Making Chocolate Coconut Cream Mousse with Sweet Tarnation
Small vessels are perfect for drinks, but they’re also wonderful for serving rich desserts that pack a punch! Small and mighty desserts are made for the chocolate-lovers of the world and espresso-cup sized vessels are the perfect way to serve them. Ceramic is great for cold desserts because the material conducts heat efficiently, chilling your dessert quickly and keeping it cool after it leaves the refrigerator.
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This mousse recipe is so darn easy. It’s dairy, gluten, and nut free and is not fussy at all. You can make it to your liking without throwing off the texture. Best of all, it can be made a day or two ahead of time and just taken out of the fridge before you have dinner, letting the mousse come almost to room temperature before eating. This is my go-to dessert when I’m stumped for inspiration and just want something easy and tasty.
Chocolate Coconut Cream Mousse
- 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk, you’ll only need the cream at the top, refrigerate overnight for easier separation. I use mine at room temperature as it’s good enough quality that it separates nicely. Try to get as little liquid with your cream as possible. Save the liquid for cooking up some rice porridge, adding to soup, or using in a smoothie!
- Sweetener to taste (powdered sugar, coconut sugar, lucuma powder, whatever your preferred sweetener is. Liquid sweeteners aren’t recommended because we want this to be as thick as possible)
- 3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder (I like to use super dark black cocoa powder)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla (or to taste, I tend to like light vanilla flavor and lessen the vanilla in recipes, but this one definitely needed the vanilla)
- For extra chocolatey-ness you could add a tablespoon or two of melted chocolate. This will initially make the mixture more liquid, but will set up nicely when cooled.
- Berries and shaved chocolate for garnish
- Any kind of extract or powdered flavoring of your choice (examples are raspberry powder, matcha powder, peppermint extract, pistachio extract). Be careful with liquid extracts; they’re super strong and can make the mixture runny if you’re not careful. Add an 1/8 teaspoon at a time and taste between additions.
- Separate the coconut cream from the liquid and set the liquid aside for use in another recipe (use to make coconut rice pudding or add to a smoothie!).
- Place the coconut cream in a large bowl and whip with a whisk or hand-mixer vigorously. You want to get this full of air and as smooth as possible.
- Mix together your powdered sweetener and cocoa/cacao powder in a separate bowl, then add it to your coconut cream and whisk well.
- Add your vanilla to the coconut cream mixture along with any other extract or powder you want to incorporate. You may need to add the vanilla a little at a time along with these other elements to get the flavor balance just right. Take your time and taste as you go. The goal is to add as little liquid as possible to keep the fluffy, thick texture of the coconut cream.
- If you want to add more intense chocolate flavor you can gently melt an ounce or two of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate and fold it into the mousse. Make sure it’s just melted and in that sweet spot of cool enough to touch, but not solid. You don’t want to introduce a super hot element that will shock your mousse and alter the texture. It may initially make the mousse more liquid, but it should set up nicely in the fridge.
- Put into individual vessels and cover with cling film or place a plate or bowl over the tops of the vessels. Fats have a habit of attracting errant flavors while in the refrigerator and there’s a good amount of fat in coconut cream, so make sure they’re as airtight as you can manage (especially if you’re making these more than a day ahead).
- To serve, bring the mousse to just below room temperature and top with any garnish (unflavored coconut cream that you’ve set aside, chocolate shavings, berries, a sprig of mint for color, go wild!). Not only are berries tasty and heart-healthy, they also add a festive berry touch and beautiful color.
This decadent dessert is best taken with tea, coffee, or a nightcap of whisky or fortified wine (aka port, brandy, sherry) to help balance the richness. If you like rich and intense desserts, you’re going to love how easy, delicious, and versatile this recipe is. Enjoy with friends and lots of cheer!