Dessert Discovery

My husband and I have a special tradition for Valentine’s Day. It began when we were dating: he called my grandma to ask her what my favorite meal was so he could prepare it for me. She told him I would like roast beef, mashed potatoes, and green beans– which I did– and our first Valentine’s Day celebration was a success. He’s been cooking the same thing every February 14th (or thereabouts) since that first time way back in 2004.

Thing is, dessert isn’t part of the package. Or, more accurately, dessert is served out of a package. 😉 The main course is the feature of the evening and the focus of our celebration, so over the years he will just buy something, or I might buy something, or I might make something. And once I discovered my sensitivity to basically every foundational ingredient of every dessert, desserts became much more complicated. So I’ve taken over that portion of the Valentine’s Day meal.

This year was no exception. You might say that on this day I literally “had one job,” as the saying goes.

And I almost forgot to do it! Several days before V-Day I had found a recipe for chocolate mousse which I thought would be well suited to allergy-friendly substitutions, I purchased ingredients, and I thought through the process (important!). I planned to prepare this sweet treat on Sunday afternoon so it would be chilling in the fridge before Mike’s preparations were going full tilt and I wouldn’t get in his way.

But I took a nap instead.

I realized my error as Mike was about to serve up the beefy, potatoey, beany goodness. I may have shed a tear. How could I have forgotten the dessert??? Sigh. I decided I would make it anyway, because my heart was set on it, and we could enjoy it as a late-night treat.

I’m glad I was stubborn! This mousse whipped up like a dream, set more quickly than I thought it would, and tasted amazing. And since an easy, “normal” tasting treat like this is so hard to come by in allergy-friendly-dessert-land, I had to share.

This is the recipe from Lemon Tree Dwelling that saved my Valentine’s Day. All I did was sub in a can of full fat coconut milk for the heavy cream and I still ended up with a great taste and consistency. I heaped in some extra cocoa, as well. I feel like it could handle more alterations, like less sugar, sugar substitute (i.e. stevia drops), carob instead of cocoa, etc. etc. But this time I went for it, keeping the sugar and only amending it to be dairy-free.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the can of coconut milk should be refrigerated for at least a few hours beforehand. I usually keep one can in the fridge at all times, just in case. 

You’ll notice this recipe is for a “spiked” mousse, but it needn’t be. Try it without that extra liquid, then add a little water if it needs thinning out. I don’t have my own picture of this because I was in a frenzy when I made it. So enjoy Cathy’s lovely image and try her recipe if you want to whip up something special but so, so easy.

image from Lemon Tree Dwelling