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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Chocolate Mousse Cups: Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free!

It's that time of year where sugary treats become a staple in our diets. I set out to make a dessert that is delicious but also free from sugar, flour and dairy.

I'm a big proponent of dark chocolate for its healthy properties and I love to use maple syrup in place of sugar. The rest all just fell into place- using almonds to make a dairy-free, protein rich milk and a little coffee and Grand Marnier for a hint of flavor to create a deep, creamy chocolate pudding-like mousse. Really nice.

This is the time to use your cute ramekins or little glass containers. I used a number of different dishes for a more rustic effect. If you are OK with powder sugar, sift a little on top for a finished look. If you are eating dairy, top with a little whipped cream. Or creme brulee the top of each with a bit of sugar and a kitchen torch.

The other thing I really like about this dessert is that you can serve it hot, right from the oven or serve it chilled. The preference is yours. Perfect for a brunch and even better ending a cold night; either way this Fat and Happy treat is one you can eat and without the guilt.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: To achieve the smoothest texture, be sure to use a fine mesh nut strainer when straining the milk otherwise you will have tiny nuts and coffee bits in your pudding (which might be okay if you want a grainy, chewy texture.)

Chocolate Mousse Cups: Gluten and Sugar Free

1 heaping tbls coffee beans
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 cup water
2 tbls maple syrup
4 oz chocolate, 70% or more
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbls Grand Marnier
3 egg yolks
Boiling water

Makes 4-8 servings, depending on the size of ramekins you use.

Place the coffee beans, almonds and water in a pan- bring just to a simmer, cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Set the ramekins in a pan with tall sides, like a cake pan. Bring water to a boil, enough to pour into the pan and come up to half way on the ramekins.

While the oven is preheating and the water is boiling: place the coffee beans, almonds and water in a blender, blend on high for 2 minutes. This will chop the nuts and beans and create infused almond milk.

Strain the mixture into a pan using a fine mesh nut strainer and set over medium heat. Add the maple syrup and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisk until melted. Add in the vanilla and Grand Marnier.

Place the yolks in a bowl and whisk to break up. In a very, very slow stream add the hot chocolate milk to the eggs while whisking.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the ramekins, fill the pan with boiling water half way up the ramekins and place in the oven. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until the puddings are set. Remove from the oven and take the ramekins out of the pan. Cool slightly and serve warm or cool to room temperature, cover and place in the refrigerator until read to serve for up to 3 days.

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