27 Jan 2013

Vegan Chocolate Orange Mousse with Candied Orange Peel

Let me firstly say, I am not a vegan as gluten free diet doesn't really blend with veganism, plus how on earth would I ever function without cheese (I've tried it and believe me it wasn't pretty)?!  I do however have friends who are and I do really respect it as a lifestyle choice for ethical reasons.  I love to try out vegan puddings as they can be surprising when they actually deliver on taste when you thought only thick, tasty double cream would do...but I digress.

Where do I even begin with this recipe.  It is so unbelievably simple and quick, yet fairly healthy.  I suppose calling it a 'mousse' is not entirely accurate as it contains no eggs or cream...but my goodness is it tasty!
To start you need to make the mousse.  You pop the tofu and 2-3 tbsps of agave syrup into a blender and give it a quick blast.  Then add a tsp of orange essence and the juice of the orange, but don't forget to save the peel.  I find the best way to do this is to quarter it, squeeze, remove the flesh and then set the peel aside.

You need to melt between 150-200g of dark chocolate.  I used one with 85% cocoa solids.  Once melted pour it in with the tofu mix and blend again.  You may need to use a spatula to scrape the chocolate that will inevitably get stuck to the sides.  If it isn't chocolatey enough for you, you can always add a tbsp or two of cocoa powder and blend again.

Once fully mixed through, pour into the containers of your choice and pop in the fridge.

To make the candied peel you need to remove all of the white pith and slice into 4cm thin ish strips.
Bring a small pan of water to the boil and then pop in the peel and once it reaches the boil again drain the water.  Repeat this again by boiling some more water, adding the peel and draining once boiled.
Then add 150ml of water and 80g caster sugar to the pan, stir well to dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil.  Add the peel and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Stir occasionally and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the water and sugar has turned to a thick syrup, then remove from the heat.
Be careful with your fingers at this point as you need to then roll and coat the strips of peel in the demerara sugar.  Put them on a plate and leave uncovered until you need to use them.
(Source BBC)
The mousse should take between 30-40 minutes to solidify slightly.  Then you can add your peel and enjoy!
I wanted to make some little 'shot pots' with some of my mousse and used these little skull shot glasses!  

The joy of this recipe is that you can change the flavours so easily.  I have made it using orange liqueur and soy milk instead of orange juice.  You could try all sorts of flavour combinations, perhaps cherry brandy and almond or hazelnut and strawberry!

I hope you have fun with this recipe and enjoy it even if you're not vegan.

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