Coffee Mousse in Walnut Cups

Coffee and walnut are a tried-and-tested flavour combination. I substituted walnuts for the pecans in my standard GF and DF nut crust (see last footnote), and filled it with a creamy coffee mousse to make these delicious little gluten-free treats.

The filling is adapted from Karen Burns-Booth via Great British Chefs.

Makes: 30 canapé-sized treats (see footnote for mousse-only ideas)

For the crust:

  • 100g gluten-free plain flour, plus additional for crustlette insertion
  • 40g porridge oats
  • 65g ground almonds
  • 65g very finely chopped walnuts (they should be as sandy as the ground almonds)
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons maple, agave, or golden syrup; runny honey will do as well
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling and garnish:

  • 2 gelatine leaves plus cold water to cover
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 large eggs, separated into 2 large mixing bowls (they should be 62-69g each when weighed in the shell)
  • 110ml (110g if weighing) double cream
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 55ml (55g if weighing) hot water
  • Chocolate sprinkles, cocoa or coconut nibs, shaved/grated chocolate, fresh mint, additional whipped cream, etc to decorate


  • A 24-hole non-stick canapé tin with 1″ diameter holes (see Kit footnote for other tins)
  • An electric mixer (hand-held or stand)
  • A manual whisk
  • A spatula
  • 3 mixing bowls, 2 large and 1 medium
  • 3 small bowls
  • A chopping board and sharp knife (it’s much faster, though, to use a nut/coffee grinder or food processor if you have it, for the walnuts)
  • A teaspoon
  • Cooling rack

Making the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Put some flour in a small bowl for your fingers / dowel.
  2. Mix all crust ingredients together manually in a medium bowl until fully moistened and combined. Roll up 30 evenly-sized small balls, 12g each. Put 6 into the fridge for later.
  3. Take 24 balls and press each into the tin holes using lightly-floured fingertips (or a lightly-floured dowel, but this does require using your fingers as well), ensuring the crust goes all the way up the sides and is evenly thin all over. Leave a bit of a ‘lip’ at the top of each.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until browned and a light finger tap in the base of a few feels firm. Remove the tin, and after 5 minutes remove the crustlettes to a cooling rack.
  5. Wipe out the tin, ensure it’s fully cool, then load up with the remaining 6 crust balls and bake them.

Making the Filling

  1. While the last crustlettes are cooling, put the gelatine leaves in a small bowl with cold water to cover.
  2. Mix the coffee granules with the boiling water in a small bowl until dissolved.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed as the colour and texture change.
  4. Beat the cream until very stiff  (no need to clean the beaters from the whites).
  5. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy and pale (again, no need to clean the beaters).
  6. Squeeze all liquid from the gelatine leaves and add them to the coffee with the hot water. Stir until the gelatine leaves are dissolved.
  7. Pour the coffee mixture into the yolks/sugar bowl slowly, whisking continuously to avoid scrambling. Whisk in the whipped cream and egg whites 1/3 each at a time, alternating, until fully combined.
  8. Spoon the mousse into each crustlette with a teaspoon – it should be 2 & 1/2 tsp or so per crustlette. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (longer for larger servings).
  9. Garnish each before serving. They’re a bit bland-tan as per below (as all coffee & walnut desserts are) without a garnish of some sort.

Different Kit
This recipe as written does require specialised kit, but it could easily be adapted for a standard non-stick 12-hole muffin or bun tin – simply increase the baking time to suit the larger tart size. (Also, prick each crust lightly with a fork before baking so it doesn’t puff up, which it will do even with plain flour.) You should get 10-12 larger tarts from this recipe.

Serving the Mousse Only
As with my Lemon Mousse recipe, you could dispense with any pastry crust and just serve the coffee mousse in clear glasses, ramekins, etc. You’ll get 6-8 servings in large wine glasses – many more in smaller bowls.

Nut Crust
The gluten-free and dairy-free walnut crust is my own, adapted from the standard pecan version as used in my Sharon Fruit Pie, Mini Baked Custard Tarts, Raisin & Pecan Pie, ‘Tropical’ Lemon Meringue Pie, Coconut & Cherry Cheesecake, and more (see the Pies/Tarts tag listing). I’ve also a hazelnut version for a lemon-lime curd filling, or mandarine-lime cheesecake.


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