensitive to xanthan gum, this may be a great option for you.)

To learn more about other issues surrounding coconut milk, BPA's, gaur gum and more read this great article. Chris Kresser, "Three Reasons Why Coconut Milk May Not Be Your Friend".

What should I do with the leftover liquid?

You can keep the leftover liquid or throw it out. For the most part it's just water (and not the 'electrolite' kind....just water) but it does have a light sweetness to it and can be used in baking smoothies and more. Sometimes I add a little left over cream back into the water, shake it up and I'm left with a nice coconut milk beverage. We like to pour it over our grain-free granola or sliced fresh fruit, for a great snack.

5 Minute Diary Free Chocolate Mousse
dairy free, egg free, vegan. vegetarian
1 cup full fat (canned) coconut milk, cream only (takes about 2 cans)
4-5 tablespoons cocoa (more or less to your taste or thickness)
3 tablespoons honey or vegan alternative or stevia to taste (more or less to your taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Chill your cans of full-fat coconut milk overnight.

When you are ready to make the mousse, open up the cans and scoop the thick coconut cream into a large bowl (try to keep as much liquid out of the cream as possible)

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and beat the mixture for 2-5 minutes.

Eat right away or chill it. Mousse will become thicker as it chills in the fridge but it will lighten up again if you re-beat it before serving. We love to throw in handful of 'Enjoy' chocolate chips or sliced strawberries into ours. 

Here's another one of our favorite snacks, made with the 5 minute chocolate mousse....

5 Minute Cherry Chocolate Mousse Parfaits 
(dairy free)

1 recipe, 5 Minute Chocolate Mousse

1/2 cup fresh cherries, halved and pitted

1 can of chilled coconut milk, cream on the top only (about half a cup)

Layer ingredients as desired into small glasses or dessert cups

Can be made ahead and chilled. If chilling, allow the prepared dessert cups to sit out for 5 minute or so before serving