Pumpkin Swirl Dark Chocolate Mousse

October has had it’s own lovely messages telling us the autumn season is in full swing. October shows us wonderful changes everywhere—not just in the trees and not just colorful hues. Sometimes October shows us fluffiness!

FLUFFY PLANT

Around here, October shows us floatiness, too! Being outside in the crisp fall air is conducive to dropping in and saying “Hello” to folks!

BALLOON UP CLOSE 2

October brings us orange things too.

BITTERSWEETPAINT

And Halloweeny things.

HALLOWEEN TREES

And harvesty things.

free_plenty_of_pumpkins_wallpaper-426951-1286854509

You see where I’m going here? These are just the inspiration I need for October edition of Mousse!

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE SWIRL MOUSSE

Pumpkin Swirl Dark Chocolate Mousse – Serves 8

This is incredibly simple to make! Start off with a batch of tofu-based dark chocolate mousse:

  • 12 ounces silken tofu
  • 2/3 cup 100% cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or more, as needed, for desired thickness

Blend it all up and put it in the refrigerator in a covered container. Then blend up the pumpkin part.

  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 12 ounces silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour

Watch those spices! They can easily be too much. Taste and adjust and be sure to refrigerate this mousse for at least half an hour in a covered container. You will find that the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices need some time to blend themselves in and become “one” with the mousse. Then you can play with the two mousses any way you want!

Results:  I liked the pumpkin mousse but only after it sat overnight in the refrigerator, When it was just freshly made, the spices overwhelmed the pumpkin flavor.

Hubbin’ — not feeling the pumpkin love.

Neither of us liked our first serving which had about equal amounts of dark chocolate and pumpkin.

I put the next serving together with a little dark chocolate mousse in the bottom of the dish, then the pumpkin and then a small swirl of the chocolate on top. Much better! I decided on a garnish of chopped roasted, salted pistachio nuts. Skin them so you get the green color.

At this rate, my pumpkin will be gone before the dark chocolate mousse is used up, That’ll be just fine for my Hubbin’! In fact, I’d be very happy with just the pumpkin mousse which is far lighter.

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Time Flies When You’re Having Mousse

I can’t believe how fast time flies when your having mousse! It was only last December when I was dreaming and scheming to make a different dark chocolate mousse every month and now I’m about to show you my seventh mousse—for July.

I have been thinking about what kind of mousse recipe I’ll get into. I’ve already tried strictly traditional French a la Julia Child, mousse with egg whites but no yolks, mousse with yolks and whites, mousse with cream, mousse with butter, mousse with sugar, mousse with dates, mousse with cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate.  I thought I’d covered the gamut of basic mousse recipes until my friend reminded me of one more . .

Mousse made with avocado!

Moose (1998) Alaska Office of Economic Development
He’s a nice chocolate color for a big ol’ Guacamoussie, isn’t he? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vegan Dark Chocolate Chili Mousse Pie

  • Three ripe but firm organic avocados
  • 1/2 cup of brown rice syrup
  • 6 drops of liquid stevia
  • 1 cup of 100% pure cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pure dark chili powder
  • Couple pinches of salt
  • Almond or your fave non-dairy milk as needed to adjust the density
  • Baked and cooled pie crust of your choice
  • Garnish of choice

Puree it all up, taste and adjust, pour it into the finished crust and chill.

But before you do, keep reading—Especially if you’re a sweet freak!!

As you probably realized a long time ago, this is not one of those gorgeously perfect, look-what-you-can-do-if-try-to-be-like-me food blogs.  My style could be described as down-home realism. Why just look at that crust (which was incredibly flaky---my best ever) and "someone pinched off a few pieces of it before the photo was taken!
As you probably realized a long time ago, this is not one of those gorgeously perfect, look-what-you-can-do-if-try-to-be-like-me food blogs. My style could be described as down-home realism. Why just look at that crust (which was incredibly flaky—my best ever) and you’ll see that “someone” pinched off a few pieces of it before the photo was taken! The garnish is a sprinkle of granulated coconut “sugar.”

The results?  

An avocado base for this mousse is by far the richest tasting of any mousses I’ve made so far. We loved the texture, the richness and were pleased that the mousse didn’t actually taste like avocados!  Also the dark red chili powder was just the right amount—you could taste the hint of chili but it didn’t overwhelm the mousse and it enhanced the flavor of the chocolate in a very unique way. Not particularly a light mousse, though.

This was also an extremely chocolatey mousse, especially compared to the date-based ones I made for May and June.  It had a truly dark chocolate taste.  But it was not sweet! At first I was not even going to share this recipe because of that. But me and my Hubbin’, well, we weren’t going to ignore a dark chocolate chili mousse pie just sitting there waiting to be eaten!

We both said the same thing about it—“It’s not sweet at all but the taste really grows on you!”

This mousse, though not sweet, was not the least bit bitter. I liked it a great deal just the way it is because, frankly, I do not need things to be extremely sweet.

If you really do love sweets, you could make this sweet with honey, maple syrup or something else.  But I don’t use much honey and I think maple syrup would not be a compatible taste. I also don’t use agave as it reacts in your body just like high fructose corn syrup.

What to do?

I had several ideas that I will be trying and maybe we’ll re-visit this mousse pie down the road when I’ve experimented.  One thought was to use a sweet crust such as a pressed date-nut kind of crust. That would probably be very good!

Another idea—and this will rock your dessert boat—is to make this mousse into a savory non-dessert mousse.  That really intrigues me and that was my first idea when I tried the mousse before it was even in the pie crust.  I’m going to have to do some sniffing and tasting—aromatherapy if you will—to see what savory herbs will combine with this mousse.  And then I can imagine serving it in an individual little crust, perhaps made with filo dough, along with a dark green salad such as arugala. Why not? I made a savory dark chocolate sauce for beets, didn’t I?

I’m liking that idea!!  I’m going to work on this and I’ll get back to you in August when it’s dark chocolate mousse time once again. In the meantime, I think I’ll try my dark chocolate chili mousse for second breakfast . . .