Marisa’s GF / DF Chocolate Mousse!

I’ve been gluten-free and dairy-free for 7 months. My life has improved in uncountable ways. Some friends find gf and df particularly distressing— but only when we’re talking about dessert. You gave up pasta? NO problem. You gave up bread? NO problem. But DESSERT? Controversy arises when we discuss dessert. In fact, there was so much controversy surrounding dessert, that I’m writing this post for my dear friend Candy, a very close colleague from work. She was intrigued upon hearing that I had some dessert alternatives.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s really hard to find a dairy free / gluten free AND delicious piece of chocolate cake. As one of my favorite anti-heroes George Costanza always says, “It can’t be done!” I agree with him that I still haven’t found a great piece of chocolate cake, BUT I have found for myself a very satisfying dessert alternative that falls within my regimen; that is, my gluten-free and diary-free chocolate mousse recipe.

One caveat with this recipe as that it tends to either turn out very strong or very weak. There seems to be no in-between, no blah, no “eh,” to this recipe. It’s either great or horrible. I say go heavy on the cocoa powder. Go too light, and basically you’re eating coconut cream straight out of the can. (Though come to think of it, I don’t see a problem with that. In fact, I’m guilty as charged of doing that on numerous occasions!)

GET YOURSELF SET UP FOR SUCCESS!

Trader Joe’s coconut cream gets quite firm in the fridge. Most chocolate mousse recipes will recommend that you refrigerate your coconut cream for at least 8 hours in the fridge before preparation. I agree. You need a pretty legitimate blender to combine the coconut cream with the other necessary ingredients, since it all becomes pretty dense after cooling in the fridge. The Ninja from Target has never left me hanging, and you can get one at a reasonable price point. The Vitamix is the appliance of my dreams, but that’ll need to wait a few more years. The Ninja gets the job done just fine.

Ninja blender with 6 ramekins

Ninja blender with 6 ramekins

I actually have a set of 9 ramekins. I feel like I can never have enough of those. Photographed below are 2 cans of coconut cream, which will fill 6 ramekins. To be honest and up front with my readers, I actually only made 1 can of coconut cream this time, so I only filled up 3 ramekins. It was just Shane and me. Naturally I ate 2, and he was relegated to 1. That’s the way the world turns. He was aware of these ground rules from the start, eight years ago when we first met.

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So here’s the deal if you’re working with 1 can of coconut cream which will satisfy 3 people. OK, 3 people are satisfied if they are civilized, but 1 can of coconut cream will only satisfy 2 people if I happen to be involved.

An old wive’s tale is to open the can of coconut cream from the bottom of the can. I do this every time out of habit. Come to think of it, I don’t see how it makes any difference, because I use the entire contents of the can anyways, so what does it matter?!

Dump the entire contents of the can into the blender. Add in 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Then add in honey and / or maple syrup. I don’t blend it together; I opt for the “pulse” option. I like there to be unexpected chunks of unblended coconut cream in the mix. It’s a cool texture!

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BLEND IT UP!

OK for you purists who want clear instructions, here we go:

1 can coconut milk, hardened in the fridge for at least 8 hours
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey, or in my case, both! there’s no wrong answer here)
1/2 tsp vanilla (vanilla is super-expensive; yeah, it makes the dessert come out awesome, but believe me, you’ll be fine totally without it)

You’re going to argue with me that 4 tbsp sounds like a lot of cocoa powder. I agree that I felt the same way at first. But after making this recipe a few times, I insist on 4 tbsp. It might be due to the extremely rich and fatty nature of the coconut cream; you need the strong chocolate flavor to balance everything out.

I did a half-yield recipe, since it was only Shane and me. So I did one can of coconut cream, 3 tbsp cocoa, etc.

I did a half-yield recipe, since it was only Shane and me. So I did one can of coconut cream, 4 tbsp cocoa, etc.

LET’S TALK TOPPINGS!

The beauty of this chocolate mousse dessert is its versatility. We can be purists and opt for chocolate-only, in which case I would say top it off with more coconut cream plus a square of Madagascar chocolate (supplied by our landlord), and topped off with some more pure unsweetened cocoa powder. Most people want berries and other more exotic fun toppings.

Garnished with maple syrup, frozen Safeway berries, and shredded coconut

Garnished with maple syrup, frozen Safeway berries, and shredded coconut

These possibilities are endless. The berries are only my own suggestion. Please leave in comments below what toppings you like for your chocolate mousse!

For convenience’s sake I always have Safeways’s frozen Safeway Triple Berry Blend on hand.

Garnished with fresh berries, cherries, a drizzle of honey, and a square of Madagascar 90% cacao chocolate!

Garnished with fresh berries, cherries, a drizzle of honey, and a square of Madagascar 90% cacao chocolate!

Let me know how it goes! I’m a new chef; and that’s chef for savory meals and NOT for desserts. Just sharing with you my own crash course in attempting to come up with healthy desserts. Please feel free to point out any suggestions for desserts! Happy blending!

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5 Comments on “Marisa’s GF / DF Chocolate Mousse!”

  1. Lisa Young June 8, 2015 at 20:34 #

    Sounds delish!

  2. Candy June 8, 2015 at 21:23 #

    Marisa! Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for supplying the details. I’m cooking for a friend on Wednesday who is dairy-free for now, so your timing is perfect. I will stop by TJ’s tomorrow and get the coconut cream 🙂

    Happy summer, dear friend!

    • Marisa LaValette June 20, 2015 at 12:16 #

      Hi Candy! How did the mousse come out?! Did you find the coconut cream at Trader Joe’s? Did everyone like it? I hope you are HAVING A BLAST with your retirement freedom!

  3. lesleycarter June 18, 2015 at 21:55 #

    Yum! I just wish I hadn’t of looked at this at 10 o’clock at night 😉

    • Marisa LaValette June 20, 2015 at 12:15 #

      Thanks so much for reading, Lesley!

      You are funny, because 10 o’clock at night is when I tend to eat this favorite dessert! It’s not too sweet, so it doesn’t get me all wired up!

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