Chocolate mousse has always been a special treat usually served for the holidays or Valentine’s Day. Recently, I discovered a way to lighten it up and developed this dark chocolate orange mousse.
In my culinary nutrition course I received an assignment to cook a dessert using tofu, which took me out of my comfort zone – but very successfully! Even my husband didn’t realize I had made this with tofu until I told him. He loved it!
I have found that tofu is really pretty easy to cook with. It’s a great plant-based protein that you can use in a variety of dishes. I used silken tofu for this recipe because it’s smooth and creamy and really has no flavor of its own so it picks up the dark chocolate and orange flavors without competing with it. There are other benefits of using tofu in this recipe too.
Silken tofu is basically coagulated soy milk. It is a great source of protein and has all the nutritional benefits of soy. Soy is rich in isoflavones, a plant compound called a phytoestrogen. That means it has some estrogen-like effects and can bind with estrogen receptors in our body. Research suggests that people who eat more soy foods have lower rates of heart disease.
In addition to the health benefits, what I love about tofu in this recipe is that it completely replaces the need for eggs and cream. You don’t have to worry about getting the eggs hot enough and the fat content goes way down. It’s dairy-free and egg-free for people who have allergy concerns.
I used 78% cocoa, which is kind of right in the middle and has a nice balanced chocolate flavor. You could go up or down in the percent cocoa or use semi-sweet or milk chocolate. I’m not someone who likes very sweet things, so dark chocolate is perfect.
Because it’s springtime and strawberries are in season I served these Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse cups with macerated strawberries for a hint of freshness but you could add any fruit or just some shaved chocolate and orange zest for a delicious dessert any time of the year!
Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse
- 3.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1-pound silken tofu
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur
- ½ cup sliced strawberries
- 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
Place chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler and melt slowly. If no double boiler is available, melt in a sturdy small saucepan over very low heat.
Whip tofu in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Add orange zest, agave syrup, salt and orange-flavored liqueur and whip until combined and smooth.
Add dark chocolate and combine thoroughly.
Divide mixture between four glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Top with macerated strawberries or other fruit right before serving.
To make the strawberries, place strawberries in a small bowl and mix with orange-flavored liqueur and orange zest. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.