Mousse, for me, is the ultimate fancy dessert. And this dairy-free mousse is the perfect dessert: it’s incredibly light and ridiculously rich and creamy.
Beware! You may eat an alarming amount of it.
Insane Creaminess in No Time and Without the Fuss
As far as traditional mousses are concerned (i.e., with eggs and dairy products), some mousses are dense and sticky. Others are foamy, almost frothy, with the mouthfeel of a marshmallow.
Although the texture is not exactly like a traditional mousse, I find that mine sits squarely, cheerfully, in the middle. It’s soft and creamy, light but robust. A little dense, yes, but one can’t ask for anything better than a chocolate mousse made in what… two, three steps? Yes, dear friend, it won’t take you more than 10 minutes (after the preliminary steps) to obtain such a delight and no more than 10 seconds to lick your lips.
It’s not too sweet, either. It’s dark and deep, complex, and enriched with enough vanilla extract to complement the taste of chocolate, but without competing with.
It surely will bring you to paradise!
It’s also effortless.
In traditional pastry, mousse is rarely classified as being easy to make. The list of ingredients is quite short, and the method is simple. Still, we’re dealing with ingredients with different time and temperature constraints, which means that it’s imperative to be prepared.
It’s quite the opposite in vegan baking. You don’t have to be in charge as if your life depended on it.
No need to read the recipe a full 1,000 times and get all the tools you need in advance. No need to prepare the ingredients according to their order of time constraint (from the biggest to the least). No need to mix them while being serious like a pope.
Mousse, Pudding, Custard, What’s the Difference?
Look no further. I’ve prepared a neat table, summed up from by Food52’s article, to tell you the difference and reproduce pretty much the same thing in vegan pastry.
|Types||In traditional pastry||In vegan pastry|
|Mousse||Mousse is made by folding beaten egg whites or whipped cream (the aerators) in a cold base. It’s uncooked, and the addition of air to the mixture gives a softer consistency and a lighter texture.||We will replace the beaten eggs with something that will give the body to the preparation, such as avocados or whipped coconut cream. Sometimes soy lecithin can be added as an emulsifier or homogenizer to produce a very creamy consistency. (An emulsifier is a substance that helps to mix two liquids incapable of being mixed together, such as water and oil. A homogenizer is a substance that keeps the mixture stable and homogeneous.) Sunflower lecithin is another option, but you may detect a little taste of sunflower seeds, however.|
|Pudding||Pudding is made by cooking the milk and sugar and adding cornstarch to thicken the mixture. This leads to a semi-solid consistency and a creamy texture. It’s usually served chilled, but it can be served hot or at room temperature.||We will seek to obtain the same consistency and feel by using avocado, a cashew cream (cashew + water), or the flesh of young Thai coconut. It’s also possible to thicken coconut milk with any thickening powder, such as xanthan gum.|
|Custard||Custard is made by cooking the milk and sugar base and adding whole eggs to thicken the mixture. Once cooled, the mixture solidifies, leaving you with a wiggly consistency and silky texture.||We will replace the milk base and the eggs with cashew cream, solidified with coconut oil.|
Note: whether we manage to add air or not in our mixture, we will waver between the mousse and the pudding.
What Are the 4 Essential Ingredients of a Mousse?
Primarily, mousse is composed of only a few elements: the base, the aerator(s), the sweetener (which is usually added to the aerator), and the thickener (optional, depending on the recipe).
|Elements||In traditional pastry||In vegan pastry|
|The base||It can be a whole series of things: melted chocolate, pureed fruit, a fruit cream or custard (such as pudding or crème anglaise, a vanilla sauce of dairy base, thickened with egg yolks on the stove).||The same ones are used except for the custard. This would be replaced by a coconut or cashew cream.|
|The aerator(s)||They can be whipped cream, meringue (egg whites + sugar), pâte à bombe (whole eggs and/or egg yolks + sugar), or a combination of these.||More precisely, we would use coconut whipped cream. The meringue would consist of aquafaba (chickpea soaking liquid) and sugar. Pâte à bombe would probably be something that would have to do with whipped coconut cream.|
|The sweetener||The options are limitless.||Same. But let’s choose a sweetener that’s more whole and a little more nutritious, like maple syrup or cane sugar (Rapadura, Sucanat, Moscovado), okay?|
|The thickener (optional)||Traditionally, mousse is made with gelatin. The gelatin powder should bloom (swell) in cold water for 5 minutes, then melt before being added to the base.|
The amount of gelatin can be changed depending on the desired texture. For example, a mousse in a glass or other container may contain less gelatin than one used as a garnish for a cake.
|Agar-agar can be used as a substitute if you’re trying to avoid gelatin. And it should be handled the same way.|
Some recipes don’t require it at all. These are usually recipes that use chocolate as the base because it thickens in the refrigerator. The avocado purée mixed with cocoa powder also solidifies.
What Most People also Ask about Chocolate Mousse
No, it’s 100% plant-based. Initially, the eggs are there to give body and texture to the mousse. You can replace them with an ingredient that will play the same role in a vegan chocolate mousse, such as avocado, cashew cream, or whipped coconut cream.
Absolutely! You can freeze chocolate mousse, and it will last in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you are ready to use it again, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it thaw there until you can spoon it. Or make a chocolate mousse ice cream!
A 4-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Just like the traditional recipe, you only need four ingredients.
- Dates – I usually use Medjool dates because they have a sticky consistency. They make an excellent substitute for other sticky options high in sugar, such as syrups, caramels, and caramelized sugars.
- Avocado – We’ll use it to give the body, the thick and creamy texture. Don’t worry, you won’t notice the taste of avocado. It will be hidden by the bitterness of cocoa and the sweetness of dates and maple syrup. Nutritionally, it provides good sources of essential fats necessary for health.
- Cocoa powder – The centerpiece of our mousse. This is what will give the beautiful chocolate color and cover that of the avocado. When raw, cocoa is considered a superfood full of antioxidants and opposing free radicals (responsible for the aging process and disease appearance).
It’s also very rich in magnesium, excellent for muscle contraction, and food movement in your digestive tract down the toilet bowl (peristalsis). A great benefit if you find that you’re spending far too much time reading about how Kate Middleton is trying to deal with people criticizing her not-always-flawless ponytail in People magazine.
Finally, containing the ecstasy molecule, anandamide, cocoa powder brings you a sensation as sublime as THC. A good thing for feeling peacefully buzzed!
- Maple syrup – When you can choose a local product, you might as well do it! Maple syrup is a typical Quebec product that I love. It’s added to extend the texture of the avocado. No sweetener is healthy. But you can rest assured that compared to others, like refined white sugar, it contains a good source of manganese and zinc—beneficial for skin health, among other things.
- Vanilla extract – To flavor the mousse. As simple as that. Choose a quality vanilla extract containing only water, alcohol (organic, if possible), and vanilla bean extracts. No propylene glycol, no high-fructose corn syrup.
How to Make Chocolate Mousse from Scratch Step by Step
The steps are pretty simple. First, you soak the dates in water to soften them. Meanwhile, you mash the avocados. Afterward, you add all the ingredients, process in the food processor, and there you have it.
1/ Pit the Medjool dates and soak for 30 minutes;
2/ Place the dates, maple syrup and vanilla in a food processor fitted with the S blade;
3/ Add the puréed avocados, cocoa powder, and water;
4/ Mix until smooth;
5/ Mix until smooth and creamy ;
6/ Refrigerate the mousse for at least 2 hours before serving.
How to Get the Most Exquisite No-Bake and Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse
Choose the right dates
In general, I use Medjool dates, because they have a sticky consistency. This makes them an excellent substitute for other rich sticky options sugar, such as syrups, caramels, and caramelized sugars. They’re quite expensive, it’s true, so in that case, you can replace them with regular pitted dates. But in this case, choose some that are also fluffy and don’t usually have thicker skin. Also, be aware that a Medjool date is equivalent to two regular dates (1 Medjool date = 2 regular dates).
Take not too ripe avocados
At the grocery store, squeeze the avocados a little to see if they are ripe enough. If they are too mature, you will have an overly strong avocado taste.
Other Bases for No-Bake Chocolate Mousse
This mousse is ultra-easy to make if you want it in very few steps. But if you wish to get as close as possible to the traditional version, you can vary the ingredients that make up the base. Here are some basic options:
- Whipped coconut cream-based chocolate mousse;
- Coconut milk-based chocolate mousse, thickened with xanthan gum;
- Cashew cream-based chocolate mousse, emulsified with soy or sunflower lecithin;
- Chocolate mousse made out of a combination of coconut and cashew puree, all emulsified with soy or sunflower lecithin.
- Chocolate mousse made out of cocoa powder and carob powder if you’re afraid cocoa will overstimulate your heartbeat.
If you wish to optionally add a thickener, agar-agar will be the appropriate choice.
How to Serve Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate mousse is a delicious dessert in itself, so simply place it in a single bowl. For something more whimsical, spice it up with espresso coffee essence or alcohol such as rum or brandy.
To bring a contrast of color or texture, sprinkle it with dried and grated coconut or crushed nuts. Or cover it with salted caramel, like the one in my brownie recipe.
Here are other ideas for different presentations: in bowls, in small whiskey glasses with some fresh raspberries on top. And, for a picnic, in tiny paper cups with a spoonful of whipped cream. Otherwise, alone, it can act as a layering element in cakes. And finally, put it in the freezer and make it a chocolate mousse ice cream!
Whichever way you choose to serve it, start with small portions; these are not jokes. It’s quite substantial.
Make this No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Now
When it comes to spoiling yourself with a decadent dessert, serve yourself a chocolate mousse that will delight you until the last lick.
Even without eggs and dairy, it won’t disappoint you at all. In addition to making you swim in bliss, it will feed you with holy nutrients.
So, grab your four main ingredients, concoct this delight in a jiffy and serve it carefully and slowly to not let its smoothness and beauty knock you out.
No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Recipe
From Jennifer Cornbleet’s Raw Food Made Simple
Exquisite No-Bake Chocolate Mousse
- 8 pitted Medjool dates, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 3 mashed avocados (1 ½ cups)
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Notes)
- ½ cup filtered water
- Place the dates, the maple syrup, and the vanilla in a food processor fitted with the S blade and mix until a smooth consistency is obtained.
- Add the avocados, cocoa powder, and water and mix until you get a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Covered with plastic wrap, this chocolate mousse will keep in the fridge for 3 days and in the freezer for 2 weeks.
- Sprinkle the mousse with dried and grated coconut, crushed nuts, or strawberries.
- Choose the right dates: In general, I use Medjool dates, because they have a sticky consistency. This makes them an excellent substitute for other rich sticky options sugar, such as syrups, caramels, and caramelized sugars. They’re quite expensive, yes, so in that case, you can replace them with regular pitted dates. But in this case, choose some that are also fluffy and don’t usually have thicker skin. Also, be aware that a Medjool date is equivalent to two regular dates (1 Medjool date = 2 regular dates).
- Take not too ripe avocados: At the grocery store, squeeze the avocados a little to see if they are ripe enough. If they are too mature, you will have an overly strong avocado taste.
- Add carob powder: Reduce the amount of cocoa and mix with carob powder if you’re afraid cocoa powder will overstimulate your heartbeat.
If you try this recipe, I want to know about it! Leave me a comment below or share it on Instagram. Tag @biting.into.life with the hashtag #bitingintolife
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