Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chocolate craving? We've got you covered...

So the holidays have come and its time for celebration, decadence, and lest anyone forget...dessert.  Dessert and I have had a torrid relationship for the past couple of years. As much as I love to bake, I have a hard time processing sugar in my system, particularly the white stuff. I haven't baked with white sugar as a sweetener for many years but have thrown in the gluten-free complex lately and have been drastically reducing my dairy consumption. I also have a mild soy allergy which puts most vegan desserts off limits for me as well. But a few genius recipes have crossed my path and I have opened my pallet to them willingly in recent months. Most of these are fairly healthy desserts like fruit crumbles but at Christmas, these are less than desireable for most folks who've come for the over-the-top variety of fare.

I had been preached to repeatedly about the wonders of vegan chocolate-avocado mousse but remained skeptical until this Hannukah when I undertook to prepare it for a large crowd. It took a lot of tweaking to mute the avocado flavor and bolster the chocolate without the result tasting overwhelmingly bitter. I hope to revise it with coconut milk which will totally change the flavor and texture. I have a strong suspicion that a little coffee would enhance this recipe greatly (as it is a great ingredient that amplifies chocolate flavor in any dessert).

The mousse has a remarkable rich texture thanks to the avocado but if the undertone avocado flavor is bothersome to you, I thoroughly recommend refrigerating it for a day before serving as the cool temperature changes and dulls the avocado flavor in a noticeable way.

Here is what I ended up with after much tweaking:



4 avocadoes (ripe)
4 frozen bananas
2 tbsp real vanilla extract
2 tsp cinammon (or more if you like)
1 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp organic honey
1/2 cup (or more if you want it more chocolatey) unsweetened cocoa powder (I used 100% cocoa from Ghirardelli)

Modifications to try:

I would add in 1/4 cup of brewed strong coffee or 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
You could also add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to this if you want a coconutty flavor but you may need to adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your taste.


Blitz all ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl with a hand blender until very smooth. Taste and adjust saltiness, sweetness and cocoa-ness to your personal preference. Refrigerate for a day. Serve chilled in small cups or bowls.

Why this dessert is amazing:

It does become quite interesting and delicious. Some people are put-off by any remnants of avocado flavor but I enjoyed it. What impressed me most is that I didn't feel sick after eating this -- unlike virtually every other dessert that crosses my lips these days.

This dessert is:

Gluten-free. Vegan. Raw (if you use raw honey). Flourless. Full of good fats. Full of dietary fibre.

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