This deliciously creamy chocolate orange mousse, made with walnuts, tahini, and a sprinkle of espresso has a deep and satisfying flavor. And it's so simple to make (just blend and freeze) that it makes for a lovely no-fuss dessert.
The other day I wanted to make some vegan chocolate mousse for company, but rather than going for my favorite chocolate mousse pots recipe, I needed to make a treat that's cashew-free since one of my guests was allergic.
Of course, I could have gone with a simple avocado-based chocolate mousse (always an easy go-to), but I didn't have any ripe avocados on hand...
And that's how I arrived at this vegan chocolate orange mousse instead. Walnuts are used as a base, and then tahini for some creaminess, and orange and espresso to add some more depth to this treat.
Note on the recipe: this made three to four servings in the ramekins you see pictured (depending on how high you fill), however you could make five to six smaller portions if you prefer, since these types of desserts are somewhat rich and a little goes a long way. Or you can just split a portion with someone special :)
P.S. If you love the chocolate + orange + walnut combo, you might enjoy these candy bar cookies as well.Print
Chocolate Orange Mousse
A deliciously creamy and flavorful chocolate orange mousse, made with walnuts, tahini, and a sprinkle of espresso. Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free recipe.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 servings
- Category: Chocolate
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: Vegan, Dessert
- 1 cup walnut halves, pre-soaked and strained*
- 2 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 6 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp hulled tahini
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp orange extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp espresso powder
- a handful of crushed freeze-dried raspberries
- a handful of crushed pistachios
- a few blue cornflour petals
1. Blend all chocolate mousse ingredients in a power blender until completely smooth.
2. Divide this mixture between 3 ramekins. Sprinkle with desired decorative toppings.
3. Freeze for 3-4 hours. When ready to serve, thaw out lightly on the counter and enjoy!
*To pre-soak nuts: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Additional Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.
Keywords: Chocolate Orange Mousse (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)
Could I use orange blossom water instead of orange extract? That’s what I have.
Hi Johanna. Yeah, absolutely. You might just want to use a bit less or more to taste depending on how strongly the flavor comes through.
Could I used Tahini that's in the jar, that's been ground, like what I use in hummus?
I can't find them in any other form in my store.
I'm so excited to try your recipes!
My daughters and I have taken to having afternoon tea together after school, and I really want to shift to some healthier options for finger foods/ treats.
Gluten free, soy free and vegan recipes do exist, but to make them healthier seems to be a very limited window. I can't wait to explore your site more!
Hi Brandee, do you mean store-bought jarred tahini? If so, then for sure. That's what I used here.
Pretty much any common tahini will work here. When I mentioned "hulled" tahini I referred to a type. It's basically your typical jarred tahini -- most common variety. Unhulled in contrast is a bit darker, the jar will be labeled as such, and it's got a stronger and "nuttier" flavor. I prefer the lighter version here though, even though the other kind will work too.
I hope your daughter enjoys all the treats you're making :)
I finally made this, and of course it was super tasty. I always find thick mixtures like this are super difficult to get out of my Vitamix. You can't pour it, and it's hard to get a spoon or spatula to scrape out all the precious cargo. I didn't want to waste it, so I added a few tablespoons (maybe a half cup) of leftover almond mylk and blended until I got all the residual mousse off the sides. The result was an absolutely delightful hot chocolate beverage.
In the future, I'll probably use my food processor for the mousse, but I'll be using my Vitamix to make a diluted hot chocolate version. Thanks for creating this!
Hey Audrey! This looks so yummy and because my son is allergic to cashew it would be perfect for him! Just as an FYI, our allergy specialist told us that if a person is allergic to cashew, then they will be allergic to pistachio (and vice versa). Apparently the two are closely related. He told us to keep away from both.
Hi Brenda. That's interesting. Good to know. Just read up about it and you're right, most people with cashew allergies will also react with pistachios. Will def keep that in mind for future cashew-free recipes. Good thing they're just decorative here :) so unessential. I just added them for a bit of color, but so many other things these can be decorated with (chocolate shavings, chocolate chips, etc.).
I believe that correlation applies if you have a true cashew allergy by the way, as opposed to just a sensitivity (which can be triggered for a number of reasons). For some people having had a poison ivy rash (especially repeated or strong reaction) can lead to raw cashew sensitivity down the road (it's a sensitivity to the "anacardic acids" that's found in both) -- my friend appears to fall into that category unfortunately. But pistachios are thankfully fine for her.
Teresa F. says
I saw this recipe in my Inbox this morning and didn't even wait to finish my coffee before I had to make it. I had all the ingredients in my pantry, so was excited to try it. It was so easy to make, but took a bit of time to get it to a nice, smooth texture because I don't have the 'bad boy blender' that you have. I just got the ramekins into the freezer and will have it with my company tonight while playing cards. I think the hardest part is not eating it right out of the blender and waiting for it to freeze! Absolutely delicious! Lots of flavour and really nice, decadent treat. Thank you!
Ha. I just love it when the pantry meets a recipe that works :D Enjoy these!
Would the walnuts need to be soaked in recipes like this and your No-Bake Candy Bar Cookies recipe?
I also posted questions on your Almond, Rosemary & Pine Cake recipe some time ago, but it hasn't been answered yet. Thanks!
Hi Joanne, yes, they should be soaked and sorry about that -- I initially published the recipe and forgot to mention that, but then updated the recipe to reflect the correct instructions, but sometimes there are "caching" issues where a website takes longer to update in real time, so you must have seen it before it updated it for you. But yes, the soaked nuts help things to blend up more smoothly (though a good blender can handle the nuts unsoaked too, but with a bit more liquid in the recipe to get things going in the pitcher).
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you about the Almond cake yet either -- I had a huge backlog of comments to work through when I got back from the holidays and I just haven't managed to work through them all yet.