If you visit me regularly here or follow any of my social media accounts, then you are well-aware of how much I love to bake. Well, using the word 'love' to describe my affection for baking may not be the best word choice entirely because it definitely borders on obsession. But, I'll be the first to admit my problem and then happily share all about my huge collection of cake pans and cookie cutters that I absolutely adore. And, yes, I actually use them... all of them!
However, a little known fact about me is that I cope with auto-immune disease that is triggered, in large part, by a food allergy. More specifically, I'm mildly allergic to milk. My reaction to dairy-based foods is very mild and thankfully is no where near a life-threatening level of allergy. Heaven knows I've eaten enough mint chocolate chip ice cream to date to prove it's not going to kill me. However, I've been learning to deal with the sudden onset of uncomfortable psoriasis patches since my late-twenties and that's been a life-altering process in it's own right.
It took me a while to come around, but years ago I finally accepted that my food allergy was a real problem. Ultimately, I addressed it in the most obvious way: I fussed about it bunches and then cut dairy products out of my diet. Okay, to be perfectly honest, I pretty much cut them out of my diet. But, even by significantly reducing how often I consumed any dairy, the relief I felt from my symptoms was pretty profound and my annoying skin patches cleared up nearly entirely.
I'm no doctor, but the proof is definitely in the pudding for me that my health issues are in some way connected to my milk allergy (yes, that cheesy pun was totally intended).
Nonetheless, I still love to cook all kinds of cheese-smothered meals for my family. However, nowadays there's usually a modified version of whatever cheesy dinner you all see in a picture set aside just for me. I've been living this sort of double-life at dinnertime for so long now that it's really become second nature for me.
Now, I'm not planning to make any dramatic changes to the overall content of my blog, but I will post more of the dairy-free recipes I make for myself here in the future. I'm sharing about myself just in case anyone's curious to know where my motivation to make dairy-free dishes is coming from. I really do eat a lot of delicious dairy-free meals and (more importantly) desserts!
I also have family members that cope with Celiac disease and I'm excited about throwing more wheat-free recipes into the mix here as well.
Wow, that was deep for a second, right? Anyhoo, now about this awesome dessert recipe!
The inspiration for this creamy treat came from a vegan chocolate mousse recipe I read about in advertisement issued by my local grocery store chain. The pictures beside the printed recipe looked amazing, but I was a bit put off by the use of tofu in the dessert. I'm so glad I finally tried it because it was good stuff.
However, to suit my taste I wanted it to be a bit sweeter and I craved a bigger punch of chocolate flavor, so I added some sifted powdered sugar, more melted chocolate and used chocolate-flavored almond milk instead of the plain stuff. Trust me, you won't believe you're eating tofu. It's very much like a scrumptious, dairy-based mousse and you'll probably want a second serving. Seriously, you'll never miss all that heavy cream!
Here's my adapted version of that (surprisingly delicious) vegan chocolate mousse recipe. Depending on the dish size you choose it should yield 5-6 servings.
Easy Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse
- 16 ounces pasteurized soft/silken tofu (soft/silken tofu are the same thing)
- 1 cup chocolate-flavored almond milk (I used Silk brand Dark Chocolate Almond Milk)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces (1 cup) dairy-free, semi-sweet chocolate chips or crumbled-chocolate bar, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4-1/2 cup sifted, powdered sugar (sweeten to taste)
1. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tofu from the water and allow as much of the excess water as possible to drain on a tea towel or a paper towels. Don't try to squeeze it, just gently roll it about on the towels.
2. Place the drained tofu pieces into a blender, add the chocolate almond milk and vanilla extract. Allow it to blend for just a few seconds until the ingredients are well-mixed.
3. Stir the blended tofu mixture with a wooden spoon and scrape the sides. Add in the melted chocolate and then blend it briefly again until well-mixed. Finally, pour in the sifted sugar and blend it all together once more until it's completely smooth. About a 45 seconds to one minute should do it, but bit longer if needed.
4. Pour the chocolate mousse evenly into ramekins or small dessert bowls. Cover and chill for at least 2-3 hours before serving so it can set up.