This time of year, it’s hard not to notice all the decadent drop-dead gorgeous desserts on magazine covers, in bakery shops, and all over the internet. However, if you’re on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet or just trying to eat a little lighter this holiday season, it can be a challenge. Not so, however, if you make these little shot glasses of dairy-free Chocolate Mousse with Pomegranate Gelatin, garnished with pomegranate seeds. Although I only intended to make Chocolate Mousse, I created a simple pomegranate gelatin using some extra pomegranate juice leftover from a Pomegranate Meyer Lemon Salad Dressing I had made for a fresh berry salad. I also had some extra pomegranate seeds in my fridge, so I decided to sprinkle them on top of the Chocolate Mousse. Before I knew it, I had this festive holiday dessert.
To make this dessert dairy-free and vegan, I used coconut milk and agar agar powder (instead of gelatin which is derived from animal collagen). I had made Mango Panna Cotta this summer using agar agar so I knew it set up quickly. Not only did I use it to setup the Chocolate Mousse, but also to make a layer of Pomegranate Gelatin. I ran out of Pomegranate juice, but had a little coconut milk left, so decided to make some Coconut Cream, again using some agar agar powder to set it up. A thin layer of Coconut Cream topped off a few more of these creamy Chocolate Mousse dessert cups. With a few pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top, these cute little shot glasses of Chocolate Mousse made for an elegant dessert.
My little guy hovered over me, impatiently waiting for me to finish taking a few photos of these cute little Chocolate Mousse Pomegranate Gelatin cups. Within a few minutes, all the shot glasses were devoured.
This week, Anne-Sophie Pic is being recognized by a group of bloggers as one of the Top 50 Women Game Changers in Food. In 2007, Anne-Sophie Pic was the first woman to win a third Michelin star in 50 years. A petite, softly spoken and revered chef, she has headed the kitchen at La Maison Pic in the south-eastern French town of Valence for more than a decade, and is only the fourth woman in history to hold a third Michelin star. This year, she is being recognized as the World’s Best Female Chef, a coveted title, a category introduced for the first time this year from the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards.
According to Anne-Sophie Pic, “frank, distinct tastes, new flavor combinations and respect for each ingredient are some of the tenets of her cooking.” As a fourth-generation chef, Anne-Sophie Pic grew up in a Michelin-starred kitchen. The restaurant received its third Michelin star under her grandfather in 1934 for the first time. Since then, all three generations, including her father have received three Michelin stars for the restaurant.
This Chocolate Mousse with Pomegranate Gelatin was inspired by Clotilde’s (of Chocolate and Zucchini) interpretation of Anne-Sophie Pic’s Variation Poire-Chocolat, one of her staple recipes. The original recipe (which I was unable to locate) was a milk-based chocolate jelly, held together by gelatin, and topped with slivers of vanilla-poached pear and crumbled butter cookies. Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini modified the recipe to use agar agar instead of gelatin, and I modified the recipe further to make it dairy-free, as well as adding my own holiday trimmings.
Chocolate Mousse with Pomegranate Gelee Recipe
- 3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate chopped
- 1 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons organic sugar
- 1 teaspoon agar agar powder
- 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/2 teaspoon organic sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder
Coconut Cream (optional)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon organic sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder
- grated dark chocolate
- pomegranate seeds
To make Chocolate Mousse
Place chocolate, coconut milk, sugar, agar agar powder and orange extract in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until chocolate is melted. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Let cool for a few minutes before spooning into serving glasses. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes to an hour.
To make Pomegranate Gelatin
Place pomegranate juice, 1/2 teaspoon organic sugar and 3/4 teaspoon agar agar powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; stir until sugar and agar agar powder are dissolved. Let sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Spoon on top of Chocolate Mousse. Chill until set.
To make Coconut Cream
Place 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1 teaspoon organic sugar and 1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; stir until sugar and agar agar powder are dissolved. Let sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Spoon on top of Chocolate Mousse. Chill until set.
For the Chocolate Mousse, I used a slightly modified version of Chocolate and Zucchini's adaptation of Anne-Sophie Pic's recipe, then came up my own pomegranate gelee and coconut cream as a way to dress this dessert up a little. I served it in little shot glasses and small dessert cups, sprinkled with some pomegranate seeds. You may wish to make more pomegranate gelatin instead of coconut cream.