What’s better than mousse? The heading is a dead giveaway. Mousse bars.
These cream-filled bars are a healthier, fun spin on regular mousse. Instead of shocking sweetness, dark chocolate and raspberries run the flavor show. And they put on a pretty stellar performance.
How to Make Vegan Mousse Bars
The multiple layers may make these mousse bars look tedious and time-consuming, but don’t be scared off! These healthy dessert bars are simple and straightforward to make.
It’s pretty basic. You just start at the bottom and work your way up, one simple layer at a time.
1. Chewy chocolate cookie crust
2. Raspberry chia filling
3. Chocolate coconut mousse
4. Dark chocolate coating
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = MOUSSE BARS of your dreams!!!!
Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Bars
- ~1 1/4 cups (~136 g) crunchy chocolate cookies/biscuits of choice
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 heaping tbsp almond butter (or other nut butter of choice)
- Raspberry Filling:
- 1 heaping cup (~140 g) frozen raspberries
- 1 1/2 tbsps coconut oil
- 2 tbsps chia seeds
- Granulated sweetener or stevia/erythritol to taste (optional, add if you'd prefer more sweetness)
- Chocolate Coconut Mousse:
- 1 cup full-fat canned coconut cream (chilled overnight in the fridge*; use a brand with ~90% coconut for best results*)
- 4-5 tbsps cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ~1-2 tbsps powdered sugar, or stevia/erythritol to taste (optiona; add based on desired sweetness, or omit if you'd prefer a more bitter dark chocolate mousse)
- Dash or two milk, as needed to whip the cream
- Dark Chocolate Coating:
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Sweetener to taste, if desired
Line a loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside. Make the crust by grinding up the cookies in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Pour into a bowl and mix in the melted coconut oil and nut butter. The mixture will have a wet sand look and feel. Press the cookie crumbs into the bottom of the lined tin, using the bottom of a glass to help pack it into a flat layer. Pop in the freezer.
Make the raspberry filling by blitzing the raspberries a few times until ~mostly~ finely ground (some chunks are fine! It doesn't have to be perfectly powdery).
Cook the raspberries and oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, and continue to stir frequently until slightly thickened up, ~5 minutes. Taste and sweeten if desired, before taking off the heat and mixing in the chia seeds. Allow to cool down/thicken a bit before spreading over cookie base and returning the tin to the freezer.
To make the mousse, use a standing mixer to whip the coconut cream for ~1-3 minutes until it gets thick and creamy. Depending on the coconut brand you use, you may have to add 1-2 small dashes of milk to help aerate the cream and make it less dense. Add the vanilla extract and cacao powder, starting with ~4 tbsps and increasing it to fit your desired dark chocolate flavor. Add powdered sweetener to taste, if desired. Spread the mousse into an even layer over the raspberry filling, and return to the freezer to set (~1-2 hours or less).
As mousse hardens, make the chocolate glaze. Melt coconut oil over low heat. Once melted, whisk in the cacao powder, vanilla, pinch salt, and sweetener (if using), until smooth and glossy.
Remove tin from freezer and allow to thaw slightly if it's too hard to slice (you don't want an icy, shattering mess!). Working quickly, lift the block out of the tin and cut into ~7 bars (or less/more, depending on how big/small you'd like them). Return to freezer to harden up slightly if things are getting too messy.
While the bars are still very cold and holding shape, dunk them into the melted chocolate one by one; start by pinching the ends and coating the long sides. Since they're icy, the chocolate will harden almost immediately. Next, pinch the long sides and dunk the small ends into the chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over top, topping with raspberry bits/cacao nibs/etc., as desired!
Return to the freezer for a few minutes to harden up the chocolate before enjoying! Before serving, allow to thaw slightly as needed (~10 ish min) so that the mousse is creamy, not icy. Store in a tightly-closed container in the freezer to avoid freezer burn!
*Chilling the coconut cream in the fridge overnight (at least ~10-12 hours, or 24 hours if possible) helps thicken it up. It also helps separate the cream and liquid in the can (the coconut water settles on the bottom), making it easier to scoop out the cream. Reserve the coconut water for another use (smoothies or curries!). *Not all coconut creams are created equal! It's best to use a brand with a higher fat percentage, preferably ~90% coconut cream, and less emulsifiers, when making coco whip. If you're located in NZ, I recommend Pams (purchased at New World); after being chilled, the solidified cream whips up really fluffy! I don't recommend Pacific Crown, as it resulted in a gritty mess. Other brands may work too, that's just the one I've tried and had success with! If you're in the U.S., check out Minimalist Baker's helpful guide !