Chocolate Mousse for Just About Everyone

Chocolate Mousse

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Stress and eating often go hand-in-hand – and there are a lot of both during in the holiday season. What do people eat when stressed? Chocolate tops the list for many people.  It’s a popular celebration food, too, starring in cookies, desserts and gifts.

There’s science behind the soothing effects.  Cocoa contains dopamine, phenylethylamine and serotonin that help with emotional well-being (Reference 1).  In 2009, a study associated chocolate consumption with reduced stress levels (Reference 2).

Evidence of physical health benefits also contribute to the health halo around chocolate and helps justify an average American’s  intake of nearly 10 pounds annually (Reference 1 ).  The flavonols in chocolate are antioxidants and studies indicate they may improve blood flow, lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels and result in cardiovascular and brain benefits.

Dark chocolate and non-alkalized cocoa rank as the healthiest although the way they are processed will impact the amount of biologically active components in the final product.  Of course there can be too much of a good thing.   Eating too much chocolate may contribute to weight gain, tooth decay and other conditions.  (References 3, 4).

Given chocolate’s popularity and health potential,  I’m sharing a  recipe for Chocolate Mousse. It may help relieve one type of  holiday stress – that which comes from entertaining guests with special dietary needs.  If you’re hosting an event, you will likely be serving at least one person who eats vegan, vegetarian, Paleo or eliminates dairy, gluten or another ingredient.

This mousse will appeal to chocolate lovers of all types.   It is free of dairy, eggs, gluten and animal products (as long as you make it with a vegan bittersweet chocolate).  It does contain soy – the key to its creaminess is silken tofu, an ingredient that can be controversial.  Vegan and dairy-free folks will be familiar with tofu whipped into cream-like dips, dressings and desserts.  The food processor transforms it into a smooth base and  it is married with melted chocolate and a healthy dose of Kahlua.

I use a liquid sweetener, Maguey Sweet Sap, which has a slightly earthy, almost molasses-like flavor that goes well with chocolate.  Compared to other sweeteners, Maguey Sap offers fiber and more vitamin C and minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron than other sweeteners.  If you don’t have Maguey Sweet Sap substitute a mild honey or agave syrup.

Perhaps the main benefit of this recipe is that you can whip it up in about 15 minutes.  Presentation matters. Spoon the mousse into martini or other stemmed glasses to serve.

The garnish or topping will depend on your guests  – a dab of real whipped cream if dairy is allowed or a cap of whipped coconut cream for vegans. Roasted nuts, a crumble of toffee candy or a few chocolate-covered coffee beans add crunch.

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

Chocolate Mousse

1 package (12.3-ounce) firm silken tofu

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), melted*

6 tablespoons Villa de Patos Maguey Sweet Sap

2 to 3 tablespoons Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

To Serve (optional): Whipped cream or coconut cream, chopped, toasted pecans or chopped English toffee or other nutty toffee candy

Remove tofu from package, and pat dry on paper towels.  In blender container, combine tofu, melted chocolate, Maguey Sweet Sap, Kahlua, vanilla, espresso powder and salt.  Whirl until smooth, stopping to scrape down side of container once or twice.  Spoon into bowl, cover and chill for 1 hour or until serving time.  To serve, spoon mousse evenly into 6 martini glasses.  Garnish each with a dollop of whipped cream and chopped toasted nuts or toffee candy, if desired.

*To melt chocolate, chop into small pieces and place in microwave-safe bowl.  Heat in microwave oven on 50% power for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after each minute.


Chocolate Orange Mousse:  Replace Kahlua with 1 to 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur and add ¾ teaspoon finely grated orange zest.

Nutrients Per Serving (without topping/garnish):  Calories: 255 Total Fat: 10 grams; Saturated Fat: 7 grams; Trans Fat: 0 grams; Protein: 5 grams; Carbohydrates: 37 grams; Soluble Fiber:  1 gram; Sodium: 100 milligrams; Cholesterol:  0 milligrams; Calcium 49 milligrams


  1. Chocolate: is it really good for our health? By Honor Whitman

2. Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects, Journal or Proteom Research, 2009

3. Chocolate: Health Benefits, Precautions by Joseph Nordqvist

4.  Is Chocolate Goodyou’re your Heart? The Cleveland Clinic


© Lorelle Del Matto 2015

lorelle About lorelle

Crazy about cooking, eating and sharing good food – my work and leisure revolve around the kitchen. As a culinary dietitian my professional life encompasses nutrition counseling and education, recipe development, product development, food and nutrition writing, marketing communications, corporate test kitchen and consumer affairs management, food styling and work as a product spokesperson.

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