Vegan Recipe: Mango-Pineapple Mousse with Coconut and Cardamom
Looking for new recipes to tickle your taste buds in the New Year? This easy fruit-filled mousse recipe replaces yogurt in breakfasts or snacks, or ends Indian dinner night on a delightfully indulgent note!
- 2 10-oz bags frozen mango chunks, thawed
- 1 10-oz bag frozen pineapple chunks, thawed
- 1/4 to 3/4 cup organic sugar (less for a lighter dessert or snack, more if you’re looking for extra indulgence)
- 1-1/2 (15-oz) cartons organic soft regular tofu, drained and dried slightly but not pressed, or 2 (12-oz) boxes extra-firm silken tofu
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water or nondairy milk 4-8 hours and then drained
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2-3 cardamom pods, fresh or dried
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
Soak cashews for a few hours before starting the mousse; if you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, this step is optional. Basically it helps the cashews blend quickly and creamily, and if you have time to do so definitely soak ’em! But if you don’t, and your blender’s up to the task, the soaking step isn’t mandatory.
Remove cardamom seeds from their pods. Use fresh cardamom if you can get it; if not, crack dried cardamom pods lightly with a mortar and pestle to remove the seeds. Either way, discard the outer pods.
Combine all ingredients from mango through cardamom in your blender, plus 1/8 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Puree at high speed until mixture is very smooth, scraping down sides of blender as needed.
Transfer mixture to a large bowl or to individual serving bowls; cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon to serve.
If you use silken tofu the texture will be more creamy and yogurt-like than mousse-y, but it’s definitely good that way too! Soy and sugar are on the ‘most common’ list of genetically modified foods in the U.S., so if you like avoiding that particular science experiment look for organic ingredients.
Find fresh cardamom pods at your local Indian grocer or Asian market — nothing else tastes like fresh cardamom, so definitely use fresh pods if you can! Dried cardamom pods can often be found at natural foods stores, but don’t buy the de-podded or ground seeds: they lose flavor very rapidly once removed from the pod. If you can’t find cardamom where you are, you can substitute a few dashes of ground nutmeg or allspice. It won’t be the same flavor, but it will still be good. Then afterwards, keep looking for fresh cardamom and make it again when you find some; you’ll see what I mean!
If you’re not sure you like cardamom, use 2 vs. 3 pods — it can have an overpowering flavor if you overdo it. I happen to love strong flavors like that, but my palate is a bit of a drama-fiend. So start with 2 cardamom pods, unless you already know you’re a spice fiend like me!
This recipe makes quite a bit — I’m generally cooking for lots of people, or else doing batch make-ahead cooking for my own sweet self. I haven’t yet tried this recipe halved or frozen, so if you need less mousse and try either of those things please report your results below!
Stored in the fridge in an air-tight container, the mousse keeps for about a week.
Top mousse with fresh or frozen sweetened or unsweetened berries, diced candied ginger, diced kiwi, minced basil, or pomegranate seeds for extra nom.
If you prefer a warm pudding, instead of chilling the mixture line individual ramekins with crushed walnuts or almonds and bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Top chilled mousse with granola or other crunchy cereal for a tasty breakfast or brunch dish. For special occasions layer the mousse with berries or sliced fruit in a parfait glass, for a stunning finale to your next Indian feast.
Image by the author, all rights reserved.