Lily Diamond takes seasonal eating personally. She’s the kind of foodie that knows the name of the farmer who grows her veggies, and cooks with her hands to keep that intimate connection intact. Every dish she creates reflects a blend of inspirations from the places she’s called home (including France, Maui, and LA) — meaning even her simplest recipes have a story to tell. 

Lily’s gorgeous plant-based blog and brand new cookbook by the same name, Kale & Caramel (available May 2nd), are full of insanely dreamy dishes like this vegan chocolate mousse situation, packed with natural ingredients and perfect for a wine night with friends or as a well deserved gift-to-self at the end of a long day. Get a taste below…

One day in 2011, summer in San Francisco, I decided to learn to ride a bike again. The day was green and full, the sun so hot that it burned my legs, leaving my skin to peel off in long, thin strips in the weeks to come. But before that cellular death of the person I used to be, there was just the simple desire to ride again, and the unique constellation of friends and sunshine and possibility that made the desire real.

One friend in particular, a force named Savannah, solidified that sense of possibility. Savannah skyrocketed into my life, playing field hockey, wearing silk blazers and yellow topaz, and drinking hot fudge straight from the dinner table carafe. She gathered light around her as she moved, a quickening of air and ideas that galvanized action. That day, Savannah and a gaggle of other ladies helped me up, steadied me, and ushered me forth, full of champagne and strawberries and the sun that kissed my thighs with such intensity that later they blistered in remembrance. I rode on roughshod asphalt toward a cluster of dark trees and picnickers and babies and marigolds as Savannah and the others stood back and cheered, temporary fearlessness eating up the safety of my limitation.

If we’d had it then, we would’ve eaten spoonful after spoonful of this nearly raw, effortlessly light chocolate chia mousse in celebration, emboldened by the sky and the willingness to be made anew. Eat it now, in the comfort of your own home. Be new.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE with Cardamom Rose Coco Whip
Makes about 6 servings


For the mousse:
3⁄4 cup chia seeds
1⁄3 cup plus 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 pinches sea salt
2 1⁄4 cups (nut) milk of choice
1⁄4 cup plus 1 1⁄2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1⁄2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp orange zest
1⁄8 tsp ground cardamom

For the with coco whip:
1 (13.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated upside down
2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1⁄4 tsp rose water
1⁄4 tsp ground cardamom

For topping:
1⁄4 cup cacao nibs
1 Tbsp dried edible rose petals (stems and leaves discarded)


For the mousse:
At least 1 hour before serving, combine the chia seeds, cocoa powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add your milk of choice, maple syrup and vanilla and continue whisking until all cocoa powder clumps are dissolved and the chia begins to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or as long as overnight.

Transfer the thickened chocolate chia pudding to a blender and blend on high until very creamy and smooth. In a double boiler over boiling water, melt the chocolate chips until the chocolate is completely smooth. Add the melted chocolate, orange zest, and cardamom to the blender with the blended chia pudding, and blend on low until all is incorporated. Taste and add a touch more sweetness or salt if you like. Scoop the mousse out of the blender and into a bowl. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, to set.

For the coco whip:
Open the bottom of the can of chilled coconut milk, scoop out the thick coconut cream, and discard the rest of the liquid. In a large bowl, mix the coconut cream with the sugar, rose water and cardamom. Whip with an electric mixer on high until the mixture becomes smooth, light and whippy.

Top the mousse with cardamom rose coco whip and sprinkle with the cacao nibs and rose petals.

Copyright © 2017 by Lily Diamond from KALE & CARAMEL: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photos copyright © 2017, Lily Diamond

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