Dark chocolate mousse cups

For most of the year, I have a variety of nut and seed butters taking up precious space in my fridge. They’re typically either homemade or poured from the local health food store bulk bins and stored in short, wide-mouthed mason jars. They sit quietly, waiting to be called upon for cookies, tarts, rice bars, or quite often just a quick spoonful to the mouth. In other words, nut butters are in my line of sight every time I open the fridge, so I’m always looking for ways to use them.

My creamy chocolate torte recipe came to mind last week when I was dreaming about desserts (which I’m embarrassed to admit happens all too often). I imagined the mousse filling would make a lovely after-dinner dessert served in individual glasses and topped with coconut whipped cream and chopped chocolate and nuts.

The next day, I made that dream come true.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse Cups | A Dash of Compassion

Let me tell you straight up: this mousse is no pudding in a cup. It’s thick and rich and melt-in-your-mouth smooth—everything you’d want in a sophisticated yet simple dessert.

The secret is in the coconut milk. Make sure to purchase a brand with a high fat content (check the nutritional label to make sure it’s at least 20%) and place it in the fridge overnight so that the cream separates from the liquid. (While you’re at it, refrigerate a second can for the coconut whipped cream topping.)  Oh, and good quality dark chocolate is also key to making this mousse truly orgasmic (I use Camino dark chocolate bars with 65% cacao).

Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse Cups | A Dash of Compassion

One thing I love about this recipe is its versatility. Since there are a myriad of flavour pairings that work well with chocolate, you can put your own spin on it by swapping out the 2 tablespoons of nut butter for your preferred flavour.

For the mousse pictured here, I used macadamia nut butter, but I’ve also experimented with peanut butter (Reese’s Pieces, oh how I’ve missed you!), almond butter (a pairing that will never go out of style), and even pureed raspberries (strained) in place of the nut butter for a more sophisticated version.

Hubby and I will be enjoying this dessert for our third anniversary this weekend. I can’t wait.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse Cups | A Dash of Compassion

As always, I had my kitty cat on hand to help with photo styling…or by sitting in the way of my window light. Please meet Eli, my new photo assistant and the pesky little brother of Leola. He’s quite the character, and he’s also got the loudest motor I’ve ever heard. He was even purring when this photo was snapped!

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Dark chocolate mousse cups

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup nondairy milk
  • 1 tbsp agar flakes
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Coconut whipped cream:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1/4 cup vegan powdered sugar, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 3 tbsp Ener-G egg replacer (optional)

Directions:

    1. Pour the nondairy milk in a medium saucepan, sprinkle the agar flakes on top and swirl the pan lightly. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the agar flakes to soften.
    2. Scoop out the coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk (reserve the remaining liquid for other uses) and add it and the chocolate to the pan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream and chocolate are melted.
    3. Pour the mixture into a blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend for 2 or 3 minutes until smooth and bubbly.
    4. Divide the mixture between four serving glasses and lightly tap on your counter to loosen any air bubbles. Place the glasses in the fridge to set, about 2 hours. Garnish with coconut whipped cream and chopped chocolate and nuts, if desired.

Coconut whipped cream:

  1. For best results, place your mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  2. Scoop the coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk (reserve the remaining liquid for other uses) and place it in the cold mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla bean powder and egg replacer (this is entirely optional, but it helps create a lighter, fluffier texture) and whisk until soft peaks form.