Monday, April 18, 2011

As-Paleo-As-You-Want-It-To-Be Chocolate Mousse

Channel the lame new Cookie Monster and think of this as a "Sometimes Food"
Like the title implies, this dish is kind of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" paleo dessert. It only has three ingredients, but one of those three is chocolate. Chocolate is an ingredient that skirts the edges of the paleo diet. Completely unsweetened chocolate is completely paleo as far as I'm concerned, but it's also not very useful without some other sweetening added to it. A more practical, but slightly less paleo option is to use a high quality dark chocolate in the 85-90% cocoa range. Look for one where the ingredient list is pretty much chocolate and some sort of sweetener, and you're doing OK for a treat item. If you want to go sweeter, you could use a dark chocolate in the 60-70% cocoa family, but keep in mind that the lower you go on the cocoa percentage, the less paleo this becomes (because the sugar will be increased). It's your food, so I'll leave it up to you. This time, I used an 85% cocoa chocolate, and the dish worked out to about 10g carbs per serving.

1 can coconut milk (not light coconut milk, regular coconut milk)
1 cup chocolate pieces (I broke a chocolate bar into little pieces. Chocolate chips would also work)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mixer (recommended)

This dessert is essentially a whipped ganache made with coconut milk instead of dairy. If that sentence made sense to you, you can basically stop reading, because you already know what to do.

For everyone else, start by heating the coconut milk over medium-low heat. You want it to get warm, but don't take it to boiling. It will take about 2 minutes. It probably won't even be too hot for you to dip your fingertip in (depending on how sensitive your fingers are.) Chocolate melts at something like 90 degrees farenheit, so anything above that will work fine.

You could also do this in the microwave, but it's probably easier on the stove.

Add the chocolate to the pot and start whisking slowly.

If you can break a chocolate bar into pieces like this and not eat any before they go in the pot, you are not made of flesh and blood.

At first, it will look like you  have chocolate bits floating in coconut milk, but keep whisking and the chocolate will slowly melt and the mixture will even out into what looks like a thick chocolate sauce (because that's what it is).

Like chocolate gravy.

Take the pot off of the heat and mix in the vanilla extract.

I like Trader Joe's vanilla. Make sure you use real vanilla, not imitation vanilla.
Transfer everything into a container that you can put into the fridge for a few hours (because you need to put it in the fridge for a few hours.)

Depending on the chocolate you used, everything will set up in the fridge to a consistency somewhere between pudding and frosting. If you're happy with the consistency right out of the fridge, then good. If you're worried that your dinner guests will think you handed them a bowl of cake frosting, then get out your mixer. I have a cool stand mixer, so I dumped everything into its bowl and mixed it with the whisk attachment for about a minute. If you've got a hand mixer, you'll want to mix things for a minute to two minutes. You can also pour on the elbow grease and whisk everything by hand for about two minutes. The point is to lighten the mousse by getting some air into it. Don't work on it for too long, because the heat from mixing it will make it thin out too much.

Now, place it into four serving dishes of your choice and enjoy. (Enjoy one of the servings, not all four)

  • Here's the rule on ganaches: the higher the chocolate to liquid ratio is, the firmer the ganache will be. My cup of chocolate pieces contained about 125 grams of chocolate. Depending on the types of pieces you use, you may fit more or less chocolate into the measuring cup, and you'll have to adjust on the fly.
  • If your cooled ganache is way too thin, you can always reheat it and add more chocolate.
  • If you whip the ganache like crazy and it's still too thick, you could reheat it and add more coconut milk.
  • If you use 85% cocoa chocolate like I did, this will be an intensely chocolatey dessert. Serious chocolate lovers will really like it, but not everyone wants a mousse that intense.
  • You could top this with some raspberries to cut the chocolate flavor a little bit.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing!! I tried this and it was soooo good! Mine didn't quite get into a mousse consistency so I'm going to get some pasteurized egg whites and fold beaten egg whites into it so it will be more like a mousse and less like a pudding. Don't get me wrong - it was so yummy the way it was, but it's always fun to experiment! I also tried putting it into the ice cream maker and it makes AMAZING chocolate coconut ice cream!