Mousse is a smooth, aerated dessert that has many uses. But it’s not suited for everyone especially vegans. Good thing there are recipes for a vegan mousse.

The regular kind can feel daunting to make for the first few times but is quite simple once the fundamentals are understood. But the vegan kind is even simpler in comparison and here's a recipe to prove it to you.

Regular mousse vs vegan mousse

A typical mousse is made by taking a base like a custard, some melted chocolate, or puree and thickening/stabilizing it with yolks or gelatin, then lighten/aerating it with whites or cream.

That sounds weird to be sure but it’s actually quite practical and what’s great is that you get the best of both worlds with consistency. Neither too thick nor too light —it’s just right!

Now for a vegan mousse, things can get a little tricky. When one talks Veganism, it typically means it's non-dairy. Therefore, a vegan mousse recipe would omit the cheese, milk, cream, gelatin, and especially eggs.

So how does one go about making a mousse without these ingredients? Fortunately, there are plenty of substitutes that work just as well and this recipe relies on the best selection.

For the base, you can get away with purée if chosen. But if you want a rich and creamy mousse for all-out creaminess, you’ll have to settle with plant-based milk or vegan chocolate instead of the regular kind.

As for the thickening/stabilizing agent, agar should do the trick. It’s a gel-based thickener made from seaweed that's the go-to substitute for foods requiring gelatin and is handled the same way in the kitchen. It comes in either powder or flakes. The rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of powder or one tablespoon of flakes to 1 cup of liquid.

And finally, for the lighten/aerating agent, that honor goes to coconut cream. Like heavy cream, it contains just enough fat to maintain air bubbles after it's rigorously whipped. So you're all set for your vegan mousse.

The recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned coconut cream, chilled
  • 1 cup (plant-based milk, vegan chocolate, or puree)
  • 1 tsp agar powder or 1 tbsp agar flakes
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Before attempting this mousse, chill the can of coconut cream in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Do not shake it ever.
  • Start the mousse by preparing the agar first. In a bowl, combine the agar powder or flakes with the water, stir, and let sit for a minute to dissolve.
  • Preparing the base next. Whichever is chosen (plant-based milk/vegan chocolate/puree), combine it with the agar mixture and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl to be heated in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, stopping and stirring it every 30 seconds. Alternatively, it can be heated in a double boiler over the stove. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
  • Pour out the chilled coconut cream in another bowl, making sure not to shake it. Add the vanilla extract and beat them together, preferably with an electric mixer. Keep whipping until it smooth and forms stiff peaks.
  • Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, add 1/4 of the whipped cream to the melted chocolate/puree and fold them together gently. Fold in the remaining cream in similar amounts until fully incorporated.
  • Serve immediately, or seal and chill in the refrigerator.

Serves: 6

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