BWB’s Holiday Menu Pt. 2
This dessert may sound fancy and French, but… While it is, it’s also très easy to prepare and is the ultimate mood-boosting, actually-good-for-you, comfort food.
Mousse au Chocolat
This dessert may sound fancy and French, but… While it is, it’s also très easy to prepare and is the ultimate mood-boosting, actually-good-for-you, comfort food. It’s difficult to imagine a world without chocolate mousse; how could man/womankind have possibly evolved without chocolate mousse? This will always remain a mystery to me…
The first mention of this dessert dates back to the 17th century in a cookbook by Menon, then it became official in a book by Alexandre Viard in 1820. According to legend (I wasn’t there, so I, thus, believe this legend and cannot prove otherwise, so let’s just go with it, shall we?), Louis XVI once asked his servant to invent a recipe based on chocolate, and it was a Swiss man, Charles Fazi, who created the famous mousse we now know and love. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec even created his own version, which he called “chocolate mayonnaise” – fabulous, isn’t it?
Whether you call it chocolate mousse or chocolate mayonnaise, a good mousse au chocolat must always be:
- VERY chocolatey
- Rich, but light
How can you do this without egg whites, cream or sugar? Deliciously and easily – have no fear! The beloved avocado is here (and I also have a recipe for this using sweet potato as a base in Le Nouveau Manuel de La Cuisine Végétale).This easy-to-make mousse is soothing for both the digestive system and the brain: It’s packed with mood-boosting anandamine (the “bliss” molecule) and theobromine (a mild stimulant used to treat depression).
(Yes, deux. Be careful not to eat it all at once! Just kidding, of course you can. I won’t tell.)
- 1/4 cup of cashew nuts (raw, untoasted, unsalted…)
- 1 ripe avocado (small sized or 1/2 of a large one)
- 3 tbsp raw cocoa powder
- 1 pitted medjool date
- 1 cup of coconut water
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/8 tsp vanilla powder or 1 vanilla bean – (Optional: Vanilla is expensive, but it adds amazing flavor!)
- 1/2 tsp of mesquite powder – (Optional: Adds fiber, B vitamins and a caramel flavor)
- Soak cashews for a few hours (or overnight) in filtered water.
- Mix them in a blender at high speed – it magically turns into a foamy white milk!
- Pour half of the “milk” into another glass. Blend the other half with the other ingredients (you can soak the date in hot water to soften it if it is too dry).
- Blend until the mousse has a thick consistency, adding cashew milk gradually until the desired texture is reached.
- Candy cane-flavored mousse au chocolat: Add a tiny drop of peppermint essential oil (make sure it’s culinary grade and of top quality!) to the mix before you blend. You can also add a spoonful of fresh mint leaves to the mix. Top with mint sprigs for decoration and cacao nibs for an extra crunch. You can even serve with an actual candy cane on top for decoration (and yes, you can even eat it; ‘tis the season!)
- Top witha sprinkle of cayenne pepper for an extra kick.
- Top with pomegranate seeds or goji berries.
Rebecca Leffler is a Paris-based writer and journalist who, after a career as the French correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and as a film critic on Canal+, traded red carpets for green smoothies. She’s written five books about healthy lifestyle from Paris to NYC and beyond, including Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic: Eat (and Live!) the New French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season, and most recently Le Nouveau Manuel de la Cuisine Végétale. Rebecca has pioneered the “vegolution” in Paris, where she continues to organize events focusing on healthy eating, yoga and la vie en rose… And green! You can keep up with Rebecca on Instagram!