Updated: February 7, 2024, Original Post: April 29, 2021
Indulging in decadent desserts like chocolate mousse is a delightful experience. For us, it is usually reserved for special occasions such as holidays or Valentine’s Day. But what if you could savor the richness of a dark chocolate orange mousse regularly, without worrying about all the fat and calories?
This sumptuous chocolate mousse not only satisfies your sweet cravings but also offers a healthier twist by replacing the conventional heavy cream and eggs with a secret ingredient – silken tofu.
With a velvety texture and richness akin to traditional mousse, this recipe showcases the versatility of tofu. Agave syrup adds just enough sweetness while dark chocolate elevates the flavor profile, replacing semisweet or bittersweet chocolate.
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What You Will Need to Make It
Silken tofu is what gives this mousse its smooth and creamy texture and replaces the heavy cream and eggs making this a dessert you can feel good about!
The nutritional benefits aren’t too shabby either. Tofu has a fair amount of protein and some plant-based compounds called isoflavones, that have similar effects as estrogen. This just means that eating soy foods may help reduce symptoms of menopause, increase bone mass, and reduce inflammation.
Research has also shown that people who eat more soy foods have lower rates of heart disease and there is some evidence that it may help with cognitive function as we age.
Dark chocolate – between 70% – 78% Cocoa gives a perfect, balanced chocolate flavor in this mousse recipe. There are many types of dark chocolate bars available. Some of my favorites are Lindt, Beyond Good, and Mast bars.
Why dark chocolate? The cocoa in dark chocolate has flavonoids or compounds that act as antioxidants helping to tamp down inflammation, support your heart and brain, and maybe a stress-busting and mood-boosting sidekick. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the better.
For this recipe any decent orange-flavored liqueur will work – Grand Mariner, Triple Sec, or Cointreau would all be fine. Use what you have. Alternatively, if you want to go alcohol-free, swap in some freshly squeezed orange juice instead.
Adding a bit of fresh orange zest adds some brightness to the chocolate and enhances the orange flavor of the liqueur.
Agave syrup, honey, or maple syrup will all work in this recipe. I used agave syrup because it has a neutral flavor. I wanted something that wouldn’t compete with the lovely orange and chocolate flavors. Honey and maple syrup will work but could add additional flavors that you may not like.
If you need to reduce the added sugar, you could also use a stevia-based liquid sweetener like Truvia or Splenda, a sucralose-based sweetener that has no calories. The only trick is that it needs to be a liquid sweetener or you’ll end up with a bit of a grainy texture.
Strawberries add a beautiful burst of color on top of this mousse. I soak them in a bit of the Cointreau and orange zest for an extra burst of orange flavor.
Making the Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse
This chocolate orange mousse is super easy to make. You can also make it ahead and except for needing to refrigerate it for a few hours, you can pull this fancy dessert together in as little as 10 – 15 minutes! Here’s how you make it.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Never used a double boiler? Just put an inch or so of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Set another metal pan that fits tight against the sides over top with the chocolate in it and watch it melt as the pan heats up.
If you don’t have a double boiler, you can set a heat-resistant glass or metal bowl over a pan of hot water (not boiling) and stir the chocolate slowly until it melts. This will take a bit longer than a double boiler and you may have to change the water but it will also work.
Place the tofu in the bowl of a food processor and puree it until it is smooth.
Add the orange zest, sweetener, and Cointreau to the tofu and process.
Add the melted chocolate to the tofu mixture and process it on high until it is completely combined and smooth.
Spoon the mixture into 4 small dishes or ramekins and put them in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
A half-hour before serving, place the sliced strawberries in a small bowl and cover with the remaining Cointreau or orange liqueur and let them sit, or “macerate” for a half hour. Then, place a few slices on top of the mousse just before serving.
Not a fan of dark chocolate? No problem, use semi-sweet instead. You may want to cut back on the sweeteners as semi-sweet chocolate has added sugar and a lower percentage of cocoa.
Cutting back on added sugar? Switch up the agave nectar or maple syrup with an alternative no-added sugar sweetener.
I serve these Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse cups with macerated strawberries but you could add any fruit or just some shaved chocolate and orange zest for a delicious dessert any time of the year!
This mousse holds up well and will keep in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days. Add the strawberries right before serving.
Other Recipes You Will Love
If you love dark chocolate here are a couple of other recipes you may love!
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Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse
- Double boiler
- 3.5 oz dark chocolate chopped
- 1 lb silken tofu
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tbsp cointreau or other orange flavored liquour
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 2 tbsp Cointreau
- 1 tsp orange zest
- Place chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler and melt slowly. If no double boiler is available, melt in a sturdy small saucepan over very low heat.
- Whip tofu in the bowl of a food processor until smooth. Add orange zest, agave syrup, salt and Cointreau and whip until combined and smooth.
- Add dark chocolate and combine thoroughly.
- Divide mixture between 4 glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Top with macerated strawberries or other fruit right before serving.
- Place strawberries in a small bowl and mix with Cointreau and orange zest.
- Allow to sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.