Without any eggs or dairy cream at all, you can still make a luscious chocolate pudding. The secret? Marshmallows.
Originally a chocolate mousse, I’m still calling it pudding mainly because the coconut cream did not behave the same way as dairy cream would, so it wasn’t mousse-like in the least but surely not faulted. It gets thicker even more so when it’s refrigerated for an extended period of time, such as overnight, to the point of a consistency that is solid enough to resemble a mousse and that you can dig right into with a spoon.
This recipe comes from Nigella Express, which I found via Nigella Lawson’s Quick Collection app and have had bookmarked for sometime, yet only made it now – primarily to use up what I had left of some marshmallows I made for Japan but ultimately, I think, an excuse to whip up something with chocolate.
While the original recipe calls for dark chocolate, I decided to go for semisweet because that’s the kind of chocolate I had on hand and also that I’ve found a few blogs that have stated that the dark chocolate is really for dark chocolate lovers and I wanted this pudding to go all around. Also I found that I could get away with less chocolate than Nigella called for; originally a memory blip on my part and then deciding to go along with my feeling when I double checked the recipe. Despite using a hundred grams less (original recipe calls for 250 grams or 9 ounces) it was still chocolate-y through and through. Rich and deeply satisfying.
The pudding was eaten up, leftovers unheard of; a sure hit.
Instant Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from Nigella Express via Nigella Lawson’s Quick Collection app
For the chocolate, you can either use a chopped up bar of chocolate or chocolate chips. This isn’t noted in the app version of the recipe (I don’t know about the one as printed in Nigella Express) but in the segment she did – strangely, this isn’t included as one of the in-app videos - in which she uses chocolate chips instead of chopping up a bar of chocolate, which was what I had been prepared to do. As noted above, I also used much less chocolate than she did.
Coconut cream is the fatty substance that rises to the top of the can when settled. Its thickness can range from a thick cream similar to dairy heavy cream to a very thick consistency that can be spooned and sometimes resemble clotted cream. Do not shake or stir the can, as that will cause the cream to be redistributed through the can and you’ll have coconut milk. To always have coconut cream on hand keep an unopened can of coconut milk in your fridge. It’s best whipped while cold as it’s easier and a bit faster than whipping room temperature coconut cream to thick peaks.
While I used matcha marshmallows for this, there wasn’t any green tea taste since the chocolate overwhelmed it. Regular marshmallows would work, too.
3 cups (150 grams) marshmallows
150 grams dairy-free semisweet or dark chocolate chips, or a chocolate bar cut into small pieces
50 grams unsalted, soft butter or Earth Balance or soft (not liquid) coconut oil
1/4 cup hot water from a boiled kettle (it doesn’t need to be boiling hot, however)
1 cup cold coconut cream [see head note]
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Melt the marshmallows, chocolate, butter, and hot water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium low heat. The heat should be gentle, just hot enough to melt the ingredients. As the chocolate starts to melt, stir constantly, scraping it up from the bottom where it will stick. (Chocolate can burn very easily and quickly.) The marshmallows will be the last to melt.
Once melted, remove from heat and cool completely; speed up the cooling process by putting the pudding in the fridge or freezer. It will thicken slightly as it cools.
Whip the coconut cream with 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract until it reaches thick peaks.
Fold the whipped coconut cream into the cooled pudding until smooth and cohesive. Add the other teaspoon of vanilla extract to the chocolate pudding. Pour into individual glasses or ramekins and chill until you’re ready to eat. Enjoy!