Dark chocolate mousse with cardamom, candied ginger and hazelnuts [Vegan]

I was in the mood for a chocolate mousse and started looking around for a vegan recipe. I thought it would be a bit lighter than a traditional recipe, and to be honest I was curious if a vegan recipe could even hold a candle to a mousse made with dairy. When I found a recipe that called for candied ginger and cardamom, I was sold. And after making it I can definitely say that no one would know this is made with coconut milk instead of cow's milk unless you told them. It's every bit as decadent and delicious, and yet is not nearly as indulgent (okay, let's just say it: unhealthy) as a traditional chocolate mousse.

It also comes together incredibly quickly -- in about 15 minutes or so. As long as you plan ahead for when you want to use it, it is a recipe requiring minimal time and effort.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Remember that selecting your chocolate is an important part of this recipe. Not only are you choosing a dark chocolate that tastes good, but it is important to choose a chocolate that is sustainable -- meaning fair trade, organic and vegan. The chocolate industry has always struggled with issues including slavery and deforestation. So choosing a fair trade and organic option will make your mousse all the sweeter for knowing it was responsibly and ethically made. Here is a guide to a few sustainable chocolate companies.

This recipe is adapted from Foodie Underground.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chopped dark chocolate (75% or darker)
1 tablespoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons candied ginger
Toasted hazelnuts for garnish

1. In a food processor, grate the candied ginger until as fine as you can get it. The finer the better.

2. In a small sauce pan on medium-low heat, combine the coconut milk, chocolate chunks and agave syrup. Stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in the cardamom, sea salt and ginger.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

4. Pour the mousse into individual containers. I used miniature jam jars. Custard jars, small ramekins and other tiny serving bowls work well too. Refrigerate the mousse until completely chilled -- a minimum fo 2-4 hours, depending on the size of container you use.

5. Just before serving, add the toasted hazelnuts. Enjoy!

Note: Even grated, the candied ginger has a texture that keeps the mousse from being perfectly smooth. If the texture bothers you, you can leave the candied ginger out, and sprinkle pieces of it on top with the toasted hazelnuts as a garnish. You'll still get the flavor, but with a distinctly different texture.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Cooking | Recipes | The Cooking Project | Vegan | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian