I am one for a VERY rich dessert, and this is definitely one of those. You will get comments about the intensity of it, so it’s perfectly ok to tone it down a bit by reducing the cacao powder, using a milder dutched cocoa or adding some extra sweetener. As written here, I would describe the flavour as ‘adult’, and speaking of which, you could top it with a drizzle of liqueur if that’s the kind of party you’re throwing.
Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse
- Food processor
- 3 Large Avocados
- 1 Banana
- 150 grams Pitted Dates
- 100 grams Coconut Oil Melted
- 3/4 cup Cocoa or Cacao Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup or other liquid sweetener Optional
- You want to start with soft dates. If your dates are very fresh and juicy, they should be fine, but if not, you'll want to soak them in hot water for about 15 minutes, then discard the soak water
- While the dates are soaking, start melting the coconut oil on a very low heat
- Blitz the dates in your food processor until they are a paste
- Add the banana, avocado flesh, vanilla and salt to the date paste and process until smooth and uniform, no avocado chunks!
- Add the cacao powder and process again, then pour in the coconut oil while the processor is running
- Do a taste test and add some sweetener (maple syrup or other liquid sweetener) if desired
- Spoon the mix into six individual serving dishes and let set in the fridge for about 30 minutes. The longer it sits, the firmer it will be.
I nearly always use raw cacao powder for chocolately things, and being sensitive to stimulants, enjoy a very nice buzz from this dessert. Does anyone else get that? It can be quite tiring cooking a full on dinner, but after a small bowl of this mousse, I’m feeling conversational and happy. That’s probably the cacao plant chemicals such as highly bioavailable theobromine doing things to my neurotransmitters. Cacao is also quite high in magnesium so you tend to feel calm but awake, rather than wired.
While the cacao is the most noticeable ingredient, taste-wise, this dessert is mostly made from avocadoes and dates, although you can’t taste either distinctly. These two have their own nutritional benefits.
Avocado contains a veritable arsenal of nutrient compounds such as ‘fatty alcohols’ and phenolic compounds like flavonoids and anthocyanidins as well as carotenoids and vitamin E. These have many biological properties, including exhibiting antioxidant, antifungal and antiviral activities. Although there is some variation between varietals, the oil in avocado is around 70% monounsaturated oleic acid, a type of omega 9 fatty acid which doesn’t negatively affect blood lipids. On the flip side, avocadoes do contain the sugar alcohol sorbitol, which is fine for most people, but those following a low FODMAP diet should be aware that sorbitol falls into the polyol category. If polyols are an issue, you’ll need to limit this dessert to a very small serving.
Dates also are an unexpectedly rich source of nutrition. While having a quick look at some research to write this paragraph, I found them described by the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition as ‘an almost ideal food’ which provide trace amounts of six vitamins, at least 12 minerals and 23 amino acids. Apparently due to the presence of natural fluorine, they are good for strengthening teeth, however, like all foods that are sticky, they conversely also promote tooth decay, so I guess, eat your dates, then rinse.
I hope you enjoy this dessert, and remember, although it’s great that there are vitamins and minerals in there, the main point is to have a nice treat and sit back feeling like you’re living your best life.