This Paleo White Chocolate Mousse actually started off life as a panna cotta recipe. I don’t know if it happens a lot to other people, but I have a pretty consistent habit of changing my mind or experimenting mid way through a recipe.
I’d had my heart set on making a lovely grass fed gelatin based dessert ever since someone asked me for a recipe. So I happily set out to make a coconut milk panna cotta. Then I got to debating whether or not I should flavor it. I wanted to keep things light, so went with fresh lemon zest.
But then it happened. That moment when I went completely insane and found another ingredient that was just too tempting to put down. The intoxicatingly scented raw cacao butter was calling to me. Mmmm, cacao-y goodness! I mean, what could go wrong with adding a hint of white chocolate to something that was fragrant with lemon zest?
As it turns out, quite a bit. Because after I hurriedly threw my ingredients together and then waited an almost torturous amount of time for my dessert to chill and set… I got a mouthful of grainy, sand-like chocolate flavored stuff. It was not good. I mean, the flavor was fantastic. White chocolate and lemon is fantastic together. But there was no getting around the grossness of that texture. So now I will share with you exactly what I did to salvage that sand-fest of a dessert. Hoorah!
How to make Paleo White Chocolate Mousse
The first time that I made my Paleo White Chocolate Mousse, I melted all of my ingredients together, including my delicious raw cacao butter, before adding my grass fed gelatin. Then I just poured the mixture off into molds and waited expectantly. The problem with that plan? Cacao butter is a fat. So when it cooled down and then chilled in the refrigerator, the cacao butter separated from the other ingredients. And rose to the top of my molds, creating a layer of pure fat. Mmm, yummy. Paleo White Chocolate should not have a layer of pure fat on the top. Or bottom, depending on whether you used silicone tartlet molds like I did, or cute little ramekins for your desserts.
It was this layer of cacao butter fat which was making the horrible grainy texture. It also didn’t look so pretty. Plus, just to finish things off, instead of having a Paleo White Chocolate dessert, I had a layer of cacao butter and… a layer of set coconut gelatin. But the Paleo White Chocolate? It didn’t really exist because the ingredients wouldn’t stay incorporated. I needed to somehow get the fat from the cacao butter to emulsify so that when I chilled the Paleo White Chocolate Mousses, the ingredients would no longer separate. So here’s what I did.
- Bloomed my grass fed gelatin in a little water.
- Added all of my other Paleo White Chocolate Mousse ingredients to a saucepan and warmed them gently.
- Added the bloomed grass fed gelatin to the saucepan when the cacao butter had melted.
- Once the grass fed gelatin had dissolved, I poured everything into my blender and processed it for about 30 seconds: this emulsified the fats and created lovely air bubbles.
- Poured the Paleo White Chocolate Mousse mixture into adorable little silicone tartlet molds and waited eagerly for them to set.
The result? Perfectly smooth Paleo White Chocolate Mousses with a glorious hint of lemon. Yay! I decided to top my Paleo White Chocolate Mousses off with a Cranberry-Apple Compote: the tart-sweet fruit combination made a lovely pairing, if I do say so myself! These would be a great holiday dessert – got to make the most out of cranberry season! You can top the Paleo White Chocolate Mousses with the compote if you’re using ramekins or Mason jars to plate, or make molded versions like I did that can swim on a pool of cranberry goodness instead. Up to you!Print
Paleo White Chocolate Mousse with Lemon Zest & Cranberry-Apple Compote
This Paleo White Chocolate Mousse is fragrant with fresh lemon zest and topped with a naturally apple sweetened cranberry compote. Festive and healthy!
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 mins
- Yield: 4 - 8 servings, depending on ramekins or molds used. 1x
For the White Chocolate Mousse:
- 2 tsp grass fed gelatin
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 cup raw cacao butter (4 oz)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbl raw honey
- Zest of a lemon
For the Cranberry-Apple Compote:
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 cups apple, diced
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
To make the White Chocolate Mousse:
- Add the water to a bowl and sprinkle the grass fed gelatin over it. Set aside while the grass fed gelatin blooms.
- To a saucepan over low heat, add the coconut milk, raw cacao butter, 2 tsp vanilla extract, lemon zest and raw honey. Heat gently until the raw cacao butter has melted and all ingredients are combined.
- Add the bloomed grass fed gelatin and stir until it has dissolved into the warm mousse mixture.
- Pour the contents of the saucepan into a blender. Process until you see bubbles throughout the mixture, then pour off into silicone molds or into ramekins.
- Chill until set, at least 2 hours.
To make the Cranberry-Apple Compote:
- Add all ingredients to a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until softened, about 30 minutes.
- Add to a food processor and process until the texture is as you prefer. Chill until ready to serve.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the blending step! It is what emulsifies the cacao butter fat and prevents separation and graininess.
You may need to add more water to your fruit compote mixture. If it gets too dry, add a few tablespoons of water at a time.
This looks awesome! Thanks for this recipe.
I just made this, and it was delicious. One problem: even though I blended it at high speed for one full minute the coconut milk in the custard separated before it gelled, so it had a this watery layer on the bottom and a thick, hard white layer on top. I used coconut milk without emulsifiers, so is suspect that’s why it separated. Any tips for making this work?
I’m not sure, since I used the same type of coconut milk. I had that problem when I tried making this the first time without blending it, but blending the mixture before chilling prevented it. What kind of dish did you pour the mousse into to chill? I’ve noticed that glass dishes or mason jars can be a problem with separating coconut milk desserts, but I’m not sure why.