Once in a while, a dessert emerges from my kitchen that is so decadent, so addictive, that Tony and I can’t even hold out until noon to dive in. This dairy-free German chocolate mousse parfait is indeed one of those delights. Light but rich layers of 4-ingredient dairy-free mousse and deeply luxurious coconut caramel, topped with the perfect dollop of vanilla whip and shaved dairy-free chocolate. And did I mention that the entire treat is eggless and vegan-friendly, too? In fact, it’s a top allergen-free recipe!
This post is sponsored by PASCHA.
German Chocolate Mousse with Three Creamy Dairy-Free Layers
I know what many of you are thinking – allergen-free chocolate, how can it be that decadent? In the past, allergen-free chocolate has been good, but not show-stopping. That all changed when PASCHA Chocolate emerged. I was asked to create an amazing, entertaining-worthy recipe for them, which was easy because their chocolate is creamy, rich, and oh-so balanced.
The German chocolate mousse itself has just 4 ingredients: dark chocolate, coconut cream, maple syrup, and vanilla. And though coconut forms the fluffy base, Tony tasted a generous spoonful on its own and said “It’s really good! Tastes like real chocolate mousse; I didn’t know it was coconut.”
Note that I use coconut sugar in the super-simple caramel for even more of that German chocolate dessert influence and a slightly lower sugar impact. It offers a deep flavor that is very grown-up. If you opt to use organic brown sugar, the end result will be a little sweeter.
About PASCHA: A Vegan, Allergen-Free, Organic Chocolatier
I had the opportunity to briefly interview Simon Lester, CEO and President of PASCHA. He started this conscientious company in the fall of 2012 with so much passion and integrity, that I just had to know more.
Where did the name “Pascha” evolve from?
Pachamama is a goddess revered by the Indigenous people, known as the Earth Mother. Therefore, Pascha was born from a desire to create the simplest, purest and most delicious chocolate from the earth, without any of the additives or ingredients which might trigger allergic reactions for those with food allergies or intolerances. We wanted to make an indulgent treat which an Earth Mother would create for you.
Pascha chocolate has an amazing list of credentials, none of which are easy or inexpensive. What made you decide to go all in right from the start?
Having the Organic, Fair Trade, Non-GMO, Kosher, and Vegan certification / verification icons appear on our packaging is critical. We want our customers to have the assurance that our chocolate is the purest, safest and meets the strict standards set forth by each of these certification and verification agencies. Pascha is very proud to have created products which meet these criteria and appreciate that it’s a challenge for customers to be certain that food products meet their individual needs and requirements. These credentials are pillars of Pascha, right from the start.
Sourcing good organic and fair trade chocolate can be more difficult than some people might think. Where do you source your chocolate from?
We select the chocolate from fair trade and organic suppliers in Latin America, currently all in Peru. The choice ultimately comes down to taste. We use beans from 3 different regions as we like the balanced taste that results.
Is it true that your facility is dedicated and free of top allergens?
YES! Absolutely! The facility is free from dairy, peanuts, nuts, soy, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat and gluten. While most people don’t think of chocolate and allergies, the reality is that almost every chocolate plant in the western world uses milk, various tree nuts, peanuts, soy and often wheat, gluten and egg.
Pascha is produced in a bean to bar process: in the same facility the bean goes in and chocolate comes out. So little chocolate is made this way but it is the only way to guarantee the purest possible product. Because of the difficulties of cleaning a chocolate manufacturing plant once these ingredients are inside the plant, a residual amount is left behind — which is the danger point for people with food allergies. Also, we produce as close as possible to the source of our pure ingredients, to preserve freshness and to reduce the possibility of contamination or spoilage in any way.
What made you decide to go this route?
I started my working life in the chocolate business in the UK. Chocolate has always been a passion of mine. I was also intrigued by the health aspects which dark chocolate offers (very high antioxidants) with many reported benefits (blood pressure, positive moods, etc) which people are looking for.
I later realized how life threatening and altering food allergies can be when one of my daughters had an anaphylactic reaction to food. Then the penny dropped that someone really needed to come out with a completely allergen-free, great-tasting organic chocolate. I felt chocolate should be made without unnecessary ingredients, like soy lecithin. I wanted people with allergies or without to enjoy a pure, terrific piece of chocolate.
Special Diet Notes: German Chocolate Mousse Parfaits
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and top food allergy-friendly!
- 1½ cups coconut cream, brought room temperature*
- 3.5 ounces 55% dairy-free dark chocolate, melted
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chilled coconut cream (the solid cream only)
- 1 tablespoon organic powdered sugar
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- ½ cup coconut sugar or organic brown sugar
- ⅓ cup full fat canned coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Dash salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Grated (or curls) dairy-free dark chocolate
- Place the coconut cream in a mixing bowl, and drizzle in the melted chocolate, maple syrup, and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer for 1 minute, or until well-combined and lightly whipped. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- While the mousse is chilling, place the chilled coconut cream, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small mixing bowl, and blend with a hand mixer until nice and whipped, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and place in the refrigerator.
- While the mousse and whip chill, whisk the sugar, coconut milk, oil, and salt together in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Bring to a bubble and cook, checking in to whisk often, for about 5 minutes. It should thicken a bit into a nice syrupy consistency.
- Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla and then coconut. Let sit to cool to room temperature.
- Briefly whip the mousse and vanilla whip again with a hand mixer (rinsing the beaters in cool water between each).
- If doing a single layer: Divide the mousse between 6 parfait glasses, divide the coconut caramel atop the mousse. Garnish with the vanilla whip and chocolate curls / shavings.
- If doing a double layer: Divide half the mousse between 6 parfait glasses, divide half the coconut caramel atop the mousse. Chill for 15 minutes. Top each with the remaining mousse, followed by the remaining coconut caramel. Garnish with the vanilla whip and chocolate curls / shavings.
**We find this amount of chocolate perfect, but for intense chocoholics who like a denser mousse, you can up the chocolate to 1¼ bars (125 grams).
Tried it this week, looks just like the picture and tastes AMAZING!
Awesome! Glad it worked out so well for you.
Looks so delicious and smooth and I can’t wait to try it!
Pinned one of your desserts earlier which left me with a chocolate craving and now this…..You’re killing me. Love the use of coconut sugar!
I aim to make dairy-free enticing! 🙂
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My wife and I wanted to make a dessert for our friends who just had a baby and she has to eat dairy and soy free. This recipe looks great but does not work. The chocolate mousse is not firm but really runny after beating It with a hand mixer for 3 or 4 minutes. It tasted fine it just would not set up properly. The Carmel sauce turned out great but wasn’t nearly enough to make a good layer and ended up sinking into the runny mousse. The whipped topping has the same issue as the mousse, it never gets fluffy. It’s just a gooey mess. Everything tastes good, the recipe just doesn’t work like milk products do.
Hi Dave, it sounds as if you didn’t use coconut cream. If you used solidified coconut cream as specified in the recipe, there is no way it wouldn’t set up and the whip will look just like my picture. Some full-fat coconut milks are not rich enough. Make sure you are only working with the cream and you will love the results. We have made it many times and it is no fail with the right ingredients! Glad you liked the caramel sauce. Please read the notes in my recipe – I explain how to get coconut cream and how to use it and I did state that you may want to double the caramel sauce if you are looking for a thicker layer or two layers, then you will want to double the batch. Enjoy!
Made this today and it’s amazing! The only thing I did differently was to toast the coconut and I think next time I might add some toasted pecans as well…thank you!
So glad you enjoyed it Leslie – brilliant on the toasting!
This looks absolutely amazing! I’d love to have you link up to Savoring Saturdays. It will go live at 7 pm this Friday. Yum! 🙂
Thanks Eva – I’ll take a look at it!
Looks great but any substitute for coconut products as coconut, tapoica and lactose issues. Could you use a lactaid product or other substitute like rice or almond? Thanks.
Hi Kelly, substituting for the coconut cream would be a whole different recipe. “milk” isn’t going to be thick enough. I use full-fat coconut milk and coconut cream in this recipe which are more equivalent to dairy heavy cream. If I were creating the recipe to be coconut-free, I would make a nut cream or would do a blend with avocado, but I would have to experiment with the ratios a bit.
This recipe sounds so decadent and i can’t wait to try it! I’m still new to the dairy-free world and i have a quick question. For the coconut milk in the caramel, are you using the liquid that was left behind in the can after “harvesting” the cream of the top or are you using a new can with the cream incorporated back into the milk?
Hi Holly, you are using all of that amazing, thick cream. The thin liquid can be saved and used in smoothies or other recipes (like coconut water), if desired.
I am all about that coconut caramel!
I want this dessert for breakfast right now! You certainly have a gift with creating elegant “must have now” puddings and mousses, my dear. 🙂 Great to learn about Pascha chocolate, too! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe on Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Alisa!
Aw, thanks so much Shirley! Yes, I LOVE creamy desserts – who says you need dairy? 🙂
This looks and sounds amazing. Thank you. I’ll have to share the information about Pascha with one of my friends who’s son is severely allergic to peanuts. She loves chocolate (who doesn’t?) and can’t have it very often.
Seriously, everyone deserves chocolate! They have new allergen-safe chocolate chips coming out soon, too, I’m excited for those and will review soon!
Wowzers… how incredible. And how exciting to hear about this company! I hope that I’m able to eat chocolate again (migraine diet). If so I’ll be sure to try it! And am definitely sharing this with gluten-free friends…
Oh no! My fingers are crossed for you Stephanie!
This recipe looks so fabulous, Alisa! It seems like it would be a perfect dinner party dessert.
It really is – and so easy!!
The only thing better than chocolate imo is chocolate with caramel! This dessert looks absolutely heavenly, Alisa! I wouldn’t have made it to noon – 9 am sounds about right. 😉