I grew up in the 90’s. One of my favorite movies growing up was Beauty and the Beast (a close second to the musical, Annie, obviously). The first time I saw this movie was in theaters. I was about three, but I remember vividly watching the scene where the Beast rips through his self-portrait, tearing into his face. I was completely freaked out and was ready to ask my mom to leave, until… we got to Belle. When Belle was driven by her hunger to the castles kitchen and I saw the beautiful display of dinnerware singing and rich French foods swirling, I was mesmerized. By the time that movie hit VHS (yes, the 90’s were blessed), I wanted everything I owned to look like or sound like Belle. At the time, I was about to enter kindergarten so my enthusiasm was limited to clothes, Barbies and lunch boxes. Not anymore!
If you’ve been following anything Disney related, you’ll know the new Beauty and the Beast comes out this week. This still happens to be one of my favorite fairy tales, so what better recipe could I share highlighting the film? If you remember, “the grey stuff” is a dish served to Belle during the musical presentation of her dinner. “Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious!”, is what we’re told. In the spirit of all things Beauty and the Beast, I couldn’t resist making this stuff into a real, deal delicious dessert. Join me in making some magic.
The grey stuff here is simply a chocolate mousse! I made this into a vegan treat using whipped coconut cream. The secret to the grey color is dark cocoa powder. It does more for the color of this dish than for flavor but you’ll note a delicious creamy base and slight chocolatey undertones. The cream could also be enjoyed by piping it onto cupcakes or cookies like they do at the Be Our Guest restaurant at Disney World. You can also freeze it for an ice cream-like dessert. All will enchant you!
I hope you’ll join me in reigniting your kid at heart. If you have kids to share these with, even better! I’m sure they will love it. See you in the dining room!
The Grey Stuff, Sugar-Free
3 cups Full-Fat Coconut Cream (about 3 cans, the thick white portion only), chilled
2/3 cup Coconut Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Hershey’s Dark Cocoa or Black Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder
2 Tablespoons Gluten-Free Flour, or Flour of choice
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Liquid Stevia Extract
Place coconut cans in the freezer for about 2 hours or the fridge overnight. In a large bowl, beat the coconut cream with the coconut sugar until fluffy and sweetener has dissolved. Add the rest of the ingredients. For piping this grey stuff, you can add more flour to your desired consistency. Place in the freezer to re-chill, about 5 minutes. Scoop into a piping bag or plastic bag and pipe into dishes. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 2 weeks.
To use heavy whipping cream in place of the coconut cream, please decrease the coconut sugar to 1/2 cup and omit the arrowroot powder and flour. Whip to firm peaks and follow rest of directions as stated.
Please do not substitute with regular cocoa powder, as it will not provide a true grey color. Depending on the cocoa used, you may only need 1 Tablespoon to reach a grey color.
Different brands of coconut milk have a stronger coconut flavor than others. Thai Kitchen has a great mellow flavor if you prefer a neutral flavor. Trader Joe’s sells cans with just the thick cream portion which will allow you to use only 2 cans, but it is strong in coconut flavor.