Chocolate Mousse (no added sugar)

September 17, 2012

Chocolate Mousse

One of my recent kitchen adventures turned simplicity into pure decadence. If you're not new to my blog, you already know how much I love the combination of chocolate and coconut. With this new experiment I wanted to replace sugar/agave nectar and make a healthier chocolate ice cream without compromising on taste.

I had successfully used homemade date paste before in several recipes, so I knew this would work great in this dessert, but I could not anticipate just how light and creamy it would turn out. Instead of the soft serve ice cream I had in mind, I created a luscious chocolate mousse. It was in fact so good that I didn't want to risk spoiling the texture and taste by freezing it. While sugar and agave nectar only add sweetness, dates also add a delicate fruity flavour that makes this chocolate mousse even more delicious.

Chocolate Mousse

With a smooth, airy, mouth-coating texture, delicate sweetness, wonderfully balanced combination of flavours and long-lasting aftertaste, this is a rich, sensual treat that you will wish to enjoy all alone, taking your time to relish each spoonful and imagining being on a tropical island relaxing in the sun.

The magic doesn't stop here though, you can easily add your personal touch to this easy chocolate mousse. A few ideas include: more cocoa for those dark chocolate fans, a pinch of cinnamon and/or cayenne for a Mexican twist, a few drops of peppermint extract or fresh mint for a refreshing taste, finely chopped pineapple for a full-on tropical flavour (or combined with rum, for a daring chocolate piña colada mousse), orange zest or extract for a little tang, chocolate chips or chopped nuts for crunch, coffee, Kahlúa, raspberries, or anything else that takes your fancy. This recipe is versatile and exciting variations can easily be made.

If you're fortunate to own a very powerful blender, you could turn this into a fully raw dessert by making pure coconut cream and using raw cacao powder.

Chocolate Mousse
  • 1 can (400 ml) creamy coconut milk (silky smooth texture, high fat content - see update)
  • 5 Tb (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (tightly packed) soft dried dates (18 in this case)
  • a few drops of vanilla extract

  • 4 small ramekins, glasses or cups to serve

Note: This recipe yields 2 cups of mousse. 1 measuring cup = 250 ml.

Update: A few readers were confused about the difference between coconut milk and creamy coconut milk. Coconut milk generally refers to the thin, pourable milk that can be used with cereal, in crêpe/pancake batter, soups, smoothies etc. It has a low fat content and is available in carton (the canned type is only used in cooking). Coconut cream, or creamy coconut milk is the thick, rich, paste-like milk with a higher fat content (or full-fat if no water is added). It is used in curries, sauces, desserts, whipped cream etc. When left to set in the fridge the coconut cream solidifies and separates at the top of the can, leaving a clear liquid at the bottom. Both types are made from fresh, shredded coconut meat. The more water added to it, the less fat content. For this recipe to be successful you need a high ratio of coconut to water content. Some labels will list only the percentage of coconut extract, others will also show the fat content in the nutrition information section. You need at least 70% coconut extract for this to work - if it solidifies, it's good. Not all brands are silky smooth, and that's what you need here. Also, many brands add other ingredients to either thicken it further or to increase shelf life. If you have access to fresh coconut meat you can make your own full-fat coconut cream (and milk by adding water to thin it). Another product that can create confusion is creamed coconut which is dehydrated ground coconut meat. It is sold in the form of a hard white block. It can be mixed with water and strained to make coconut milk or cream, but I find the texture and strong taste unsuitable for a dessert (I sometimes use it in thick curries).


Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight to solidify and separate. Carefully turn it upside down, open and discard the transparent liquid (or reserve it to add in a smoothie or curry).

Pit and halve the dates (if they are not soft, place them for a few minutes in warm water until they start to soften, then drain and chop). Place them in a tall jug, add 2 rounded Tb coconut milk and blend with a stick blender on high.

If you don't mind those tiny bits of date skin, you can just add the remaining coconut milk and cocoa powder and blend together until smooth, then finally add the vanilla (or your preferred flavouring). That's what I did the first time I made it. The second time I wanted a smoother texture, so I strained the paste, then mixed in the rest.

Coconut Date Paste

You need a large strainer with very small holes to trap those bits of date skin. In my case, I had a small one, so I first mixed the date paste with only half of the coconut milk, strained, then added the rest, just to make my job faster.

Coconut Date Paste

Even before adding cocoa, the date-coconut paste is incredibly delicious. Try it;)

Chocolate Mousse

You can also whisk or make this in a food processor or even in the chopper from a hand blender set, that will help to trap air inside the paste and make it lighter and even more mousse-like.

Chocolate Mousse

Taste and adjust the flavouring, if needed. Divide the mousse between the 4 ramekins and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Chocolate Mousse

I kept one in the fridge overnight and the mousse tasted more chocolatey and there wasn't a dramatic change in texture.

Chocolate Mousse

As the chocolate mousse is naturally sweet, it is a better dessert option for kids. Aside from that, the dates considerably increase the nutritional value of this dessert. Please see my notes on Raw Brownies for more information about the health benefits of dried dates.

I would love to know your flavouring preferences for this delicious treat, so please get in touch by leaving a comment below.

Enjoy and spread the magic!:)


If you've tried this dessert I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you!

281 comments:

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Vegan Magic

Juanita & Anonymous, thank you so much for your feedback. I deeply appreciate your taking the time to share your experience with this recipe and it gives me great happiness to know you both enjoyed the mousse:)

Carol Ann Rowland

My friend and I made this at my cottage this weekend and it is *fantastic*. So yummy. I've made avocado chocolate pudding and love that too but I really enjoyed the mousse-y texture.

I suspect if you poured this into an ice cream maker it would make pretty terrific ice cream.

I might try adding lemon or orange essential oil to it sometime as well.

Vegan Magic

Carol Ann, that's FANTASTIC news:) I agree, this mousse would make a terrific ice cream and I would definitely add some orange flavour to it. Thanks so much for the feedback, I hope you find more inspiring recipes on my blog.

theroadtoserendipity

I am in love...officially! I just made this mousse into Turkish delight mousse by adding 3 tsp of natural rosewater and then made another batch by heating the dates in the juice of a freshly squeezed orange with the grated zest and made Terry's chocolate orange flavoured mousse. I almost cut my tongue off licking out my vitamix. This stuff is heaven and so customisable it hurts. I love you, I love this site and I LOVE my new best friend chocolate mousse! Next up chai and then mint...and I will leave out the chocolate and will add lemon juice and rind to the dates...so many mousses...so little time!

Sonya

I just stumbled upon this yummy recipe. Firstly, YUM! Will be trying and sharing on my Allergysave FB page. This is great for people with multiple food allegies. I know my son will LOVE it! Secondly, I think you're a star for answering so many comments! Great to see you appreciate your readers :)

Vegan Magic

Narf, WOW! I'm blown away by the Turkish delight version, and the following one sounds absolutely amazing! That's something I wanna try soon. Thanks so much for trying the recipe and adding your own magic to it:) I appreciate the comment and hope you find more inspiration here:)

Sonya, it's lovely to meet so many wonderful people through this little blog, so yes I do appreciate every comment:) I'm very happy you like the recipe and hope you and your son enjoy the mousse:)

Azita

Hi again Vegan Magic:)
I don't know how many people I have passed this recipe/link onto, it's such a seriously delicious and guilt-free treat!
I am now using Raw Cacao for added nutrients, but Raw Coconut is difficult to come by in Norway, so I stick with a good organic canned version:)
On that note: I am going to the UK shortly to visit some friends, and would like to make this treat for them one evening. Could you recommend one or two UK-sold organic Coconut milk that work well (I hope it is not problematic for you w. regards to endorsement). Thank's a million yet again for sharing your wonderful recipes!!!

Vegan Magic

Hello, Azita! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe with your friends. You can find many organic brands in the UK, mostly in health food stores, however I haven't found one that has the high fat content needed for this mousse. Do you get that in Norway? You could carry 1-2 cans with you then. I hope you find the right kind so your friends can enjoy this treat:)

Anonymous

Thanks for this recipe. What would you suggest as a low-fructose alternative to dates?

Vegan Magic

Hi, thank you for your interest in this recipe. Prunes are a low-fructose alternative and work well in this recipe. Just choose a soft type, if too dry you will need to rehydrate them and too much water will change the final result. I hope you enjoy it:)

Jo

I have just made this having found it on Pinterest and in search of sugar free dessert alternatives and it is YUMMY. Thank you for inventing it!

Vegan Magic

Jo, that's wonderful! I'm so happy you gave it a try:) Thanks very much for the feedback!

h2ovapor

I had about 1/3 of a can of coconut milk in the fridge, so I decided to make (one third of) this recipe. I wanted to try the carob version that someone asked about but didn't report back on. I conveniently forgot that I do not particularly like carob. I keep thinking I can will myself to like it so that I can convert from chocolate. Anyhow, with such a small amount to work with it was quite the job to blend those dates. I started in the blender then gave up & dumped it into a container & used my immersion blender. I finally got it to an acceptable consistency, since I was not about to try straining it. I added a splash of vanilla & some carob powder. It looked like a thick chocolate pudding but tasted like carob. I thought I might be able to mask it a little by putting in a few drops of peppermint extract. I still don't love it. I ate it on some maple cookies my mom sent me for my birthday. I was thinking it might be good in a layered pudding dessert with a nut crust, then a vanilla version of this pudding, then the carob mousse, then some whipped coconut milk on top. With only a few bites left, I don't think I'll go to all that trouble. I'll just find a way to get it down since I can't waste it.

Vegan Magic

Wow, one third...I can imagine the effort to blend those dates into smooth paste:) But you did it! The only time I tried carob was in a semi-raw dessert. Can't say if I liked the carob itself or it was the huge amount of maple syrup that made that chocolate (carob) sauce amazing. I guess in this mousse a different amount is required to replace cocoa, since I find the taste of carob to be stronger. I do hope your next carob recipe will be a success:) Thanks so much for sharing your experience with this recipe.

Jackie Spicer

The best!!!!!!!!

Summer Passmore

This recipe has been such a hit with my friends, my husband and myself. Thank you SO MUCH. You've given me a gluten & dairy free option that still wows a crowd. Most would never realize it was a healthier version of chocolate mousse--it tastes that good! My question is how you were able to get it into the ramekins and make it so smooth? It's so ... lumpy and blobby that I can't quite figure out how to make it look all perfect! Any advice?

Vegan Magic

Jackie, thank you! So glad you like it:)

Summer, this mousse is indeed something special, I'm so happy you shared it with your friends and family and everyone loved it. When I made it, it wasn't lumpy at all and I was able to even out the surface with just the back of a teaspoon. Thanks very much for the feedback!:)

Anonymous

Omg! This is the best ever! I am a huge fan of mousse, but haven't been able to have any for years due to lactose intolerance. We've made this 3 times in the last 2 weeks. So easy to whip up, the kids love it and I get my chocolate fix. Thank you!

Anonymous

I found this recipe on Pinterest and it's been on my list to try for so long. For some reason I thought it would be more complicated so I put it off. It could not have been more easy...so easy my 4 yr old helped me make this. I didn't need the extra step to make it smoother. I used raw cacao. Thank you this will satisfy my sweet tooth any day and will impress my vegan friends next time I'm invited for dinner. YUM!

Charlene

I made this recipe last night because my husband was craving pudding. We cut out dairy and sugar a few months ago, so this recipe was perfect. It was DELICIOUS!! A perfect 5 star recipe, for sure! My husband was super skeptical as he doesn't like coconut or dates (or lots of chocolate), but he LOVED this dish!

Vegan Magic

Thank you so much Anonymous (both) and Charlene for trying the mousse. I'm super happy that your families enjoyed it too. Now that you find it so easy to make you can add your own touch to it and create new versions:)

MegsAndShiloh

I'm not a big fan of dates, is there any substitute for them?
Thanks!

Vegan Magic

Hi Megs, thanks for asking. You can use soft prunes instead. Hope this works for you.:)

wendy

hi - I want to try your mousse, however hubby is alergic to coconut products - do you have any suggestions for a replacement of coconut? I really think he'll like this. Any help you can give sure would be appreciated. Thanks

Vegan Magic

Hi, Wendy. You could use bananas, but the taste will be different and texture much lighter. They would still make a great dessert, maybe you'd like to give them a try. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Anonymous

Planning to make this tomorrow. Can I use cacao powder instead of cocoa? Thank you for sharing this recipe.

Vegan Magic

Hi, sorry for this (very) late reply, I´ve been on holiday. Surely you can use it:) Thank you for giving it a try.

Anonymous

Delicious! Just what I needed to get me through my sugar free diet. Thank you so much! I used coconut cream (instead of coconut milk) and it didn't need to be put in the fridge before use.

Vegan Magic

Hi, thanks so much for the feedback. I'm very happy to know the mousse came out great and hope you find more inspiration on my blog:)

Ernie Cordell

zOMG! You're a chocolate wizard!

I keep looking for ways of avoiding the great white death -- not to mention the "burn & crash" I experience with it.

If I find enough suggestions, I'm sure that I can proceed in the direction of real change.

Anonymous

The mousse was a hit at a recent dinner party. I served it in espresso cups (so made 8) and had a pineapple salsa and crunchy biscuit on the side.

Ritu

Hi Adriana!
I'm such a big fan of this recipe (and your blog in general) my husband and I think that this mousse is divine and it's one of my husband's favourite desserts ever! We make it all the time and have made a few adjustments in the quantities of the ingredients to suit our tastes (fewer dates, as we like less sweetness, a bit more vanilla, and a little bit of water since we use a really thick coconut cream!). We've started up a blog and I'm going to be posting our version of your awesome recipe (giving you proper credit, linking to your recipe and encouraging people to check out your page, of course) with some pictures that I took of the process that I go through. Would love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! The link will go live tomorrow. :)

Vegan Magic

Ernie, so glad you like this mousse. Lots of other great recipes for you to try here:) Thanks for stopping by.

Vegan Magic

Anonymous, that combination of chocolate and pineapple/mousse and crunchy biscuit sounds amazing! The presentation idea was fabulous! Thanks so much for the feedback!

Vegan Magic

Ritu, thank you so much for the feedback, I love the pictures of the mousse on your blog. So happy you tried this recipe and adapted it to your taste. Hugs:)

Sue Levy

I ran across this wonderful recipe looking for a vegan Christmas dessert and everyone loved it. I didn't strain the date skins off and no one was bothered at all by the slightly grainy texture they give. I have also made a tangy version substituting the cocoa with strained (seedless) passionfruit pulp (took a long time but worth the effort) and a little lime juice. It was amazing! Thank you so much :-)

Vegan Magic

Sue, thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I'm super happy to know the mousse came out great and was enjoyed by everyone. The passion fruit version sounds delish, thanks for sharing it:)

Megan

So I realise I'm posting on an old post, but I just found this on Pinterest and wanted to give my two cents! I am currently waiting for my mousse to set for dessert tonight, and according to the mixture I tasted (many times) as i was making it, it's deeeelicious!! WOW!
I used a regular blender and it was hard work to get them blending together. I also don't thnk my coconut cream had separated enough because it was quite runny. But I persisted nonetheless, and when I got sick of blending and scraping I strained the mixture. That's when I realised there was not much at all! So I repeated the process with maybe another 2/3 cup of dates, more coconut cream (whoops didn't measure!) then whisked in the cocoa and vanilla. A long and very messy process BUT I can't wait to impress after dinner :) by the way, I made 3 semi-generous servings. Thanks a bunch for the recipe! Next time I will make a few tweaks to make it work a little better with my blender. I can't wait to put this on the regular recipe rotation!! x

Vegan Magic

Hi Megan, thanks so much for the feedback. Regular blenders can be a headache, but still do the job:) So happy you liked the taste, hope the texture was great as well.

Anonymous

I tried the recipe and it turned out amazing! It was a big hit with the family. :)

Vegan Magic

Hi, thank you so much for the feedback. So glad everyone loved it:)

Anonymous

This recipe turned out amazing! I added some strawberries with it and it tasted great.

Vegan Magic

Hi, thanks so much for the feedback. Strawberries and chocolate, yum! I'm so happy you enjoyed it:)

Rachel Page

Gonna try this pretty soon than should. I still have some chocolate pudding leftovers.

Rachel Page

Ohhhhh.....I am SO on this!!!! :)

Anonymous

I've tried a few chocolate mousse recipes, and this one is the bomb! Only 3 ingredients, and is not too sweet - it's a must for anyone on a Paleo or whole food diet. Thanks for posting it. x Scotland

Vegan Magic

Rachel, thanks so much:) I hope it beats your expectations.

Scotland, thank you for trying it out and for the feedback. Hope you find more tempting desserts on the blog.

Memma

Thank you so much for sharing this! My sister can't eat dairy or sugar so this will be great. Dates have too much fructose for her to digest so I will sub them with some rice malt syrup. Can't wait to try it! THANK YOU!

Vegan Magic

Memma, thanks so much for the comment. I hope you and your sister enjoy the mousse and I look forward to your feedback about the rice malt syrup.

Memma

Hi :) I just tried it with the rice malt syrup. The syrup worked well. Because the syrup is already smooth, no blender was required. I put in extra cocoa to try and hide the coconut flavour. There is still a slight coconut taste, but I think that has something to do with the lack of dates.
I really liked this recipe. It's chocolatey, rich, and luscious. My mum especially admired it! Thank you!

Vegan Magic

Memma, that is fantastic! Thank you so much for getting back to let us know how it turned out. I hope you find other inspiring recipes on the blog:)

Anonymous

Because of my particular diet I have a really hard time finding stuff my little ones and I can eat together so this recipe came as a breath of fresh air for me. This mousse is cheap and easy to make and it tastes simply amazing! It's something both my kids and I can enjoy.

Richie Holland

great recipe what kind of cocoa do you use - raw cocoa powder?

Vegan Magic

Anonymous, that's fantastic! So happy you and the kids can enjoy together something delicious:) Thanks so much for the feedback:)

Vegan Magic

Richie, I used regular cocoa powder in this recipe. Thank you.

Anonymous

hi. just found your recipe on pinterest. it sounds delicious and i love that i know exactly whats in all ingredients that are put in. i will def try this and will not feel guilty about eating it or giving it to my kids to eat!
thanks !! :)
- katie

Jukebox

What an awesome recipe.. my first attempt at making mousse and it was perfect..It worked even with a slight liquidy coconut milk as it didnt get creamy even after overnight refrigeration. I also added a bit cinnamon powder and vanilla essence instead of extract..but turned out just right..Thank you.

Vegan Magic

Katie, thank you for your comment. I'm very happy you like the recipe and hope everyone enjoys it.

Vegan Magic

Jukebox, that's great! So happy the coconut milk you used worked well. Many thanks for the feedback:)

BradySauce

This recipe is awesome ... made it last night - my daughter and I were both stoked to find such an amazingly delicious recipe that was this easy.
We had it today with raspberries on top ... pure vegan magic.
We used cacao powder just a wee bit of a healthier option and our dates were soaked... thinking of trialling some coconut oil in it next time to see what happens to the texture. The more velvety the better for me.

Love your work, Vegan Magic!

Vegan Magic

Brady, thanks so much for your kind words:) I'm so happy to know you and your daughter enjoyed the mousse and look forward to your feedback after adding coconut:)

Marilyn Oz

I know its been two years since this post but I just came across this pin today. This looks so dang scrumptious! I want a big giant bowl right now♡ I'm practically drooling here ; >

Also, you seem to have quite a bit of knowledge and creativity. I love it!! thank you for the recipe...can't wait to make it

Paul Ogilvie

This is so good and so easy! and the best mousse I have had.

Lisa

You are a genius! I made it exactly as directed--including the date paste straining--and it totally rocks my world! Mousse consistency, flavor, and looks. Thank you so much!!

April moffitt

I'm exited to try making this thank you for the recipe. I am a type 1 diabetic always long for healthy dessert options so as soon as i calculate the nutritional value on GoMeals i will be able to enjoy it without worry.

Unknown

I have made this twice this week! The second time I lessened the cacao powder to give a milder flavor. I used coconut cream with a 70% fat and dumped the whole can in without refrigerating or separating anything. I also added a dash of cinnamon for additional health benefits. I made it in my blendtec so I didn't need to strain the dates out, it was perfectly smooth after 50 seconds on high. The texture reminds me of fudge frosting straight from the fridge. I served mine with raspberries but am going to get strawberries to try with it as wel. So good! Thank you for such an awesome and easy recipe.

Naina

Superb ....gonna give my familly a bite of it and my version would include sprinkling wallnuts on the top :) ....

Mother Hen

Substitute the vanilla essence for oil of orange .... It tastes like chocolate oranges!! This is now a favourite recipe, I'm so glad my friend posted it.

Vegan Magic

Marilyn, Paul, Lisa, April, Unknown, Naina, Mother Hen, thank you all for your kind words and feedback. The variations sound delicious!

ursula scott

Phenomenal. Absolutely love the simplicity, the flavour, the lack of guilt as the ingredients are just so good. I jigged around a bit with quantities until I got what felt like a good paste. Couldn't wait for coconut milk to sit in fridge once I read this, so I just threw in half a tin of full fat coconut milk and it worked perfectly. Also no sieving/peeling, just blended with cheap stick blender and eventually got it completely smooth. My sister and I have gone sugarfree recently, but are eating fruit again now, and this is the right kind of chocolate fix for the lovers of chocolate that we are. I served this with raspberries on top...utter decadence. Also thinking of adding orange oil or a drop of orange liquor. Thanks!

Vegan Magic

Ursula, many thanks for your feedback!:) I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the mousse and found your easy way to make it:)

Philomène

Thank you so much Adriana for this amazingly good recipe

It has now travelled the whole way to Sweden;)
We thaught it was so delicious that we wrote about it on our blogg. Please take a look if you have time!
Best, and keep up the good work!

Philomène and Tim-Yasha

Vegan Magic

Philomene & Tim-Yasha, tusen tack!!! I'm thrilled at your enthusiasm about this mousse. Super easy and delicious, isn't it?:) I've just seen the pictures on your blog...Stunning! and I would eat the flower too;) Your feedback is much appreciated, thank you for taking the time to write it.

Anonymous

I really enjoyed making this. As I'm not a big fan of dates, I replaced them with raisins (soak some minutes in hot water to make them softer). I felt the cream of one coconut milk can was not enough, so I used two (ended up with five ramekins). And I also added orange peel & a squeeze of the orange for the ultimate orange-chocolate mousse. A big hit with everyone who tried it!

Vegan Magic

Hi, thanks so much for the feedback. Sound like you all had a choc mousse party:) I too love the choc + orange flavour combo:) Yummmmo

cm

Hi, could I just make creamy coconut milk by blending in 6 cups of coconut flakes and then adding two cups of water in it and then leaving the mixture in the fridge?

Hope you can get back to me on that asap. Thanks.

Vegan Magic

Hi, thank you for asking. I have never tried that, so I can't really say what the outcome would be. It might work if you have a powerful blender. Even if you don't get the smooth dense cream, it would still produce a good mousse. If you give it a try please let us all know how it went.

Mindor Manners

I made this today for an after dinner treat for my family tonight. After starting this, I soon realized I didn't the limited ingredients. I made this with two cans of coconut milk cream. I didn't have dates, so I used 1 cup of tightly packed figs. I only had 1 tb spoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, so I used that and about 4 squares of 100% cocoa bar. Melted the chocolate with a little bit of the the coconut water left in the cans. I blended it all together in the food processor. I put them in containers for the fridge and licked the bowl clean. Very tasty. We are currently avoiding sugars, dairy, and all other allergens. This will be the perfect dessert. Thank you!

Vegan Magic

Thank you so much for the feedback and the smile:) Looks like you did a great job substituting ingredients and playing with the quantities to reach a great dessert:) So happy you enjoyed it.

Fern Mocke

Hello, wow. This recipe is amazing. Thank you for sharing. I am so glad I found it. I was looking for a good cocoa dessert to make that was easy. I found it! I look forward to exploring your blog more... I found it easy, my dates were dry so I soaked them in boiling water & strained them as u suggested. I was happy with the texture, over the moon with the flavour & ecstatic that it was so beautifully easy, rich & O so chocolatey! Love it. Thank you. Ps. I found all the comments so interesting & informative to read. Very inspiring. Yours kindly, Fern.

Vegan Magic

Dear Fern, thank you so much for the lovely feedback. I hope you find more recipes on the blog that you enjoy:)

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