This chocolate mousse is intensely chocolaty, light, and lusciously smooth. It’s so simple yet indulgent. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free.
I don’t know anyone who makes traditional, French-inspired chocolate mousse at home.
Maybe because the traditional method is so stressful? I mean, to make French chocolate mousse, you have to melt the chocolate over gently simmering water, then beat hot cream into the melted chocolate, then split eggs into whites and yolks, then mix the yolks at room temperature into the chocolate, then whip the whites into a stiff meringue — but not too stiff! — and then fold the meringue into the chocolate until there are no streaks, but not too long because the mousse starts to deflate. Really?!
In French, the word “mousse” means foam, which aptly describes this dessert – light and airy. According to French chefs, the perfect rendition of chocolate mousse is based in its simplicity. That’s why the most basic chocolate mousse recipe has only four ingredients – chocolate, eggs, butter, and sugar. From here on out, it takes little more than your innovation to produce a unique blend. There are so many directions you can go, though you must be careful to maintain a proper balance of ingredients to keep the consistency.
This vegan chocolate mousse has an even shorter list of ingredients, and the method is much easier.
Tips for Making Vegan Chocolate Mousse
Classic chocolate mousse contains just a few ingredients – a base, an aerator, and a thickener (optional). The ingredients for this vegan chocolate mousse are:
- Cocoa powder: melted chocolate is the base of most classic chocolate mousse recipes. However, when you mix melted chocolate and whipped coconut cream – the aerator in this recipe – the result is more of a cream than a mousse. So, I recommend using cocoa powder. It’s essential to use high-quality cocoa powder. Some cocoa powders are tasteless, and some leave a bitter flavor in the finished recipes. So, find one you like.
- Coconut cream: many aerators work well in chocolate mousse to make it light and fluffy. Coconut cream is my favorite. Some brands of coconut cream whip up better than others, so refer to this guide to see which brands I recommend. The fluffiness of the final mousse depends on the coconut cream – whether the cream separates from the water, how smooth (as opposed to grainy) the cream is, how well it forms peaks, how stable it is, etc. If you’d like to keep this chocolate mousse raw, you can make your own coconut cream from fresh coconuts.
- Coconut sugar: the sweetener is really a matter of preference. My favorite is powdered coconut sugar because it’s similar to regular sugar (in terms of sweetness), has a slight hint of caramel, and complements the flavor profile of coconut cream perfectly. Any powdered sweetener will work in this recipe, though. Avoid granulated sweeteners – as they would not dissolve in the coconut cream – and liquid sweeteners – as they would loosen the mousse.
- Sea salt: all you need is a tiny pinch of sea salt to balance out the sweetness.
How to Make Chocolate Mousse
Making homemade chocolate mousse is no trickier than making coconut whipped cream. That is, the most challenging part of this recipe is getting the coconut cream to whip well. However, as long as you use good quality coconut cream (see above), all you have to do is follow these easy steps:
- Chill the coconut cream. Place the can of coconut cream in the coldest part of the refrigerator overnight. The coconut cream must be very cold for this recipe to work well.
- Chill the tools. One of the most important things when making this chocolate mouse recipe is to start with cold tools: a cold bowl and a cold whisk or beaters. Chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10 minutes. This helps the coconut cream stay cold longer and set up faster.
- Whip the coconut cream. Add the cold coconut cream to the chilled bowl. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the coconut cream on medium-high speed until it increases in volume and soft peaks form. It will take about 45 seconds, depending on how thick the cream is. Don’t overwhip the cream; otherwise, it will go from smooth and creamy to broken (separated) and grainy.
- Add the cocoa powder and sweetener. Add the cocoa powder and coconut sugar into the coconut cream, and whip on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about a minute. Medium peaks are between soft and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts. Don’t be afraid to stop the mixer and check the consistency of the chocolate mousse as you go.
- Chill. Cover the mousse tightly and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. One of the ways to make this chocolate mousse even more remarkable is to pipe it. To do that, transfer the mousse into a piping bag fitted with a star decorating tip 1M. (You can use any tip you like. This is just the one I like for this particular recipe). Place the piping bag into the refrigerator and let the mousse chill for 15-30 minutes before piping.
- Pipe a swirl (optional). To pipe a swirl, hold the piping bag straight up, with the tip about 0.5 inch/1.3 cm above the surface of the serving bowl. Squeeze to form the center of the swirl. Without releasing pressure, raise the tip and move it to the side. This will be the starting point of the swirl. Pipe a line of mousse toward the top of the star. Pipe a “C” in a circular motion until it connects to the starting point. After completing the first rotation, move the tip slightly inward and repeat the circular motion. Continue spiraling until you reach the desired height. End the spiral at the center of the bowl.
How to Serve Vegan Chocolate Mousse
For serving the mousse, you can use martini glasses, champagne flutes, small bowls, or espresso cups. Or, if you’re hosting a party and want to give your guests a small taste, you can serve the mousse in Asian-style porcelain soup spoons. The chocolate mousse is delicious straight up, no adornments necessary, but don’t let that stop you from adding coconut whipped cream on top before serving.
How to Store Vegan Chocolate Mousse
- Refrigerating: transfer the chocolate mousse to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 5 days.
More Chocolate Mousse Recipes
Chocolate mousse is the perfect treat for chocolate lovers. Fortunately, if you don’t like coconut but are still craving vegan chocolate mousse, here are a couple of other options:
- Aquafaba chocolate mousse: perhaps the airiest chocolate mousse I’ve ever tried! Compared to the coconut cream version, aquafaba chocolate mousse is much fluffier but not as creamy or smooth. And for the skeptics among you, let me reassure you – this dessert DOES NOT taste like chickpeas.
- Avocado chocolate mousse: coming soon!
If you try any of these recipes, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.
- Chill the tools. Place a glass or metal bowl and beaters in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or in the freezer for 10 minutes) before whipping the coconut cream. This helps the coconut cream stay cold longer and set up faster.
- Whip the coconut cream. Scoop out the chilled coconut cream into the pre-chilled mixing bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the cream until light and fluffy, for 1-2 minutes. Don't overwhip the cream; otherwise, it will go from smooth and creamy to broken (separated) and grainy.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Add the cocoa powder and coconut sugar to the mixing bowl, and whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, for about a minute. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed, adding more cocoa powder for a more chocolaty flavor and coconut sugar for sweetness.
- Chill. Transfer the chocolate mousse into a piping bag with a star decorating tip 1M. Place the piping bag in the refrigerator and let the mousse chill for 15-30 minutes before piping.
- Serve. Pipe or spoon the chilled chocolate mousse into serving bowls, glasses, or espresso cups. Serve immediately.
- Store. Leftover chocolate mousse keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.