The greatest part about Valentine's Day: chocolate. It's the only sweet I truly crave and, in my opinion, the best of the clichéd Valentine's gifts because well...it's CHOCOLATE.
When it comes time to order from the dessert list, my husband knows that the item containing the most chocolate is usually what I want. I do stray (especially if key lime, coconut, or a seasonal fruity concoction is involved) but chocolate typically has my heart. I wanted to create a Valentine treat for my sweetie but with a busy week ahead, I knew I needed to keep it simple.
I have always loved chocolate mousse! The texture is more interesting and more indulgent than a pudding or ice cream. Besides being incredibly easy, this recipe is vegan and contains no refined sugar--but let me tell you, you WILL NOT miss the cream or the sugar. I also added the flavors of espresso and orange liqueur to fancy it up a bit and make it less one-dimensional. This recipe will certainly become a staple of mine for entertaining (as it can be made ahead), as well as an occasional weeknight treat because of its simplicity. If you are looking for a decadent way to end your Valentine's meal and are pressed for time, this IS your recipe!
With Zest & Zeal,
Chocolate Coconut Coffee Mousse with Orange Essence (no refined sugar, dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free)
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (refrigerate for at least twelve hours)
- 5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons freshly brewed espresso
- 2 Tablespoons raw honey
- 1 teaspoon orange liqueur
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Garnish: I used shredded coconut and a dried tangerine. Fresh tangerine, raspberry, strawberry, shaved or a chunk of chocolate would work well.
- Make sure your can of coconut milk has chilled for at least twelve hours (I chilled mine for two nights).
- Open up the chilled can of coconut mousse and scoop the creamy part into a mixing bowl. Mine yielded about a cup of cream. Try to keep as much of the liquid out as possible and reserve for another use.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
- Mix on a medium speed for five minutes.
- Taste and adjust flavors if necessary.
- Scoop into small bowls or glasses (ramekins work great) and garnish.
- You can eat right away but I prefer mine chilled. Chilling makes for a richer texture and flavor.
- This is a great make-ahead recipe. I made it in the morning and it was the perfect texture and flavor just in time for dinner.
- Native Forest is one of my preferred brands of coconut milk. I have also heard it is the best for making whipping cream and using in desserts because of how well it forms a hardened cream when refrigerated.
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