Sometimes, all you want is a thick, sleek spoonful of indulgence. The deep, dark notes of chocolate enriched with the light, sweet, airy tones of creamy whipped coconut, unique, fragrant vanilla bean seeds which speckle everything with tiny black flecks and the crunch of bitter cacao nibs dance with the tongue in a slow, romantic waltz as this creamy chocolate mousse rolls around your mouth. Ribbons of indulgent sweetness mixed with thick, lusciously rich chocolate create a real magic moment in these busy, bustling summer days.
The abyssopelagic flavours meld together in a way as beautiful as a child’s imagination. I couldn’t believe it when I first tasted it; starting off as a simple coconut whipped cream to top the remnants of the raspberries I picked a few days ago, my affinity to chocolate led me to throw in a handful of cacao, and from that moment onwards, things just got better and better in that kitchen.
I’m absolutely not ashamed to admit that I’ve taken a liking to inhaling the entire recipe within a few minutes; it’s quite incredible.
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped out with the back of a knife
cacao nibs, to serve (optional)
1. Take the two cans of coconut milk out of the fridge. Turn them upside down, then open both with a can opener. Pour the coconut water into a container for later usage – I love using it for smoothies in the mornings – then scoop out the thick white coconut cream at the bottom of the can and place into a large bowl.
2. Using a hand whisk, whisk for 1-2 minutes until you achieve a fluffy mixture which holds stiff peaks. Alternatively, use a stand mixer and mix for about 20 seconds.
3. Take out around three tablespoons of coconut whipped cream and put it in a separate bowl to use as a garnish. In the larger bowl, add the cacao powder, agave nectar, and vanilla bean seeds, then whip again until fully incorporated.
4. Divide the mixture between two large ramekins or glasses. Take the coconut whipped cream which was set apart earlier, fill a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle with the mixture, and pipe a swirl on top of each serving of chocolate mousse. Set the mousses in the fridge to set for an hour or so before serving. If using, sprinkle with cacao nibs at the last minute.
Caramel sauce makes everything better – it’s quite alike to peanut butter, which has the same property. Moving on from my attempt at chemistry, this sauce is utterly delicious and is even easier to prepare than it’s dairy-filled counterpart, making it a definite contestant in my top-10 ‘I’m hungry’ list.
It’s a perfect companion to banana chunks, the aforementioned chunks but frozen and chucked in the food processor to make glorious ice cream, almonds, and of course chocolate pecan cookies. Is it sad that I can verify each and every one of those claims?
I’ve taken to keeping at least 6 cans of coconut milk in the fridge for caramel sauce emergencies; that’s how scrumdiddlyumptious this sauce is. (My lexicon consists of Roald Dahl vocabulary. Don’t judge.)
Attack it with a spoon, dig out a scoop of it or spread it on anything within a 2-foot radius – have sauce, will (most likely) share.
1. Take the can of coconut milk out of the fridge. Open it, then scoop the thick white coconut fat at the top into a separate bowl until you are left with just the coconut water. Reserve 1/4 cup of the water and put it into a small saucepan.
2. Add the sugar to the coconut water in the pan, then heat on medium heat until it is fully bubbling, about 3-4 minutes. Teaspoon by teaspoon, add in chunks of coconut fat and whisk after each addition until no lumps remain. Keep adding coconut fat until you have finished it and the caramel is a light golden colour.
3. Let the caramel come to a boil again (3-4 minutes) until it starts to thicken a bit. Take off the heat, pour into a glass container, and let the container stand, lid open, until the caramel is completely cool. Transfer to the fridge and let set for at least 3 hours.