Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Occasional stories, food and travel inspiration

Kisses for Julian and Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse with Berries

I lied to my son the other day. I don’t usually advocate lying to small and innocent children but in this case I felt it was justified. You be the judge.

My son is four and a half. I’ve blogged before about how he is little guy with a big personality. His nice kindergarten teacher describes him as “exuberant.”

“He’s not one of our quieter ones,” she says meaningfully, which I think is teacher code for ‘he never stops talking.’

Like most 4YOs my son can meltdown in the twinkling of an eye – he’ll turn from happy to furious in 0.003 seconds and all because his cup was the wrong colour. Or his peanut butter and honey sandwich was cut into triangles and not squares. Or because there is a minute spot on his chair. Or because I want him to wear shoes and not sandals when it’s raining.

When he’s raging, it’s often difficult to calm him down. A few weeks ago I tried holding him and kissing his face but he just glared at me and ‘wiped’ my kisses off.

“Are you wiping my kisses off?” I asked him, half shocked and half amused.

“Yes!” he said, furiously. “I don’t want any more of your kisses!”

When he saw that I didn’t like him wiping my kisses off, Julian realised that he had leverage. So a week ago he announced that he did not want any more kisses from his dad or I.

“One day a year everyone can kiss me,” he said, grandly. “But otherwise I don’t want any more kisses. If you kiss me, I’ll wipe your kisses off.”

“What about popo?” I asked him, meaning his beloved grandma. “Will you let her kiss you?”

“No, not even popo can kiss me,” he said, smugly.

That’s when I had an idea.

“But Julian,” I said. “My kisses are for your protection. When you go out without me my kisses stay on you to protect you if anything bad happens. If you get hurt or scared or you have an accident, my kisses will remind you that you are loved and that things will be OK.”

He looked at me with a furrowed brow.

‘Kisses are for protection?” he asked. “Like, if I fell into a hole, would your kisses help me get out?” he asked.

“Yes, exactly,” I said. “Because you would know that everything will be fine and you would figure out a way to climb out of there.”

“What about if I got trapped in an enormous bottle?” he asked. “Would your kisses help me then?”


“Wait, are bottles made of glass?” he asked.


“Your kisses would help me break the glass and make an enormous smash and then I’d break out!” he said, excitedly.

“That’s right.”

“What about if I got trapped in a waterfall cage?”

“What’s a waterfall cage?” I asked, bemused.

“If I’m trapped in a cage and it goes over a waterfall. Your kisses would help me escape and then I’d fly up high into the sky,” he said, demonstrating.

“Um… yeah,” I said. “See, kisses are good things.”

He thought about it for a moment.

“So will you let me kiss you?” I asked.

“OK. You can kiss me and daddy and popo and koung koung (his grandfather) and Emily (his sister), too,” he said.

I kissed him then, smiling as I realised that sometimes a lie can also be the truth.

Vegan chocolate mousseVegan chocolate mousseberries on chocolate mousse

Vegan Chocolate Mousse (gluten, egg, dairy and refined-sugar free)

I was thinking about making my son chocolate biscuits for this post and calling them Chocolate Kisses but a recent incident involving the complete destruction of a toy fish tank made me wonder if I should reduce the sugar in his diet (it’s far easier to blame sugar than my parenting for his misbehaviour).

Then the other night I spotted an incredible looking, refined sugar-free Chocolate Mousse Tart in My Darling Lemon Thyme, Emma Galloway’s beautiful cookbook named for her blog. A quick peek into my pantry revealed most of the ingredients but only half the specified quantity of silken tofu. So I decided to adapt her recipe and make these chocolate mousse pots instead.

If the thought of chocolate mousse made from tofu makes you shudder, you need to think again: thanks to my clever friend, Emma, I now know that it is possible to make vegan chocolate mousse that tastes fantastic. I couldn’t detect the slightest hint of tofu in the chocolate mousse because the peanut butter provides a lovely complexity of flavour.

Emma’s recipe specifies maple syrup but I didn’t have any so I used light agave syrup instead and increased the quantity to make up for the missing sweetness from the date and coconut base. I also topped the mousse off with some fresh berries for colour and tartness.




More information

My Darling Lemon Thyme is a beautiful and practical book of gluten-free, vegetarian recipes suitable for the whole family. If you’re a fan of real food recipes you should definitely check it out.


My Darling Lemon Thyme was sent to me by Harper Collins.

Other individual dessert recipes

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  • Victoria Alesandro


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