Healthy Chocolate Mousse
This recipe was prepared by Chef Tammy Brawley on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.
Healthy Chocolate Mousse
4 very ripe avocados
¼ cup plain or vanilla nondairy milk, at room temperature
3-5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
¼ teaspoon fine salt
2-3 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate (70% or higher)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground dried mild or hot pepper such as ancho, guajillo or cayenne
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut cream
½ teaspoon almond extract
1-3 tablespoons coconut cream or coconut butter
½ very ripe banana
Cut one avocado in half with a sharp paring knife, making sure to avoid the large pit. Separate the avocado halves and using a spoon, remove the pit. Scoop the avocado flesh from each half into the food processor or a blender, making sure to avoid or discard any stringy bits and very dark patches. Repeat with remaining avocados.
Add the milk, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt to the food processor or blender. Cover, and process or blend until fully combined and the avocado is smooth, 30-45 seconds; set aside in the processor or blender with the cover on while you melt the chocolate.
Chop or break the chocolate into small (½ʺ) pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power at 20-second intervals, stirring between intervals, until the chocolate is melted, about 1 minute total. Remove the chocolate from the microwave, and stir well until smooth and free of any clumps, about 45 seconds.
Add the maple syrup to the melted chocolate, and stir until completely smooth and fully combined, about 1 minute. It will begin to thicken as you stir.
Uncover the processor or blender. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the avocado mixture, scraping the bowl with a soft silicone spatula.
Add the optional ingredients if desired. If you chose any or all of the add-ins, place them in the processor or blender.
Cover the processor or blender, and blend until fully combined, 45-50 seconds. Uncover, and scrape down the sides of the bowl or blender. Cover and process or blend again for 1 additional minute. Taste, and add more sweetener as needed. If you want a thicker pudding, add the coconut cream, coconut butter or banana, 1 tablespoon at time, processing or blending for at least 30 seconds after each addition. If you want a thinner pudding, add more milk 1 tablespoon at time, processing or blending for at least 30 seconds after each addition.
Scoop the pudding into a large bowl, or if you would like individual servings, scoop about a half-cup pudding into each of four ramekins or cups. This recipe makes about 2¼ to 2½ cups with no add-ins. Cover the bowl, ramekins or cups with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.