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December 10, 2016
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The mousse that roared

Silken Chocolate Mousse is a non-dairy mousse made with soy milk and tofu.
Photos by Laura Silverman

The first one combines chocolate soy milk, silken tofu and a hit of Kalhúa with melted chocolate. Whizz this in the blender and chill. You will be astonished by the decadent results, particularly for something so relatively low in calories and fat (and so easy to make). I like to serve this mousse with a topping of spicy candied pumpkin seeds. They make a nice textural counterpoint, but you could also try some chopped crystallized ginger, or toasted almonds, or a spoonful of crème fraîche, if you throw vegan caution to the wind. The other one contains just two ingredients—chocolate and water—and requires a simple but brilliant technique developed by molecular gastronomist Hervé This. All you do is melt the chocolate with a bit of water, pour this into a bowl over an ice bath and whisk like mad. In a few short minutes it miraculously becomes mousse! It’s intense and ridiculously simple, sort of like falling in love. But with more whipping.

[Read Laura Silverman’s food column, Relish Every Day, in The River Reporter on the fourth week of every month.]

Silken Chocolate Mousse
Serves 6
1/2 cup organic chocolate soy milk
10 ounces best quality semi- or bittersweet chocolate
12 ounces silken tofu
2 tablespoons Kahlua
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
Sea salt

In a small saucepan, bring the chocolate milk to a simmer. Cool while you melt the chocolate in a double boiler. (If you don’t have one, just use a metal or glass bowl set over a pan of hot water.) Remove from heat.
Combine the soy milk, silken tofu, melted chocolate, Kahlúa, almond extract, if using, and a generous pinch of sea salt in a blender and puree until completely smooth. (An immersion blender also works here.) Taste and adjust for flavor, as needed
Chill in one large bowl or 6 ramekins for at least 2 hours or overnight. The mousse sets up perfectly as it cools.

Whipped Chocolate Mousse

Serves 4
10 ounces best quality bittersweet chocolate
1 cup water
Flaky sea salt

Create an ice bath in a large bowl with lots of ice and a little cold water. Nestle a smaller bowl in the ice bath.
Place the chocolate and the water in a small pot and heat over a medium flame. Whisk until mixture is melted and smooth, 3-5 minutes.
Immediately pour melted chocolate into the bowl in the ice bath. Vigorously whisk chocolate mixture until thick, 3-5 minutes. The chocolate should be fluffy and form a mound when dolloped with the whisk (it should generally have the texture and appearance of mousse). If the mixture does not thicken, add a bit more chopped chocolate and re-melt over the heat, then whisk again. Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of sea salt.
*Make this in the interlude between dinner and dessert, or prepare it ahead of time, but be prepared to rewhip it for a minute before serving.