How does the sound of a chocolate hazelnut mousse without any cream or sugar sound? Delicious, if you ask me.
That’s why, for my husband’s birthday, I surprised him with an indoor picnic with all his favourite foods. Dessert, of course, was this.
Alex loves mousse, but like me, doesn’t love the idea of sugary, creamy ingredients spoiling the goodness of the dish. I made a couple of these little bowls, and spread the top with passionfruit, strawberries, and this one, which is organic 70% peppermint chocolate. Yum!
I discovered the recipe in Wholefood by Jude Blereau; one of my favourite cooking companions as it opens you up to an entire world of healthy cooking that doesn’t lack flavour and taste. It’s a BRILLIANT book.
This mousse is ideal for anyone steering clear of gluten, dairy, and animal products and it tastes so good, you don’t miss a thing.
You’ll need for 4-5 people:
- 160g of blanched almonds (I used regular raw almonds and it tasted fine)
- 2 1/4 tablespoons of agar-agar flakes or 1 1/2 teaspoons of powder
- 40g cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornflour
- 125ml of pure maple syrup (please try to avoid the maple flavoured syrup if your budget allows, it’s just full of sugar and not worth putting in the mix)
- 3 teaspoons of natural vanilla extract (my supermarket had sold out so I replaced this with vanilla tea from Tea 2. It was INCREDIBLY GOOD, I just threw it in with agar-agar and almond milk and let it brew, and then passed the mixture through a strainer to remove the tea leaves. YUMMY!
- 70g hazelnuts, toasted, skin removed
And here’s what you need to do:
Put the almond and 875ml (3.5 cups) of water in a blender. Whiz. Then, pass the mixture through muslin cloth or a super fine strainer to separate the almond skins from the liquid. Ta-da! Almond milk. Alternatively, you could just buy it.
Now, put the agar-agar (or gelatine if you can’t find agar-agar and aren’t vegan) and 3 cups of the almond milk into a pot and stir together. Bring to the boil VERY gently and let simmer until all the agar-agar has dissolved. Stir frequently with a whisk or spoon to prevent mixture from sticking.
While the agar-agar is dissolving, mix the cocoa powder (get 100% dark chocolate powder rather than pre-sweetened stuff) and cornflour in a bowl and mix into a paste with maple syrup, the other 1/2 cup of almond milk and the vanilla extract. Obviously I didn’t do this as I was using vanilla tea instead, so I added the tea leaves to the milk mixture on the stove.
When the agar-agar has dissolved, add the cocoa mixture and stir until JUST boiling. Don’t over boil it, please. Set aside and allow to cool.
While the mixture is cooling blend up your hazelnuts so that they are a fine meal. Once they’ve been whizzed, add the cocoa mixture to the hazelnuts in the blender and mix until very smooth.
As I had tea leaves in the mousse mixture, I quickly passed it through a sieve before putting it in the blender.
Once your mousse is smooth, place it in bowls and leave in the fridge for 40 minutes.
To serve, throw on some of your favourite fruit, shaved chocolate, or something else altogether.