Fabulous free-from, no-refined-sugar chocolate mousse

There are a two different versions of this recipe, though both use the same method: one makes a creamy mousse like your regular chocolate/cream/eggs/sugar recipe, and one sets harder and can be cut up to make ‘truffles’. This mousse is rich – you don’t need a lot of it, and considering it contains no refined sugar of any kind, it’s surprisingly sweet too. It’s also simple to make, though you do need to follow the recipe exactly or it can turn out grainy – still delicious but without that authentic chocolate mousse smoothness. Basically it’s a miracle mousse, though it’s still a treat, as coconut milk and oil are obviously very calorific and high in saturated fat (don’t believe all the hype about coconut oil). Make sure you use raw, unrefined, preferably organic coconut oil, or it’s definitely not a health food.

The creamy mousse first (serves 8, it’s very rich):

Ingredients:
150g pitted dates
100g raspberries or cherries (raspberries make a sweeter mousse, cherries don’t blend as fine but it tastes more like regular chocolate mousse. Both worth trying as both delicious)
400ml can of coconut milk (not low fat)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled (it’s important that it cools)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
Whizz the dates in a food processor until they’re a paste. Add the raspberries or cherries and whizz, scraping all the dates from the bottom and sides halfway through. Add the melted oil, whizz. Add the coconut milk, cocoa powder and vanilla extract, whizz until super-smooth. Scrape into ramekins and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until lightly set. Top with more raspberries or cherries, cocoa nibs, whipped cream, a scoop of ice cream…or just leave plain.

For truffles (the above notes in italics apply):

Ingredients:
200g pitted dates
60g raspberries or cherries
200g block of coconut cream, roughly chopped
1 heaped tablespoon natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
As above, in the following order: dates; raspberries/cherries; coconut oil; then the yoghurt, chopped coconut cream, cocoa powder and vanilla together. Scrape into a rectangular baking dish lined with baking paper and refrigerate until set hard (about 3 hours). Lift out of the baking tray and cut into squares. Alternatively, scrape into little silicon cake cases and leave to set before turning out.

Note: recipes adapted from an original by Sue Quinn

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