No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Cake

Silken tofu is the wonder ingredient in most vegan chocolate mousse cakes, tarts and pies, cheesecakes, puddings, custards, trifles, even ice creams.

Certain factors make it almost irreplaceable in these desserts:

it has a creamy, silky texture.

it makes a great egg and whipped cream replacer.

it sets very well in the fridge.

having a neutral flavour, it absorbs the flavour of anything it combines with, leaving no vegetable aftertaste.

it is ready-made and requires only a quick blend.

Tofu makes the cake preparation so easy, it almost feels like you're cheating. In the interest of stimulating my creativity further, I've decided to try and replace it in future similar desserts.

Now, you may well be aware of the endless soy debate, but this post isn't about promoting it, it is rather about sharing a truly amazing cake recipe.

I've made several versions of this cake with different base and flavours and I must say this is the best. The two layers are so wonderfully balanced in terms of texture and taste, you simply can't stop at one slice.

The result is a rich, decadent, dark chocolate cake with hints of rum, orange and vanilla. The base is moist, sweet and crunchy, yet it doesn't require much chewing effort and each bite seems to just melt in your mouth. The cold chocolate mousse reminds me of the creamiest ice cream I have ever had.

While I advise sticking with these ingredients and amounts before tinkering with the recipe, you can go ahead and make a few changes if you like:

replace butter with more chocolate (25 g) and a little milk, for a low-fat version;
replace creamy coconut with some milk of your choice;
use graham crackers instead of biscuits;
omit walnuts for a smoother texture or replace them with almonds or pecans;
add 1 tsp strong coffee or bourbon instead of rum essence;
place pieces of fresh fruit on the biscuit base before adding the mousse.

This dark chocolate cake is so delicious, it is perfect for big events where your aim is to surprise the guests and make them ask for seconds. It's such an easy recipe that takes no more than one hour to prepare and requires no baking. I know how hard it is to taste this divine chocolaty mousse and to wait for several hours to fully enjoy it, but trust me, you really need to let this cake set properly in the fridge for all the flavours to come through.

And now on to the magic recipe:

To start, line the bottom of a 20 cm (8") loose-bottom pan with parchment paper (the paper should be bigger than the pan so that you can peel it off easily).

Biscuit Base

In a bowl mix:

15 rich tea biscuits (about 115 g), blend them into a coarse powder (or crush them with your hands)

1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1/4 cup raisins

zest of 1 medium orange (make sure to grate only the shiny orange layer)

In a double boiler (a glass bowl over a pan with boiling water, the bottom of the bowl not touching the water) melt together:

50 g chocolate (60%), broken into small pieces

70 g butter (vegan)

2 heaped Tb powdered sugar

4 Tb creamy coconut

Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon and remove from heat before it melts completely, then continues stirring until it's all melted. It has to be warm, not hot.

Add 1 tsp rum essence and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Spoon into the prepared pan and even out the surface. Refrigerate while making the chocolate mousse.

Chocolate Mousse

In a double boiler (as above) melt together:

200 g chocolate (60%), broken into small pieces (you can add a slightly bitter edge to this mousse by using chocolate with a higher cocoa content, 70-80%)

1/4 cup agave nectar

2 Tb creamy coconut

Follow the same instructions as above. Separately blend into a smooth cream 1 block firm silken tofu (349 g).

Pour it over the chocolate, add 1 tsp vanilla extract and using a wooden spoon fold the chocolate cream into the tofu rather than whisking, to prevent air bubbles from forming and to obtain a smooth texture.

Pour the mousse over the base and even out the surface with the back of a spoon (leave a few waves for a beautiful finish).

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight). Remove from the fridge, carefully remove the cake from the pan and peel off the paper (the base should be hard enough by now so you can easily hold it in one hand while peeling the paper off with the other).

Place on a plate and slice.

Decorate the slices with chocolate ganache (see Carrot Cake for the recipe and nutritional information about chocolate and walnuts).

Note: I'm not a big fan of very sweet desserts, but if you are, then you can add 1-2 heaped Tb powdered sugar to the mousse while melting the chocolate.

With all that chocolate, butter, tofu, coconut and walnuts, you might think that after having 1 or 2 slices you will feel sluggish, but don't worry, this cake is light and its nutritious value will only add to your overall health. Share it with someone special and watch their reaction:) Then come back here and leave me your feedback in a comment:)


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