Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse + Cashew Cream

Decadent, luscious, light, airy. The Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse that everyone will love! Made extra delicious with dairy-free Cashew Cream and flaky sea salt.

I’m not vegan but I love vegan desserts. And this one has become one of my favorites!

There’s just enough bittersweet intensity to keep things interesting. A sprinkle of flaky sea salt enhances all the flavors. And a swipe of Cashew Cream makes for a light, dairy-free dessert!

Traditionally, Chocolate Mousse is very rich. Egg yolks, heavy cream, high quality chocolate.

But sometimes, I’m craving something light and sweet. Without all that heavy richness. That’s where Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse comes to save the day!

The mousse base is inspired by Ful-filled’s Two Ingredient Chocolate Pots de Creme. I was intrigued by the idea of transforming a classically decadent dessert into a plant-based one.

I added some flavor boosters to highlight that bittersweet flavor: instant coffee powder, vanilla, and flaky sea salt.

I also added Cashew Cream. Trust me when I say that the dairy-free Cashew Cream really takes this dessert over the top!

What is Cashew Cream?

Cashew Cream is a non-dairy, plant-based substitute for creamy sauces and dips. It’s the starting base for sweet or savory vegan adaptations of whipped cream, cheese sauce, tzatsiki, sour cream, etc.

For this recipe, I chose a sweet preparation. The resulting texture is very similar to whipped cream — light, fluffy, silky.

But Cashew Cream does NOT taste the same as regular whipped cream! It’s delicious but definitely its own thing.

The benefits of using a nut-based whipped cream are many:

  • Dairy-free (especially good for lactose intolerant friends + family members!)
  • Versatile (multiple preparations)
  • Simple (easy to make, requires few ingredients)
  • Keeps well in the fridge (make once and keep for 1-2 weeks!)
  • Leaves you feeling lighter and less weighed down than regular whipped cream

Plus, this plant-based, non-dairy cream is so delicious!!

How to make Cashew Cream:

Many recipes recommend soaking cashews 1-8 hours. But I found that using a good blender makes the soaking unnecessary.

Instructions: Add cashews to blender. Add water, maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the blender down from time to time. Store in the fridge, covered. That’s it!

PRO TIP: Blend longer than you think. The texture should be light, fluffy, and creamy — without a hint of graininess whatsoever.

For reference, my blender is an Osterizer which retailed for $25 in 2001 and is no longer available in stores. My 20-year old blender blitzed the raw cashews (without soaking) with ease. And produced a fluffy and airy texture in 3 minutes!

Many recipes recommend using a Vitamix but they are very pricey. If you have a blender, try it first! I found that a hand immersion blender and food processor did not work as well — the resulting texture was not creamy enough.

Essential Ingredient: Coconut Cream

Dark Chocolate Mousse is not a traditional mousse. There’s no heavy cream or egg yolks to set the custard.

Instead, coconut cream is used. Coconut cream is similar to coconut milk but contains more fat. At room temperature, coconut cream is completely solid.

For the vegan mousse to set, you’ll need Coconut Cream vs Coconut Milk. Look for it in the same aisle as canned Coconut Milk. If you use regular Coconut Milk, the mousse will be too soft and not set firmly.  

teacup filled with dark chocolate mousse

How to Make Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse:

Heat coconut cream until steaming. Do not let it come to a boil! Remove from heat and add dairy-free chocolate chips, instant coffee powder, vanilla, and salt. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Whisk, making sure all chocolate chips are fully melted. Scrape the bottom with a spatula and whisk again. Pour into individual cups. Cool completely at room temperature. Transfer to fridge and chill overnight.

To serve, place a dollop of Cashew Cream over each cup and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. A dusting of cocoa powder is optional. Eat immediately!

teacup filled with dark chocolate mousse

PIN FOR LATER:

More Vegan dessert inspiration:

Coconut Sago with Mango

glass cup of coconut sago with mango topping on marble cutting board and mangoes in background

Korean Strawberry Milk Popsicles

korean strawberry milk popsicles on wax paper

Chinese New Year Cake [Mrs. Leong’s Nian Gao]

plate of chinese new year cake (nian gao)
https://thesubversivetable.com/chinese-new-year-cake/
teacup filled with dark chocolate mousse
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vegan Dark Chocolate Mousse + Cashew Cream

Decadent, luscious, light, airy. The Dark Chocolate Mousse that everyone will love! Made extra delicious with Vegan Cashew Cream and flaky sea salt.
Prep Time10 mins
Chilling time8 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dark Chocolate, Mousse, Vegan Cashew Cream
Servings: 6
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Equipment

  • 6 small ramekins or teacups (at least 4 oz)

Ingredients

Dark Chocolate Mousse:

  • 2 400ml/13.5oz can full-fat coconut cream (completely solid at room temperature)
  • 1 cup/6 oz/170g bittersweet chocolate chips *use dairy-free chips for completely dairy-free mousse (see note below)
  • 2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cashew Cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

To serve:

  • flaky sea salt (I use Maldon)

Instructions

Dark Chocolate Mousse:

  • In a small saucepan, heat coconut cream until steaming. At first, the coconut cream should be completely solid. Do not let it come to a boil! Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, instant coffee powder, vanilla, and salt. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
    ingredients for dark chocolate mousse
  • Whisk, making sure all chocolate chips are fully melted. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a spatula and whisk again. Pour into individual cups. Cool completely at room temperature. Transfer to fridge and chill overnight.
    pouring dark chocolate mousse into teacups

Cashew Cream:

  • Add raw cashews, water, maple syrup, and vanilla to a high powered blender. Blend on high speed until creamy and thick, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the blender from time to time. The cashew cream is done when the texture is light and fluffy with no graininess whatsoever. Store in the fridge, tightly covered. The Cashew Cream will keep for about 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
    plastic container filled with vegan cashew cream

To serve:

  • To serve, place a dollop of Cashew Cream over each cup and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. A dusting of cocoa powder is optional. Eat immediately!
    teacup filled with dark chocolate mousse

Notes

*Coconut Cream is completely solid at room temperature and necessary to make the mousse set.  If you use regular Coconut Milk that separates into liquid and solid at room temperature, it will not set as firmly.  
**To make these truly vegan, use dairy-free chocolate chips.  Regular chocolate chips contain a small amount of dairy — usually in the form of milk powder or milk solids.  
***If using a high powered blender, soaking the cashews is not necessary.  But if your blender is not powerful enough, I recommend soaking in cold water overnight.  Or cover with hot water for 1 hour before blending.
 

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These pots de creme sound amazing! So happy that you were inspired by my recipe 🙂

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