Sinfully rich and healthful peacefully coexist in this Paleo-friendly and refined sugar-free Chocolate Avocado Mousse that is so simple to prepare you won’t believe it!
Several weeks ago, I was in a grocery store having a conversation with an employee about cheese when a rack of cookbooks nearby caught my eye. One cookbook in particular–The Paleo Chef by Nick Evans–kept calling out to me, wanting me to pick it up and peruse it. (I told you cookbooks talk to me, didn’t I?)
Anyway, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with anything “Paleo.” A number of my clients have requested I cook the “Paleo” diet because it’s the hottest “diet” going. The framework of the diet is easy–avoid all dairy, grains, legumes, refined sugar and anything processed. In other words, you want to keep what you consume to vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and grass-fed, organic or wild-caught proteins.
The reason this cookbook called out to me was because I had not yet seen a Paleo cookbook written by a real, living and breathing CHEF. There are A LOT of really great recipes in this cookbook and I will be making many of them simply because they sound and LOOK wonderful. (The photography is stunning!)
I was intrigued by his Chocolate Avocado Mousse right off the bat and eagerly made it according to the recipe. It was good, however, the amount of chocolate called for was a bit intense for me (and I LOVE chocolate), I wished it were sweeter and I found the addition of cinnamon to be off-putting. Chef Evans scrapes an entire vanilla bean into the mousse, however, because of the cinnamon, I didn’t taste the vanilla at all. (A waste of an expensive ingredient in my opinion.)
Here is the result of my tweaking his recipe. My husband even enjoyed this and he doesn’t care for avocados.
If you’re super-serious about the Paleo lifestyle, you’ll want to make sure the chocolate is as unprocessed as possible, use raw honey and use a vanilla bean or pure vanilla bean paste instead of the extract (which can contain sugar).
One other note: The first time I made this mousse, the dates (which I purchased at Whole Foods) blended perfectly into the mousse. The second time, I used dates from The Fresh Market. Not sure what the difference was, but the second time I had little “date lumps” that I could not get rid of. My solution was to press the mousse through a fine-mesh sieve and it worked beautifully.
6 Medjool dates
2 large ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
5 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Soak the dates in hot tap water for 1 hour; drain. Pit the dates and remove what skin you can.
Combine dates, avocados, cocoa powder, honey and vanilla extract in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth and fluffy.
If any date "bits" refuse to incorporate and smooth out, press mousse mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
Serve in glasses with unsweetened coconut flakes and chopped hazelnuts.
MAKE AHEAD: The mousse will turn slightly darker upon standing, however it does not affect the flavor at all. If you don't mind the color change, this can be made two days ahead.