Vegan Thanksgiving Pumpkin Coconut Mousse Cake

Vegan Thanksgiving Pumpkin Coconut Mousse Cake

From today, I will be posting a series of articles with Thanksgiving recipes. The first recipe is a cake I invented, which turned out to be as delicious as I imagined it would be! Although this cake is in an absolutely Western style for desserts, there is an ingredient I used from my Japanese culture which makes for a perfect consistency with the vegan mousse. That ingredient is: agar agar!!

This recipe is a pumpkin coconut mousse cake with roasted almond and dates crust and an apple-cranberry purée in the middle. The silky coconut mousse with mildly sweet pumpkin flavor with freshly sweet, fruity, and tart apple-cranberry purée was a truly perfect combination. And with a nutty and toasty crust with the dates’ deep sweetness, you can experience in one cake various textures as well as flavor spectrums. 


Autumn sweets’ spices

To add to the Thanksgiving feeling, I added cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander in the mousse as well as the crust, which, needless to say, went so well with the pumpkin mousse as well as apple-cranberry purée.


Tiny amount of sweetener allows sweet flavors of ingredients to stand out in harmony!

This cake has a very little amount of additional sweetener. The apple-cranberry purée is hardly sweetened (less than 1 tsp of honey), since my roasted apple sauce is already deliciously sweet! With the use of dates for the crust, the apple-cranberry purée, as well as the roasted pumpkin I used for the pumpkin mousse that can add lovely sweetness. Therefore, I needed only 20g of date syrup. In this way, you can taste all the deliciousness without being overpowered by the additional sweetener. All flavors are expressing themselves in perfect balance.


Almond-dates crust

These are a kind of classic ingredients for the raw food cake base. Almonds and dates blended together become like a dough due to the dates’ stickiness. Instead of making this crust with soaked almonds, I roasted almonds and blended them together with the dates in the food processor. The roasted almonds bring a darker aroma and flavor which fits very well with the autumn season pumpkin cake. But if you like to use the soaked almonds, I am sure it will be also very delicious!


Vegan mousse with agar agar powder

To make a mousse or jelly without using gelatin (which is the collagen derived from animals), agar agar does the trick. It truly works like the gelatin and has been used in Japanese cuisine for centuries. As it originates from red algae, it also has much fiber and it is a lubricant. So, it is good for the gut health as well!

In Japan, you can purchase it in three different forms—dried agar agar, agar agar flakes, or agar agar powder. I use agar agar powder, as it dissolves easiest into liquid. You can also use agar agar flakes if that is all you can purchase. You just have to cook them longer than the powder.


The alchemy of fat and agar agar

Agar agar solidifies the liquid magically. And yet, with agar agar alone, the solidified liquid becomes a little too hard without any sense of buoyancy or creaminess.

Some years ago, observing how coconut fat solidifies at lower temperature, I got an idea to make a mousse with agar agar and coconut milk by decreasing the use of agar agar slightly to realize a creamy, soft, and yet solid texture. And it worked amazingly!! Ever since, I have made various mousses and puddings using the combination of agar agar and coconut milk (or cream). It is such a pleasure to eat silky and creamy vegan mousse.


How to use agar agar powder/flakes

It is very easy to make a jelly or mousse with agar agar powder/flakes! You heat up the liquid you want to solidify with the agar agar. It dissolves at boiling temperature. Once the liquid comes to a boil, you want to keep stirring while it continues boiling. With the powder, you need to do this for couple of minutes, while with the flakes, for 3-4 minutes. Once it dissolves, you pour it into the form and let it cool down. That’s it!


Additional flavoring

I usually add the additional ingredients after cooking the liquid with agar agar. It is your choice. When using coconut milk, I always add 1 tbsp of coconut oil there so that the mousse can become even creamier. For this cake, I also added date syrup, vanilla extract, and spices in this timing, mixing all of them well together with the whisk. Then I poured it into the form.


How to Make

Ingredients: See the recipe card below.

  1. Have the pumpkin roasted in the 400°F oven for 45 min. Or you can also steam the pumpkin. Roasting brings out the sweetness and flavor of the pumpkin more.
  2. Have the almonds roasted in the 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
  3. Have the bottom of the baking form oiled with the coconut oil.
  4. Put the roasted almonds and dates in the food processor and blend them until the almonds become small pieces.
  5. Put the apple-cranberry purée on top of the crust in about a 12 cm diameter width (leaving about 3cm unspread).
  6. Put the blended almonds and dates into the baking form. Press them well so that they become the base crust.
  7. Take the meat of the roasted pumpkin out from the skin.
  8. Blend the coconut milk and pumpkin together in a blender.
  9. Pour the blended pumpkin-coconut milk into a pod and add agar agar powder or flakes. Then turn the heat to medium-high and keep stirring with a whisk.
  10. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down so that it won’t overflow. But have it still boiling while continuing to stir with the whisk for couple of minutes (if using agar agar flakes, then 4 minutes).
  11. Once turning off the heat, combine the coconut oil, date syrup, vanilla extract, and all the spices together and mix them well with the whisk.
  12. Pour the liquid into the baking form, then let it sit on the counter to cool down to room temperature.
  13. Once cooled down, put the cake into the fridge and let it cool even further.
  14. Once removing from the fridge and taking the cake out from the form, sprinkle some shredded coconut flakes on top.

 

 

Pumpkin Coconut Mousse Cake

November 21, 2021
: 6

By:

Ingredients
  • 15cmØ Baking form
  • —————
  • For the crust:
  • 80g roasted almonds
  • 9 pieces regular size dates (6 pieces, if Medjool dates)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • coconut oil
  • —————
  • 100g apple-cranberry purée
  • —————
  • For the mousse:
  • 150-200g pumpkin
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 0.8g agar agar powder
  • 20g date syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • —————
  • For the decoration:
  • shredded coconut
Directions
  • Step 1 Have the pumpkin roasted in the 400°F oven for 45 min. Or you can also steam the pumpkin. Roasting brings out the sweetness and flavor of the pumpkin more.
  • Step 2 Have the almonds roasted in the 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.
  • Step 3 Have the bottom of the baking form oiled with the coconut oil.
  • Step 4 Put the roasted almonds and dates in the food processor and blend them until the almonds become small pieces.
  • Step 5 Put the apple-cranberry purée on top of the crust in about a 12 cm diameter width (leaving about 3cm unspread).
  • Step 6 Put the blended almonds and dates into the baking form. Press them well so that they become the base crust.
  • Step 7 Take the meat of the roasted pumpkin out from the skin.
  • Step 8 Blend the coconut milk and pumpkin together in a blender.
  • Step 9 Pour the blended pumpkin-coconut milk into a pod and add agar agar powder or flakes. Then turn the heat to medium-high and keep stirring with a whisk.
  • Step 10 Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat down so that it won’t overflow. But have it still boiling while continuing to stir with the whisk for couple of minutes (if using agar agar flakes, then 4 minutes).
  • Step 11 Once turning off the heat, combine the coconut oil, date syrup, vanilla extract, and all the spices together and mix them well with the whisk.
  • Step 12 Pour the liquid into the baking form, then let it sit on the counter to cool down to room temperature.
  • Step 13 Once cooled down, put the cake into the fridge and let it cool even further.
  • Step 14 Once removing from the fridge and taking the cake out from the form, sprinkle some shredded coconut flakes on top.



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