Quarantine summer cake update: Make this a simple chocolate mousse cake by skipping the mirror glaze… and its already a flourless cake and perfect for summer as a no-bake cake!
The best Mirror glaze chocolate mousse cake made dairy free with hidden coconut cream, but you can’t tell at all and its so decadent and rich like anything form a dessert shop, but homemade. This mirror glaze cake can fool and convert even dairy-loving folks! This mirror glaze chocolate mousse cake is also eggless so no raw eggs are in the mousse.
If you were looking for a chocolate mousse cake with ganache or mousse cake with shiny glaze or mirror glaze icing and didn’t know what it’s called you have found it! And if you were looking how to make a mirror glaze without condensed milk and without dairy, this cake actually uses condensed coconut milk (Us link) (or Canadian link: condensed coconut milk) and is not only a lactose free cake and glaze, but entirely dairy-free.
This mirror glaze chocolate mousse cake is perfect as a special occassion cake, such as for Christmas holidays for a fancier cake to impress, but its also delicious year round and great as a birthday cake, celebration cake and a no-bake summer cake. And since it’s allergen-free it’s inclusive for everyone in the crowd.
This is a pastry-chef like traditional style chocolate mousse cake, no tofu, no cashews, this is that lush cake you long for in dessert shops and nice cafes.
I was going to call it Death by Chocolate cake, but you’re not likely to die from it as its made without glucose syrup and full of heart healthy coconut cream as a substitute to heavy cream or whipping cream. This cake isnt just lactose free, its fully dairy free. It can be made gluten free and allergen free if you use Free From cookies. So have your cake and eat it too! indulge away in a slice of dairy free chocolate mirror glaze mousse cake!
What does the chocolate mirror glaze taste like? it’s like a chocolate ganache thats very fudgey! Why is it called a mirror glaze? The chocolate mirror glaze on this cake is so smooth, shiny and reflective that you can even see your reflection in it (haha that just makes me think of the Seinfeld moment when Costanza was shouting to George, “DO YOU SEE YOUR FACE IN THERE?!!” Yup a sign of a job well done! but despite a mirror glaze being considered a Master class lesson, this masterpiece cake is not as difficult to make as you may think! if i can do it so can you! It will have you looking like Martha Stewart, Gordon Ramsay or chef Iso at any holiday party! and if you want to skip the chocolate ganache like glaze you can make it a simple chocolate mousse cake instead of course. You can also make it a vegan chocolate mousse cake if you sub with agar agar as directed below.
*Tip: I do not recommend dairy free baking chocolate as its bitter, so you would have to use much much less. I have had the best luck with dairy free chocolate chips/chunks from the Enjoy life brand.
Oreo cookies are vegan and dairy free so this chocolate mousse cake with oreo crust and I don’t use raw egg whites for volume so this eggless chocolate mousse made with coconut cream filling is almost vegan and can easily be made totally vegan. If using agar agar, you don’t need to bloom it like gelatin, you can dissolve it in a little water in a small saucepan over low heat for several minutes before adding it to the creamy mixture (make sure to temper it like gelatin too, by first adding a spoon then another of creamy mixture to the agar/gelatin so the agar/gelatin doesn’t get cold shocked and lump up). If you are new to agar agar or gelatin check out this easy, quick diy jello recipe to get some practice in before (this is especially relevant since the glaze of the cake is essentially a diy chocolate jello). Agar agar is similair to gelatin in that it sets liquids into solids, but the use of it is slightly different. rather than bloom the gelatin, you can actually first boil agar in water or non-acidic juice, which you cannot do to gelatin. See this vegan mousse recipe for an idea of how to use it and refer to the jello recipe for pointers and don’ts for both gelatin and agar agar. Agar agar a flavourless seaweed which thickens like gelatin.
****You can use ready cookie crumbs to make it faster or you can use whole cookies such as Free From cookies and process them in a a food processor into crumbs.
*****Condensed coconut milk can be found online in the link
Tempering: Another tip on working with gelatin is not to add it to a very cold base/mousse is that will cause clumping/roping of gelatin when it cools too quickly. Refrigerate the coconut cream just long enough for it to separate if needed, and to whip better, but dont refridgerate overnight. Because melted chocolate helps warm it up a bit, the coconut is Ok a bit cold here, but if using other cold ingredients like partially frozen berries in the mousse it would be too cold for the gelatin.
Vegan chocolate cookie crust/ oreo cookie crust:
liquid coconut oil or nonstick spray, for greasing the pan well
2 cups Oreo/chocolate cookie crumbs**** (for GF use Free From cookies, process them or crush them into crumbs)
1/2 cup vegan butter (from almost a whole buttery stick, I used one from a pack of 4, you can sub w/ coconut oil with varied results)
chocolate mousse filling:
4 cups of coconut cream from 4 x 400 ml cans of coconut cream or from about 3 cans of coconut whipping cream (canned coconut cream with the least water and most cream per can. if you can’t get cream, use full fat coconut milk, butyou will need at least 6 cans and save the coconut milk water for smoothies), chilled for only 4 hrs, until the solid cream part is solid enough and seperates and can be scooped out
approx. 300-370 grams dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips* (to darkness/richness preference. I used a 283 g bag semi-sweet chocolate chips+a 1/4 cup extra from a 2nd bag for very rich chocolate taste, but I’ve done it before more as subtle milk chocolate ice cream cake flavor with much less chocolate than listed, using less than 200g, and therefore a 1/4 tsp less gelatin and a little less sugar to taste)
heaping 1 cup-11/4 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar (to sweetness preference, I used the full 11/4 cup)
optional, tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 tbsp. gelatin powder, flavorless gelatin from baking section (vegan sub: 4 1/2 tbsp. agar agar flakes or approx. 4 1/2 tsp agar agar powder*this is the Canadian link, here is the US link for agar)
3.5oz/approx. 80-99 ml or 100g of condensed coconut milk, room temp (NOT evaporated coconut milk which is too thin. drain the oil out of it before, use almost half of a 200ml can minus the oil on top)*****
180 g semi-sweet chocolate chips*
3 tbsp cocoa powder/cacao powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar (not coconut sugar here, for a smooth glaze use regular sugar)
100 ml water
1 pouch/1 tbsp gelatin+4 tbsp cold water (vegan sub 2 tsp agar powder or 2 tbsp. agar flakes. For gelatin use flavorless gelatin from baking sxn)
4 hours ahead chill the coconut cream and add the mixing bowl and hand mixer’s beaters to the fridge too, coconut cream whips better when everything is very cold. You can also chill the bowl and beaters in the freezer one hour if you forgot. If any oil forms at the top of the coconut can, remove it.
Spray or grease an 8″ springform pan. I suggest this pan as its anodized aluminum so no-bake desserts which are liquidy won’t react with the metal and create metallic grey smears) with liquid coconut oil (the regular kind may solidify in the fridge). mix the crust ingredients in a bowl until homogenous (if needed knead briefly with hands to mix it well) then pour into the springform pan and press down the crust into the pan using the bottom of a heavy glass. chill in the fridge 30 minutes.
In a double boiler or bain marie method using a heat safe glass bowl or microwave at 30 sec increments, melt the chocolate and cocoa butter, if using, stirring and making sure no water gets into the chocolate. once the chocolate is fully melted and completely smooth stir in vanilla and as much sugar as will fit in the boiler at first and mix to dissolve, adding the rest onc ethe first batch melts down. It should be as smooth as possible with no lumps.
Carefully scoop out coconut cream into the cold mixing bowl, draining any liquid from the can into a jug (it will not be used in this recipe, save it for smoothies). whip the coconut cream with a hand mixer until fluffy.
Incorporate the sugar and melted chocolate (starting with less chocolate and working up to richness preference, bearing in mind the glaze and crust will add rich chocolate too) and beat with hand mixer, then finish with a wooden spoon to make sure there are no clumps of sugar. Do a taste test for sweetness and darkness preference, once chilled and set, the chocolate mousse cake becomes less sweet so make it just a touch sweeter than you like it.
Place gelatin into a custard cup, tiny bowl or ramekin. add a good splash of cold water, about 7 tbsp- just enough to cover the gelatin, it will absorb the water right away so add another splash or extra 2 tbsp of water if needed. let it bloom for 5 minutes ( let it sit and basorb the water).
Microwave the gelatin for a few secs (if you have a new powerful microwave, only about 3-8 seconds, if you have an old microwave about 10-15 seconds, the gelatin should dissolve fully with no crystals around the rim, and it should be hot, but not come to a boil, if you get clumps then you’ve over microwaved it and need to start over with new gelatin to prevent clumps in the cake).
***(if subbing with agar agar place it in a small saucepan, with just enough water to cover it, over low heat and let it cook for a few minutes. then stir it in as directed below. the same can be done with gelatin, but over very low heat without letting it come to a boil as gelatin has a lower heat tolerance than agar agar. make sure no lumps of agar or gelatin remain at the bottom. don’t leave it unattended even briefly, if a few lumps form, you have to start over with new gelatin to avoid lumps in the cake.
Stir in some of the the chocolate mousse mixture into the gelatin mixture and whisk well so there are no lumps. this is called tempering, it prevents the gelatin from seizing up and setting prematurely in lumps when added to cold cream. then stir in the rest. stir well so there are no clumps.
Take the crust out of the fridge. place some aluminum foil under the springform pan just in case of spills (its rare and never big spills).
Pour the chocolate mousse onto the crust. smooth with an offset spatula.
Cover the top of the pan with a cake cover (dome shaped cover so it won’t touch the cake) or seran wrap and chill until set for several hours and ideally overnight. I find that a little condensation can happen so I carefully replace the seran wrap after 40 minutes or so just so no water drops fall on the cake (this isn’t a huge deal as you wont see the cake under the glaze or garnish, but i like mine to be nice and smooth and free of water drop marks).
(Quarantine simplification: If you don’t have time to make a mirror glaze or at least not one that goes down the sides, you can stop here at a simple chocolate mousse cake. if you want to make just a top mirror glaze if you don’t have time to freeze the cake, as in the next step, you can skip making the sides and just don’t unmold the cake and pour the ready glaze (as made in glaze recipe below) into the springorm just to form a top glaze without sides and let it set in the fridge for at least 1.5-2 hrs. this way you don’t have to take the extra time of freezing the cake yet have a delicious mirror glaze top without glaze on the sides).
Or otherwise if you don’t have time for a glaze at all, you can do a simple chocolate mousse cake and cover the whole chocolate mousse cake in raspberries or strawberry slices. Mother’s Day or Valentine’s day variation: arrange raspberries or strawberry halves (red part facing up) or strawberry slices in a heart shape with grated chocolate around, or simply arrange strawberries facing outwards like flower petals. this will also give a juicy strawberry finish to the rich chocolate mousse cake. For this version you can make the chocolate mousse cake very rich with the maximum chocolate as there wont be a chocolate glaze on top.)
Chocolate mirror glaze directions:
If you want to get fancy make a mirror glaze down the sides of the cake once the cake has set for at least 4 hours in the fridge, freeze it for 4-8 hours, this will help for the glaze to set on the sides. meantime place gelatin in a tiny bowl with the 4 tbsp of water and let it bloom /sit 5 minutes.
Once the cake has been frozen for almost 4 hours or more prepare the mirror glaze. to unmold the cake run a knife along the rim of the pan first before unmolding ( i actually do this about 1 hour or so into freezing if i can).
In a double boiler** melt the glaze ingredients, except for the gelatin and the water allocated for the gelatin (do use the 100ml of water though as indicated for the chocolate glaze itself). Stir. Once all is melted perfectly smooth in the boiler then microwave the gelatin for a few secs just enough to dissolve it. Remove the double boiler from heat and stir in gelatin and dissolve it stirring well so theres no clumps. Move to another bowl and use an immersion blender to get it smooth then run the chocolate mixture through a sieve to get rid of clumps and air bubbles.
Let the mirror glaze cool to 90-95 degrees Farenheit (i use a digital meat thermometer) before pouring on the cake and stir every so often (the temperature matters: 92 is ideal so don’t multi-task much here as i did, mine was at about 90 so it was still pourable, but it had started to become thickened up so in the pictures it didn’t look as perfectly smooth as it could)
Take the cake out of the freezer and use a hairdryer to gently (not the highest setting) defrost the edges of the cake. If you only froze it for 4 hours as I did there may not be much to defrost, just a quick go all around.
Place cake over a cooling rack or an upside down cake pan or a cake decorating stand or over parchment paper to catch the drips. I made a pedastal by flipping a flat steamer basket upside down (you can use a cake pan) bowl upside down on which I placed the springform of the cake, and i put a large platter under to catch glaze spills (line it with parchment paper for easier clean up, I just wanted the vid to look nice!). Now generously pour the mirror glaze over the cake. If needed use an offset spatula (I used a spoon as I don’t own an offset spatula) to even the sides of the glaze gently (but without overtouching the sides as it won’t look as smooth if you overdo it) and trim off overhaning bits. If desired decorate the bottom sides of the cake with cocoa nibs.
Place in the fridge either under a cake cover that doesnt touch the top or uncovered (without stinky foods in the fridge like kielbasa or garlic!), let it set for at least 2 hours, during which the frozen cake will thaw as well. if you left it in the freezer for more than 4 hours, it may need several hours to thaw.
Garnish with sliced strawberries and grated chocolate, chocolate curls or chocolate cigarettes (see how to make chocolate curls at the bottom of the recipe after making your cake).
Use a chef’s knife to cut deep into the cookie crust-I even like to run the knife under the crust so it sticks less to the pan. (If at a picnic a butterknife will do though the crust may be harder to pry off.) Use a pie server spatula to lift out each slice in one piece.
My cake went fast at the potluck, but should you need to keep it, it can stay covered with a cake cover in the fridge for several hours or overnight for a few nights, but I doubt you’ll have any left that long!
**Sub: if you don’t have a double boiler, use the bain marie method where you heat a bowl of chocolate over steaming water. find a heat safe glass bowl that securely fits over a saucepan. place in 100 ml of water into the sauce pan and add the bowl over top the saucepan. place the cocoa, condensed coconut milk, sugar into the bowl. bring the water in the sauce pan to a gentle boil. pour in chocolate chips and as it melts gently stir. Let it sit 5 minutes, stirring, til the chocolate fully melts. then stir in bloomed gelatin (no need to microwave the gelatin as the chocolate mixture will be quite warm/hot) continue with the rest of the directions for blending, straining thru a sieve etc.
Vegan sub is given below in the ingredients and directions, using agar agar*** I have made chocolate mousse and mousse cakes with agar before however I have not made mirror glaze with agar and since I find agar clouds bright colors a bit, its possible that it wont be as shiny of a glaze unless you add glucose or food coloring to the agar as some vegan recipes do.) To use agar agar here, similairly to gelatin let it bloom with a bit of water first. then add it to the saucepan with the water to cover it and either let it cook a few minutes alone or cook it with the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate, as above paragraph. first you want to increase the temp and let agar to come to a boil to activate it. then add the chocolate in at the end to melt it. the whole time stir to the bottom often all along since agar sinks and clumps at the bottom.
To make chocolate curls for garnish: place a quarter sheet pan into the fridge to make it cold so the chocolate will set fast. melt chocolate alone or with a tiny bit of coconut oil. place the baking tray upside down. pour melted chocolate over the tray in a thin layer. let it set so its no longer liquidy, but not fully set and hard, when you touch it there should be only a slight mark from your finger but not much (your finger should not be covered in chocolate). then use a bench scraper to carefully scrape the chocolate away from you at a 90 degree angle into curls. once you do half the tray flip the tray so you have the other half of the chocolate near you to do the other half. leave the curls to set in the fridge.
Chocolate curls do take some elbow grease and time, so alternatively keep it easy and decorate with a few strawberry halves with the stem still on as garnish on the side on top of the cake.
Enjoy this true chocolate indulgence at a holiday party or Christmas potluck or any time (the French have a word for mousse cakes like this, its called entremet, which means “in between meals”, they know how to indulge in a balanced way! You can use mini springform pans to make mini mirror glaze cakes too as little in between meal indulgences.)
It is pretty much a triple chocolate mousse cake because of the chocolate mirror glaze, rich chocolate mousse cake layer, and chocolate cookie crust. And although it is a dark chocolate mousse cake the coconut cream dilutes it so its creamy and a little more “milky” so its in between a milk chocolate mousse cake and a dark chocolate mousse cake, and as noted above, depending if you like rich darker chocolate or milk chocolate you can use less or more chocolate in the mousse cake filling portion.
This can be an easy chocolate mousse cake or a little more advanced with shiny, perfect chocolate mirror glaze “icing” as some call it; depending if you just choose to make it a chocolate mousse cake or if you want to add the chocolate mirror glaze on top.
I made this chocolate mousse cake recipe as its something I longed for in a dessert shop before but couldn’t have, and this dairy free chocolate mousse cake will not make you feel bloated or regretful.
This is a cake to celebrate with as a New Years Eve Party cake or holiday party.
Thats it for the chocolate mousse cake with mirror glaze recipe! What do you wana see next? Follow to stay tuned on more recipes and more mirror glaze cakes in time!
I see it, I like it, I want it, I make it! ehem I mean, “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it” (love Ariana :P) Food and music, what’s better?
For more dairy free holiday desserts, cakes, pie, easy fudge and chocolate bark check out this Christmas desserts (and anytime desserts) compilation.
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