I recently reintroduced chocolate into my diet, after I eliminated it for six-and-a-half months while following the Autoimmune Protocol. So, naturally, when I was choosing which recipes to cook from Amy Densmore’s debut cookbook, The Paleo Cupboard Cookbook, I chose the Creamy Chocolate Mousse (page 252). I mean, it wasn’t even a question!
Amy’s blog was one of the first that I found almost two years ago (TWO YEARS!) when I first discovered and started following the Paleo lifestyle. I’ve never been big on vinegar-based coleslaw, but her coleslaw recipe is one of my favorites. She’s so adept at creating recipes across a variety of cuisines; although many recipe authors choose one cuisine and stick with that, Amy’s a pro at creating Paleo versions of dishes from a variety of cuisines. The same is true in The Paleo Cupboard Cookbook.
I was fortunate enough to meet Amy at Paleo f(x) earlier this year, through my good friend Mel. Amy is one of my favorite bloggers to follow, because frankly, she’s downright hysterical. She posts the funniest memes, and she’s always good for a bright, amusing post. Plus, she’s super friendly and sweet. I can only imagine that she’s an incredibly fun and fantastic mother to her kiddos! I don’t know if she’s going on a book tour, but if she does, you definitely need to make it a priority to go if she visits your city!
So, while I would’ve loved to cook more recipes from the cookbook for my review (and there were plenty that I tagged that are even AIP-friendly), by the time it came around to cook and write this review, I was exhausted, unfortunately. (Rest assured that I’ll cook from this often in the future, though.) I did a pretty good job of catching up on sleep and raising my energy levels over the summer, but since going back to work full-time, it’s been more of a struggle again. It didn’t help that the week leading up to my cooking, photographing, and writing session was more hectic than usual. Therefore, despite the 140+ totally and completely drool-worthy recipes available in The Paleo Cupboard, I made two to write about in this review.
I had every intention of cooking up the Orange Chicken on page 118, but time got away from me. However, I did attempt something that I’ve never attempted before: I made her recipe for ghee! There are obviously recipes for homemade ghee available in other cookbooks and on other blogs, but I decided that now was a good time to give it a go. I bought Kerrygold grass-fed butter at Costco for the occasion, and I went ahead with the attempt. Amy’s instructions for the ghee were super easy to follow; my biggest challenge (which has nothing to do with her recipe) was that I had to use a large saucepan, which was much too big and made it hard to skim off the milk proteins. However, my small saucepan was being used for the Creamy Chocolate Mousse, so I had to make do!
Making ghee really is as simple as melting butter, skimming off the milk proteins that float to the top, and letting it cool. You do have to pour it through a fine mesh strainer, and I noticed that some of the solids from the bottom of the pan still got through the strainer, but oh well. Amy’s instructions say to let the ghee cool completely and then put it in the refrigerator, so I did that until it solidified, but then I put it in the pantry. My understanding is that ghee is shelf-stable, but…I guess I’ll find out if it’s not! Obviously, I took my photograph while it was still in its liquid form; maybe I’ll update this post someday with photographs of beautiful, creamy ghee. 🙂
While the butter was melting and simmering, I also whipped up a batch of Amy’s Creamy Chocolate Mousse. As you can probably tell from the photos, my batch didn’t come out very mousse-like at first. I’ve always struggled with whipping coconut cream, and this time around was no exception. I think too much of the coconut water from the can got left with the cream, so it was a little too runny when I whipped it with the hand mixer. After an hour of chilling in the fridge, the mousse concoction was still basically a nice chocolate syrup. I will say that I observed that after more time in the fridge, it became more mousse-like. Again, because I was so tired, I really couldn’t find the energy to take new photographs. Maybe another time!
Aside from my whipped coconut cream issues, this stuff is gold. Like, seriously, I might live off of the chocolate mixture for the rest of my life. I can’t even understand how it’s so delicious. My mind is boggled. I used regular unsweetened cocoa powder, as well as my favorite raw honey and Tin Star Food’s Brown Butter Ghee. I started to get worried once I took this mixture off of the heat, because it started to separate, but after adding in the gelatin mixture and reheating it slighlty, it recombined nicely. And that’s when my boyfriend and I swiped some with our fingers and discovered just how freaking amazing it tasted. We may or may not have done our best to get every last little bit off of the whisk and out of the saucepan. Shhhh!
If you compare my photos to Amy’s photo in the cookbook, you’ll see that, sadly, they look quite different. Amy’s actually looks like a light fluffy mousse, and mine…doesn’t. Sad face. But! I’m okay with that, because it was delicious, and I wasn’t expecting it to come out exactly like hers because of the quality of the brand of coconut milk I bought. (And I’m just not that great of a cook that I can get my recreations to look exactly like the recipe creator’s versions.) Really, what I’m trying to say is that I now have an excellent excuse to make this again (with a higher-quality brand of coconut milk/cream).
Fortunately for you, this Creamy Chocolate Mousse is one of the recipes that Amy gave permission to be shared, so you’ll find it below! I suggest you run, not walk, to the nearest grocery store to get the necessary ingredients and then come back home to make it immediately. Don’t forget to lick clean any utensils that touch the chocolate mixture, and you can probably go ahead and lick clean the bowl or glass in which you portion the mousse (after you eat it with a spoon in a civilized manner, of course). Really, it’s that good, and so is the rest of the cookbook–it’s really just an incredibly user-friendly and overall fantastic cookbook. It’s available now, so be sure to put it on your holiday wish list!
This is an easy make-ahead dessert that both kids and adults love. You can serve it plain or dress it up a little by garnishing it with Whipped Coconut Cream (page 261) and berries.
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon grass-fed gelatin
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1/4 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup ghee (page 320) or coconut oil
- Cream from 2 (13.5-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk (see page 315) or 2 cups homemade coconut cream (page 315)
- Whipped Coconut Cream (page 261), for topping (optional)
- Fresh berries, for topping (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract and water. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and set aside to bloom for 10 minutes.
- Combine the honey, cacao powder, and ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, whisking frequently, then remove from the heat. Stir in the gelatin mixture and whisk again until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the coconut cream with a hand mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture and continue to beat until combined. Taste and add more cacao powder if you want a stronger chocolate taste, blending with the hand mixer until fully combined.
- Spoon into bowls or glasses, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve with whipped coconut cream and fresh berries if desired.
Recipe shared with permission by Amy Densmore.