Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day! Vegan Chocolate Mousse (and major discovery)

I adapted this chocolate mousse recipe from one in a Gourmet from October 2009. Perhaps you're thinking to yourself, "Emily, aren't both beaten egg yolks and whipped egg whites essential to mousse?" Well, turns out they are not, though a little bit of finagling is required. I do think, however, that I discovered something important with my combination egg-yolk-and-whipped-heavy-cream replacer - it has that tongue-coating but totally unsweet richness that real whipped cream and yolk have. I think it will work beautifully as a heavy cream, custard, or egg yolk substitute in soups, sauces, desserts, etc. Next, I'm going to try to use it in a hollandaise,  adding a little turmeric for color.

The egg white replacer could be improved, but it seems to have worked well enough.

I don't really like desserts, so when I make them, I only make them for other people, and Valentine's Day is a good holiday for that. This is very rich, much too rich for me. In fact, I was hoping it would be lighter. I think next time I would change the proportions, using more of the tofu-cream-coconut-oil mixture and less chocolate. Still, if you are a chocolate person, this should be right up your alley. In the picture above, it's served with whipped cashew cream (left over from the gateau - yum!) and this amazing fermented fruit syrup called Drizzle that I bought at Mepkin Abbey in South Carolina.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Makes 4 large servings or 6 smaller servings

8 oz  bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli semisweet chips)
6 Tbsp. Earth Balance or other margarine
1/2 c. firm silken tofu (aseptic tofu tents to be softer and smoother)
2 Tbsp. coconut or soy heavy cream, or a dried soy product like Better Than Milk, prepared with 2 Tbsp. water and 2 tsp. powder)
3 Tbsp. refined coconut oil, melted
1/8 tsp. salt
4 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer powder
1 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot
6 Tbsp. very warm water
1 Tbsp. cognac or other brandy

Find a large metal bowl. Fill a wide saucepan with water about 1/2 full, or up to the level that it is almost touching the bottom of the bowl when the bowl is set into the top of the pan. Double boil the chocolate and the Earth Balance until melted, stirring occasionally until very smooth. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally to keep the texture even.

In a blender, puree the tofu, salt, and coconut or soy cream until very smooth. With blender still running, drizzle in the melted coconut oil slowly, blending until fully emulsified. (Taste this plain - see what I mean?)

Whisk the heavy cream mixture and cognac into chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Thoroughly sift egg replacer powder with corn starch or arrowroot, then whisk with 6 Tbsp. very warm water. Use a hand mixer to rapidly whip the egg replacer until it forms a thick foam. If it isn't thickening properly, make a paste out of some more corn starch or arrowroot and a little warm water and beat it in to the egg mixture.

When your fake egg whites are stiff, fold them gently but thoroughly into the chocolate mixture, then pour the mixture carefully and gently into small cups or containers, and chill for about 2 hours.

Serve with whipped cashew cream, fresh fruit, a nice jam, or anything that sounds good to you. You can also freeze it for a delicious vegan chocolate custard ice cream. That's how I'm eating mine; somehow I can handle the richness better if it's frozen. Enjoy!



  1. That looks so fancy and decadent! I hope there is some left for me... hint hint.