Whenever I think of France, I think of the movie Sabrina (1954), more specifically the scene where Audrey Hepburn sings La Vie en Rose to Humphrey Bogart. Audrey lovers know what I'm talking about, and for those of you who haven't seen Sabrina, here is that scene:
*Sigh* That scene always makes me all misty-eyed and aware of my own plainness. I could gush over Audrey Hepburn's loveliness and gracefulness forever, but not today. Today is all about the moose!
No wait. The mousse! It's all about chocolate mousse! :)
All the recipes that I found for dairy-free chocolate mousse called for silken tofu, but I wanted to make this dessert soy-free as well. What to do? Well, consult with the all-knowing entity that we know as Alton Brown, of course! His non-vegan chocolate mousse recipe inspired the following gelatin-free, dairy-free, soy-free chocolate mousse.
Alton's recipe calls for whipping cream, but of course I used coconut milk instead. Are you shocked? I swear I don't own stock in any coconut milk manufacturer, I just love the stuff! Anyway, the can of coconut milk should be refrigerated for a few hours, or ideally overnight. This gives the coconut fat plenty of time to separate itself from the liquid so we can whip it up and turn it into a beautifully fluffy cream. Don't throw the clear liquid away though! We're going to use the whole can of coconut goodness!
Chocolate Mousse (Inspired by Alton Brown's recipe)
1 14oz can coconut milk (cold, full fat)
2 tablespoons powder sugar or sweetener of choice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons agar flakes
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Open the can of cold coconut milk and scoop out all the separated cream into a medium size mixing bowl. Try not to scoop out too much of the liquid along with the cream, it's best to leave some bits of fat floating around the coconut water in the can than to mix too much liquid with the fat.
2. Add the sweetener and vanilla extract to the cream. Using an electric mixer (with cold beaters) beat the cream until light and fluffy for about two minutes. Refrigerate it while you work on the chocolate (you will need the beaters again later).
3. Pour the liquid contents of the coconut milk can into a saucepan and stir in the agar flakes. Let the agar flakes soak in the liquid for 15 minutes. Simmer for about 8 minutes until the flakes are mostly dissolved. My flakes never dissolve completely! If your agar flakes are rebellious too, just transfer the saucepan contents to a blender or magic bullet and blend for a minute or two.
4. Place the chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl. Using a fine mesh strainer to catch any undissolved agar flakes, pour the hot liquid/agar mixture right over the chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Not getting smooth? Microwave it for 20 seconds and stir vigorously until smooth. Repeat if necessary. Refrigerate for two hours.
5. Remove the cold chocolate from the fridge and use an electric mixer to beat it until soft and creamy, about one minute.
6. If you were able to resist eating the coconut cream by the spoonful, remove it from the fridge and use a spatula to gently fold (don't stir or beat or whisk!) 3/4 cup of cream into the chocolate. This will leave you about 1/4 cup of coconut cream that you can serve as a topping later. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but the longer you wait the better!
A few pictures that might help you visualize what everything should look like:
Coconut fat straight out of the can, pre-whipping:
Coconut fat, whipped:
Cold and set chocolate/agar liquid mixture:
And then whipped with an electric mixer:
Folding the coconut cream into the creamy chocolate:
I like to top mine with some of that delicious leftover whipped coconut cream...
And some sliced strawberries are a perfect addiction... I mean, addition! :)
Open wide! Here comes the airplane!
Keep in mind that I have only made this mousse twice, and it came out different both times. The first time it was more porous and the second time it was creamier. The first time that I made it I did not use the whole liquid part of the coconut milk, which made the chocolate too stiff to whip. Both versions were very délicieux though! :)
Oh, yeah. I made ratatouille too.
Bon appétit! :)