Although taking a break from my “Heroes” marathon was a touch painful, I was happy to do it for further work on this recipe. I have been intrigued for some time by the concept of paleo chocolate mousse with no added sugar, but initial attempts did not satisfy me. The base is comprised of only three ingredients– cocoa, coconut milk, and dates– and the flavor of the dates was too strong for me. I wanted more chocolate, more depth of flavor throughout, and a touch of sweetness that didn’t come from the dates.
I am very happy with the result, which is rich, creamy, a touch coconutty, and very chocolatey. Feel free to experiment a bit with the level of sweetness– cut out the sugar entirely if you’re a purest, or try it with a tablespoon more or less to suit your palate.
Oh and when I say “guiltless”, I mean “doesn’t have any eggs or dairy, so it makes me feel super righteous.”
Guiltless Chocolate Mousse
1 c pitted dates
1 can coconut milk (do not use low fat)
2-4 T powdered sugar or honey
1 t tapioca or potato starch
1/4 c cocoa
1/2 chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 t instant coffee powder
1 vanilla bean or 2 t vanilla extract
Refrigerate the coconut milk overnight. Be careful not to shake the can when you open it and spoon out the top layer of thickened cream. Put into a large bowl and back into the fridge to keep cool. In a food processor, puree the dates until you have a paste, adding some of the coconut water from the can to loosen it up a bit. Pass the pureed dates through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium-sized bowl. Mix in the cocoa, melted chocolate, coffee powder, and seeds from the vanilla bean or the extract. Remove the coconut milk from the fridge and whip with a hand mixer on high until it fluffs a bit. Sift in the powdered sugar and tapioca starch and whip on high. Spoon in the chocolate mixture and continue to beat until fluffy and incorporated. Spoon into serving dishes and chill until ready to eat.
This goes very well by itself, but would also be quite tasty with some shortbread, slathered on a piece of cake (if you’re feeling extra decadent), with shredded coconut and espresso salt, or with some toasted almonds on top.