Sometimes New York City feels enchanted. This past Saturday, after a falafel dinner and bottle of white at our favorite Middle Eastern joint, Philip and I meandered through Manhattan’s Riverside Park, through the
tunnels and along the Hudson River. It was raining and magical and pretty damn romantic. This was near where my parents lived when they lived in the city, when they were first married, many moons ago before I was born. It’s also old stomping grounds for my Columbia alum boyfriend. However, to me, the oasis of green, the echo-y tunnels, and the salty river air all felt novel.
I’m looking forward to many more adventures this summer—spontaneous or otherwise– and more time outdoors in general. I also plan to experiment more with low-sugar desserts. Stuff that tastes like a treat but doesn’t make my guy (or anyone else for that matter) feel like crap. I based this recipe off of my recipe for chocolate mousse, swapping the baking chocolate with creamy cacao butter and adding vanilla bean. (Bonus to working with cacao butter: soft hands!) Like the chocolate mousse, this dessert contains no sugar (unless you count the optional addition of fruit)– yet is still perfectly sweet, flavorful, and thoroughly indulgent.
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
½ cup grated cacao butter (or cocoa butter)
1 tbsp agar powder
30 drops stevia extract
fresh or frozen berries for serving, optional
- Transfer coconut milk to a measuring cup and stir in the vanilla seeds. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
- In a double boiler, gently melt the cacao butter over low heat, stirring frequently. When melted, add the coconut milk-vanilla mixture, agar powder, and stevia. Whisk well. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and let cool for a little while. Then cover and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours, or until firm.
- Using an electric mixer, mix for 4-5 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Garnish with berries, if desired, and serve. If not using right away, keep in the refrigerator until ready to do so, then fluff again with electric mixer just before serving.
Yield: About 1 1/3 cups