Developing Keto recipes is a fun challenge. My goal is not only to make something unique and tasty, but also not to have it seem like “diet food” or something you just threw together because you had to eat your macros. The other factor is: I want “restaurant quality” that is accessible to anyone at any level of cooking expertise. And, given that it’s summer, there’s an added bonus that there is no cooking involved, with the exception of boiling some water for the coffee.
Hence this dessert. Truthfully, either component — the Cheesecake Mousse or the Espresso Gelée can be a standalone dish. But, put classic flavors of coffee and chocolate together, along with a mix of textures…well, you have a match made in heaven. To add one more “wow” factor, consider the elegant presentation, even in the ordinary “horizontal layer” look, but then again, take it to the next level by tipping the glasses while the Espresso layer firms in the fridge. It looks like magic, but it’s deceptively simple.
You’ll want to support whichever dishes you are using at the angle you want the gelatin layer to have. As you see in the video snipped below, I’ve used stemless wineglasses and placed them in a glass loaf pan. The glasses are nestled into paper towel to keep them steady, both while I’m pouring as well as when I transport them to the fridge to chill. Now, because you don’t want smears of gelatin mix running down your glasses (you will NEVER be able to clean it off properly if you do), use a measuring cup or a small pitcher to pour your mixture into the glasses while they sit at an angle. Then, carefully transfer them to the fridge to chill and set.
While the “filling is a chilling” you can make your cheesecake mousse. I like brewing my own Espresso, and, full disclosure, my eldest daughter is the Manager of Sunrise Coffee Company here in Port Townsend, WA. They have an extensive line of organic coffees, all roasted in-house, so you know exactly what you are getting. For this dessert, my preference is the Boiler Room Espresso. It works great with the fruity/chocolaty notes in this dessert (and, you can mail order it too!) If you don’t have any espresso to brew fresh, I recommend you get a high-quality instant brand and substitute that for the fresh in this recipe.
The chocolate cheesecake mousse takes advantage of full-fat cream cheese that is amplified by 1/2 an avocado! Not only extra creaminess, but healthy fats, too. For an extra flavor boost, I use a little bit of rum extract — channeling that Kahlua vibe! — but you can use vanilla extract, too, if you prefer. Even a splash of orange extract can be delicious…orange and both chocolate and coffee are also classic combos.
So, once you have all your elements built, it’s a matter of putting them together, plating and serving. You can get as elegant as you wish…piping your mousse with a pastry bag (or sealable plastic bag — but I avoid single-use) and star tip or merely spooning it in the glass. If you want to go big, use a veggie peeler and shave some chocolate over the mousse. Want to impress even more, do both white and dark chocolate shavings, or add a crunchy bit like crushed or whole espresso beans. Play! Do what you like. The point is, this is versatile and you can dress it up or down as you wish, even staying within your keto or low carb guidelines.
Once you have this recipe down, consider that you can also vary the flavors and textures, so there’s an endless variety of offerings you can make. If you have any questions, I’m always here to ask. And, if you make this yourself, please share a pic, tag me in the photo or your feed and let’s see what you’ve created! I’m always excited when I can inspire someone to do something new.
Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse with Espresso Gelée
For the Espresso Gelée
- 1 1/2 cup strong brewed espresso coffee
- 1 Tbsp powdered gelatin
- granulated sweetener, to taste *such as Swerve
For the Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse
- 8 oz full fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 large avocado, pitted and mashed
- 1/4 tsp rum extract (or vanilla, as desired)
- 2-3 Tbsp granulated non-sugar sweetener, such as Swerve
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- chocolate shavings, either white or dark, as desired
For the Espresso Gelée
- Brew 1 1/2 cups strong espresso and allow to cool to just warm. Alternatively, you can use instant Espresso powder and dissolve in 1 1/2 cups boiling water.
- Sweeten Espresso mixture to taste with sweetener.
- While Espresso is still warm, add gelatin and stir thoroughly to make sure gelatin is dissolved.
- Using a measuring cup or a pitcher with a spout, carefully pour Espresso mixture into 4 dessert dishes or cups. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more, until Espresso layer is fully set. Keep chilled until ready to continue with recipe.
For the Chocolate Cheesecake Mousse
- In a chilled bowl, using your electric mixer, whip the heavy cream into stiff peaks and store, chilled until ready to incorporate into the mousse.
- Cut softened block of cream cheese into pieces and place in a medium sized bowl. Using your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Slowly mix in cocoa powder until combined. Add mashed avocado to bowl and mix until completely combined and smooth, about 2-4 minutes.
- Add the rum extract (or vanilla, based on preference) and sweetener and beat until completely combined, about 2 minutes.
- Add the chilled beaten whipped cream to the chocolate mixture. Carefully fold whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until well-combined.
- At this point, you can spoon into individual dishes and chill until serving time, or, if you prefer a more elegant presentation, chill mixture for 30 minutes and then load into a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe into dessert dishes.
- Garnish with chocolate shavings, as desired and serve chilled.