Smooth and creamy Paleo chocolate mousse, made with chocolate, coconut cream, cocoa powder, honey and vanilla. Just blend it and let it set for the easiest dairy free chocolate mousse you’ll ever make!
What makes this dairy free chocolate mousse special?
This mousse is made with just a few simple ingredients: dark chopped chocolate, coconut cream, honey, cocoa powder, and vanilla. It just happens to be dairy-free, refined-sugar-free, gluten-free and grain-free.
That makes it Paleo. It also makes it free of eggs, which typically create the smooth, light texture of traditional chocolate mousse.
This recipe calls for canned, full-fat coconut milk. In its place would typically be heavy whipping cream, but of course that contains dairy. The honey we add also helps create a smooth texture while also helping to sweeten the mousse.
Do you need any special ingredients to make this mousse?
I specify Dutch-processed cocoa powder in the ingredients, but you don’t absolutely have to use it. I do find that the chocolate mousse has a smoother, more pure chocolate taste if you do.
I’ve also used Hershey’s extra dark cocoa powder with great results. It’s a blend of natural and Dutch-processed cocoa powders, and it has a very, very dark, almost black color.
I’ve also tried replacing the honey with an equal amount, by weight, of maple syrup. The resulting mousse is softer and more pudding-like, as the syrup is thinner.
Using canned coconut cream in dairy free recipes
Remember that you must use coconut cream for this recipe, not light coconut milk which has a much higher water content. Coconut cream is the solid in a can of full-fat canned coconut.
In this recipe, we use only the cream. Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk and Whole Foods 365 brand coconut milk both work well consistently for this application.
So Delicious brand “Culinary Coconut Milk” also works great for the coconut cream portion. It comes in an 11 fluid ounce container and can be used as you would a 14-ounce can.
If you can find a can of coconut creme alone, that’s best. That can, which my local Trader Joe’s used to carry, contains significantly less liquid and doesn’t need to be refrigerated for it to separate. There is usually a bit of liquid, though, that should be poured off.
I’ve tested the recipe with each type of coconut milk and/or cream I recommend. The So Delicious one was the thickest, and it was my favorite.
Every variation set up properly, though. Using another brand of canned coconut milk that doesn’t reliably separate in the refrigerator is the only way you can really go wrong.
What about freezing the mousse?
I haven’t tried transferring the Paleo chocolate mousse to popsicle molds and freezing it as fudge pops. We already have a recipe for healthy fudgesicles, which is a similar recipe. Those pops are also dairy-free and made with coconut cream—but also milk.
Whenever you freeze something into pops, keep in mind that water freezes solid, as ice. Fat and sugar, like from honey, coconut cream, and chopped melted chocolate, don’t freeze solid.
The milk in the fudgesicle recipe makes them a bit icier, and freeze more solid. This Paleo chocolate mousse recipe, if frozen into pops, would likely be more pudding-like.
Paleo Chocolate Mousse
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
14 fluid ounces ounces full-fat canned coconut, refrigerated for at least 24 hours*
1/3 cup (112 g) honey
1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed, but I prefer Dutched)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
*Coconut cream is the solid in a can of full-fat canned coconut. In this recipe, we will use only the cream. Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk and Whole Foods 365 brand coconut milk both work well consistently for this application. So Delicious brand “Culinary Coconut Milk” also works great for the coconut cream portion. It comes in an 11 fluid ounce container and can be used as you would a 14-ounce can. Trader Joe’s also sells coconut cream alone, which contains significantly less liquid and doesn’t need to be refrigerated for it to separate.
In a double boiler or a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate until smooth. To melt the chocolate in the microwave, heat in 30-second increments at 70% power, stirring in between intervals, taking care not to burn the chocolate. Set the chocolate aside to cool briefly.
Once the coconut milk has been refrigerated, the thick white cream should separate from the liquid. Remove the can from the refrigerator carefully, taking care not to shake it. Scoop out only the solid white coconut cream and either reserve the liquid for another use or discard it. You will use only the cream in this recipe.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade (I love using my mini chop food processor here; so easy to clean!), place the coconut cream, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and melted chocolate. Cover the food processor and process the ingredients until they’re well-blended and very smooth. If your coconut cream was chilled, the mixture will be thicker than if it was at room temperature when you added it to the food processor.
Divide the mousse evenly among 4 small (I used my 7.4 fluid ounce Weck jars) containers. Cover each container and chill for at least 3 hours or until set. Serve chilled.