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Chai Spiced Chocolate Mousse (With hidden pumpkin)

Today I set out to make a pumpkin mousse pie thingy (I had no idea what I was doing) without any added oils or sugar. Ive never made a pumpkin pie before, or a mousse cake, but I thought well why not - I like a challenge. Long story short...that did not eventuate. Nevertheless I did end up salvaging my efforts (somewhat) by making a pretty tasty chai inspired chocolate mousse. A happy accident perhaps. This mousse was creamy, spicy and pretty damn yum - and it passed the Jensen taste test (that is, it was consumed within a minute), but it was a bit of a process. Although it qualifies as a whole food, plant based (WFPB) dessert it does pack a caloric punch with all those cashews - it's rich, and should be considered a treat, not some magic weight-loss inducing dessert just because its WFPB.

Firstly I soaked some cashews and set them aside for a few hours. I also finely chopped some dates, added them to a bowl with my spice mixture and covered them with a bit of boiling water which would eventually thicken up and form a nice paste. I set the paste aside too. Ahh the waiting game, I find that difficult when it comes to food.

Next I got to work on the pumpkin (it was supposed to be the main draw card after all), finely chopping and steaming a little over two cups. Meanwhile I tasted the date paste...hmmm a little too spicy? Not quite sweet enough? I was hoping the natural sweetness of the pumpkin, combined with the creaminess of the cashews would complement the spice paste well.

Once the steamed pumpkin was cool(ish) I brought out my trusty food processor and got to work. Usually I would use the Vitamix for an extra smooth mousse, but let's be honest that thing is louder than a jet plane taking off and the neighbours were such a thoughtful neighbour. I blended the pumpkin briefly, following this I added the date and spice paste.