The first time I made this dairy-free chocolate mousse recipe adapted from What Einstein Told His Cook I had my doubts. Chocolate mousse without heavy whipping cream? Why bother. However, the final product did not disappoint - the whipped egg white proteins provided a delicate fluffy web that encased the rich egg yolk, chocolate, and olive oil. My twist was the addition of ground cardamom pods to put a Middle Eastern spin on a classically French dessert to help meld with the olive oil flavors and provide a bit more complexity and brightness. I also added a dollop of whipped cream (blerg, there goes the "dairy free" part, but you don't have to use it), a sprig of chocolate mint, grated dark chocolate, and a bit of coarse sea salt. The result was amazing - really, one of those desserts that people keep talking about. I will definitely be making this again. Serves 4 (servings aren't large, but are generous given how rich the dessert is).
- 4 oz very good dark chocolate (the darker the better), finely chopped
- 7-9 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground with mortar and pestle or finely chopped
- 2 eggs, divided
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons very strong coffee at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- About 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- Whipped cream, fresh mint or chocolate mint, and grated chocolate, for garnish (optional)
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Mix in cardamom and set aside to cool while preparing the egg mixture.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and powdered sugar until pale yellow and fluffy (about 1 minute). Whisk in the coffee and Cointreau (optional) to combine then stir in the melted chocolate. Add olive oil and mix well.
In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric beater until stiff peaks have formed (stage III). Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a whisk until all patches of white disappear then fold in the remaining egg whites using a rubber spatula just until combined. Do not overmix.
Transfer mousse to individual serving cups and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 1 hour or overnight. Serve with whipped cream and optional fresh mint leaves and grated chocolate.