Hi! I'm hibernating under my electric blanket whilst perpetually sipping hot tea. Wing It Vegan is on hiatus until I'm willing to come back out. Happy holidays!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

E.A.T World: France! Chocolate Mousse and Ratatouille

(This post will seem never-ending but it's mostly just a long recipe)

Bonjour!

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! :)

E.A.T World: France, 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...

E.A.T World: France, Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream

And some sliced strawberries are a perfect addiction... I mean, addition! :)

E.A.T World: France, Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream and Strawberries

Open wide! Here comes the airplane!

E.A.T World: France, Chocolate Mousse Bite

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.

Ratatouille on millet
Poor ratatouille, the chocolate mousse totally stole its thunder. It was still very tasty and awesomely stewy though. Stewy ratatouille recipe.

Bon appétit! :)



34 comments :

  1. your veganized mousse recipe is so clever! Gorgeous photos too.

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  2. Or as the Swedish Chef would say: "Org de borg and you put ze chocolate on ze moose" and then paint a moose with chocolate. :)

    Your mousse looks amazing! The beautiful coconuttyness of it--I just have to make this soon!

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  3. That mousse looks killer good (and I love that first photo)! I'm a sucker for a good mousse. . . love that it has no tofu! :) And I happen to love ratatouille, too--it would be great on millet, I bet. Magnifique!

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  4. Where to begin? Thanks for the Sabrina clip - I have clearly been missing something having not seen the movie. Those two are so amazing, in such completely different ways - perfect introduction!

    I must try this mousse recipe - I like silken tofu-based mousse or pudding, but there is something about the texture that never quite does it for me. This coconut milk recipe is something I never would have thought of on my own - especially separating the fat and the water, and preparing them differently. Can't wait to try it, and it looks fabulous and elegant, exactly like a French recipe should :)

    Ratatouille is always welcome - and that's a movie I have seen :) I'm watching Sabrina at the first opportunity though. Great post!

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  5. AUDREY!! And yummy mousse! Altogether delicious!

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  6. Lisa - Thank you! I am still struggling to learn all the tricks of my new camera, so I had to take about a gazillion pictures until I was able to take a few somewhat decent ones. That would have been very expensive if someone hadn't invented the digital camera! :D

    Jes - Hee hee! No moose were harmed (or painted with chocolate) in the making of this mousse! I hope you like it if you make it! I have developed a terrible addiction to it, especially with the extra cream and strawberries. Is there such thing as mousse rehab? :P

    Ricki - Thank you! We are both suckers for a good mousse. It used to be my favorite dessert when I was a Kooky kid, but those were always made from a mix. No tofu! I like saving my tofu splurges for scrambles and other savory goodies! :)

    Mike - You're welcome! That movie is beautiful. I don't know why they always paired Audrey with much older men though! Silken tofu mousse and pies don't really do it for me either. They taste almost greasy. Thank you for the compliments and I hope you like the mousse too! Ratatouille is such a cute movie! I love it! :D

    Aimee - What a combo, right? Next time I should make the mousse and then eat it while I throw myself a litle Audrey movie marathon! Wanna join me? :D

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  7. Que j'adore la France! I was introduced to ratatouille when I lived in France and have loved it ever since. What a wonderful dish; chock full of veggies and love.

    Audrey Hepburn is my absolute favorite actress. I have every film she's ever made (except the few that were never released for home viewing) and she is exquisite in each and every scene. When I lived in France, I actually cut my hair very short, just like Sabrina did when she left home.

    Thanks for the lovely mousse recipe!

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  8. Oh. My. GOSH!!!! So, if I ever win an Oprah-sized (size of her fortune, not herself, of course) lottery... will you come live with me and be my personal chef? Pleeeeeeeze?

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  9. i love both the moose and your mousse, River. yay! your mousse looks absolutely perfect - you make the yummiest looking dishes, i swear! mmmmmmmmmmm! i looove me some coconut milk, too - we always have some on hand. i just can't get enough of it. i haven't had chocolate mousse in years - think i'm gonna have to make yours and treat dan and i. i love the ratatoullie, too - never thought to sever it atop millet. brilliant AND delicious. score!

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  10. Vegyogini - Ratatouille is a wonderful dish, and so easy to make! I can't believe I had never had it before. How cool that you lived in France and that you got a short "Sabrina" hair cut! Audrey is the most beautiful creature that ever existed. I'm not quite sure if she was really human! A goddess maybe? :)

    Lisa - You made me LOL with your Opra-sized lottery comment! I would love to be your personal chef! What will your first request be? This mousse? Coming right up! :D

    Jessy - Thank you so much! I'm blushing! Coconut milk is one of my favorite ingredients to bake with, it makes everything so much better than other non-dairy milks. I hope you and Dan love the mousse! :)

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  11. YAY! for moose AND mousse!
    I don't know which one I prefer!
    You chocolatey coconutty mousse looks ridiculously AWESOME River.
    I can see all your beautiful photos so flikr has sorted itself out.

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  12. WOW that mousse looks incredibly good. I can imagine how flavorful coconut milk makes these "dairy-like" desserts!!! I'm not fully vegan yet, but having so many alternatives like this certainly makes going 100% feasible and...quite exciting actually!! Thank you for the ideas. :)

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  13. Jeni - It's a tough choice! Mousse or moose? Gimme both! Thank you, I'm glad flickr stopped acting like complete cretin. :D

    Michelle - Thank you! You are right, there are so many dairy alternatives these days that it's very easy to give up the moo-juice. Nobody has come up with an excellent vegan cheese yet though... I am still waiting for that! :D

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  14. This looks wonderful! Last week I made mousse with silken tofu and it was just ok. I can't wait to make this one! How much does this recipe make?

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  15. Lea - Thank you! I hope you like this one better than the silken tofu one. I have to say that silken tofu in desserts doesn't really do it for me either. This made enough to fill a 7oz ramekin and a little 4oz one too. Plus the little leftover whipped cream. We split it into four servings because it's very filling, I guess it depends on the diner's appetite! :D

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  16. This mousse looks so tasty! I haven't had any since a vegan and this might be the ticket - especially with the coconut milk!

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  17. Gotta love Alton! And coconut, mmmmmm.

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  18. Cassie - You gotta love that coconut milk, it makes everything so good and rich! I hope you love it too if you make it! :)

    Veganf - Alton sure knows his stuff! He's like a culinary wikipedia! :D

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  19. River that chocolate mousse looks unbelievable! I love that it is soy free too. Now I am going to put coconut cream in the fridge and then wait patiently for it to separate!

    And the ratatouille looks delicious, perfect for an autumn lunch or dinner!

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  20. Bravo! Lovely little visit to France. Ratatouille is one of our summer stand-bys when everyone donates their garden tomatoes & courgette!
    Missed you!

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  21. Oooooo this looks fantastic! I love how you've been using coconut milk in your latest recipes! Yum.
    Of course I can't ignore the ratatouille - it's one of my favorite summer meals!

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  22. Mandee - Thank you! I always keep a can of coconut milk in the fridge in case of an emergency. You never know when a craving for coconutty goodness is going to hit! :D

    Shelly - We all missed you so! I bet garden fresh tomatoes and zucchini make ratatouille even better! :)

    Stacey - I'm addicted to coconut milk! I think I will start taking it intravenously soon! :P

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  23. Ohh gosh, this is my first visit to your blog, i followed a link over to your chocolate mousse! It looks SO good, one I will deffinately have to try :)
    Looking forward to following to see your future posts!

    Rose

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  24. Welcome to the kookiness, Rose! Thank you, I hope you try it! I am probably going to make some more this weekend too. Soon I will turn into a coconut! :)

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  25. Oh the moose pictures are great. And the dessert too. I made your brownie recipe for the Haiti bakesale. I gave them a twist, I added flaked coconut and almonds and almond extract and they are "Almond Joy" brownies. Wow! They are great. Thanks for sharing a terrific recipe. xoxo

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  26. YAY! Thank you, Krys! I'm so glad you liked the brownies, and I love the twist you gave them! Did you save me one? :D

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  27. This mousse looks fabulous! Nice blog and nice recipes here!

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  28. Thank you Lovlie! You just caught my blog after a full makeover! :D

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  29. That mousse looks and sounds amazing! I have been dissapointed with the various tofu based recipes I have tried in the past but your picture looks exactly how I recall my childhood animal product laden mousse being. Definitely bookmarking the recipe for the next time I need a decadent dessert!
    -K

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  30. That mousse looks and sounds amazing! I have been dissapointed with the various tofu based recipes I have tried in the past but your picture looks exactly how I recall my childhood animal product laden mousse being. Definitely bookmarking the recipe for the next time I need a decadent dessert!
    -K

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  31. Thanks, K! Tofu mousse isn't my favorite thing either. Meh. Actually I've been thinking about making this again, and you have just given me the little extra push that I needed! :D

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  32. I was wondering if anybody else had tried this unbelievalbe lookin mousse! I am thinking of putting it in a pie crust and serving for dessert on Thanksgiving. Thoughts?

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  33. How firm does your coconut cream get? I opened a can of unrefrigerated coconut milk the other day and it was already separated and the top layer firm. According to the internet this sometimes happened so I said, "it's finally time to make the chocolate mousse!" and stuck it in the fridge. When I went to whip it, it was really hard and I just could not get it to be smooth no matter how long I whipped it and so my mousse is kind of lumpy. In the picture though, yours still looks soft. I think there was something wrong with my coconut milk. Have you ever had this happen?

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  34. I was looking for a light fluffy vegan mousse to fill some empty chocolate shells and this totally did the trick! The other vegan mousses that use tofu are way too dense and rich. This one was perfectly airy and wonderful.

    The only thing I changed was that I used about 3/4 teaspoon of agar powder instead of the flakes because my Asian market didn't have the flakes.

    Thanks for this great recipe!!

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