Chocolate mousse, sweetened with dates, creamy with coconut milk, topped with a final floral flourish, will delight your guests with every fluffy spoonful and crisp crackle of edible foliage. It’s dessert in a glass!
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup pitted and chopped dates (~10 small dates)
- 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (no guar gum)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (alcohol-free is ideal)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup 100% raw cacao powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
Chocolate Ganache Leaves:
- 20 Camellia leaves, washed and dried (or use non-poisonous sturdy leaves with waxy sheen for the best result)
- 1/2 cup organic, unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup organic 100% raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
- Pinch of Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
- High-powered blender (such as a Vitamix): for mousse
- Baking sheet, lined with parchment paper: for leaves
- Food processor: for chocolate leaves
- Small butter knife: for chocolate leaves
Begin preparing the mousse the night before serving. Place the cashews and dates in a bowl and cover with water, covering the nuts and dried fruit completely, and soaking overnight. If you forget this step, soak the cashews and dates for at least 4 hours the day of mousse making. After soaking, drain and rinse the cashews and dates, discarding the water.
In a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, blend all the mousse ingredients on high for one minute, or until completely smooth and creamy.
Divide the mousse into small glasses (for serving) and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
While the mousse is setting, prepare the leaves. Wash, throughly dry, and refrigerate the Camellia leaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Using a food processor, mix the ganache ingredients together: melted coconut oil, raw cacao, maple syrup, and salt until well-blended.
Remove a leaf from the refrigerator and, using a small butter knife, gently coat the ganache on the bottom of the leaf, careful to keep the layer smooth and even. Return to the refrigerator, chocolate-side up. Replicate for each leaf.
Let the chocolate harden completely, for at least 1 hour. Then, gently peel back the chocolate on each leaf, returning the chocolate imprint to the refrigerator until ready for serving (and discarding the natural leaf). Some leaves may break, given the delicate nature of this dessert. The chocolate from broken leaves can be re-melted and used for future molds.
The chocolate leaves can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Garnish each mousse bowl with chocolate leaves and fresh fruit, such as raspberries or strawberries. Shredded coconut and raw cacao nibs also make excellent toppings.
Alternatively, if leaves are not a desired topping, mix the ganache ingredients together, then spoon the mixture directly on top of the mousse and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.