Avocado & Cocoa: A Match Made In Dessert Heaven

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AVOCADO & CHOCOLATE

8 REASONS TO LOVE THIS CULINARY COMBO

Since fats stopped being the devil (we were all for them anyways!), avocados have become the fat-filled darlings of the produce section. They’re green, creamy, buttery, and add moisture and richness to everything from burnt toast to a delicious salad, fried egg, or just plain ole guacamole.

But avocado is at its best when paired with a fellow fat bomb – COCOA. The acidity in cocoa helps soften the avocado, making it even more buttery and smooth, and a great substitute for pure fats like butter, shortening, and oil. In return, I’ve found that the richness of the avocado brings out all the earthy chocolate flavour of the cocoa powder, while cutting down on any bitterness.

Aside from being complementary on the tastebuds, avocado and chocolate also have a host of health benefits. Avocados are the only fruit to provide a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). The naturally nutrient-dense fruit also contains almost 20 vitamins and minerals, is a good source of eye-healthy lutein, is rich in fibre, and helps ease digestion and maintain proper bowel movements.

Discovered by the Aztecs (who revered it so much they used it as a form of currency), cocoa/cacao is great for your body. It’s rich in antioxidants, can act as a mild antidepressant, is great for your skin, and can (possibly) help maintain optimum cardiovascular health.

To celebrate this marriage made in culinary heaven, we’ve rounded up a list of our favourite avocado-infused chocolate desserts.

We hope you’re inspired….to get baking!

Fudgsicles

We just have three words for these babies here. Oh. My. God. These decadent frozen delights are your best bet on any day. They take 10 minutes to throw together, require no fancy equipment aside from the everyday blender, and combine all our favourite flavours in one bite!

They’re vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, and dairy-free, so you know you can eat them with absolutely NO GUILT. 

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Nutritionist Eats:

Ingredients
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the kind for drinking, or almond milk)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
⅓ cup raw cacao powder
50g dark chocolate (optional topping)

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze at least 8 hours.
To remove from the popsicle mold, I find it helpful to let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so they slide out easily.
For the chocolate topping: melt dark chocolate in a double boiler and lay the fusgsicles on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle over the bars, and return to the freezer for 10 minutes to set.

Frosting

Finally frosting you can eat by the bowlful! This healthy-ish cake topping (or stand alone dessert) is every bit as delicious as its mainstream counterpart, if not more nutritious. It’s chock full of protein, heart-healthy fats, and requires minimal effort to whip up. Use as you would normal frosting, or just dive face first into the bowl; your pick!

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of The Smart Cookie:

Ingredients
1/2 cup mashed avocado (this was 1 small avocado for me)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey (use agave for a vegan version)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (a vegan version, such as So Delicious, will also work)
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted

Instructions:
Add avocado to food processor and process until completely smooth with no clumps. Add all remaining ingredients. Process until a smooth and creamy texture is achieved. Frosting should be thick enough that you can hold it on a knife upside down without it falling off and silky smooth. Transfer into desired container and store in fridge until using time. Use as you would normal frosting. Recipe yields about 1 1/4 cups.

Soft-Serve

Feast your eyes on the mesmerising swirls of this homemade chocolate avocado soft-serve. Stick it on a waffle cone and you won’t feel the need to run out for a tub of your favourite store bought icecream! They’re that good.

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Half Baked Harvest:

Ingredients

4 very cold avocados

1 can cold coconut milk you will not need the whole can

4 tablespoons dark chocolate coco powder

2 tablespoons powdered suger

2 tablespoon honey

3 ounces mlk chocolate melted and cooled

2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

sprinkles for topping (optional)

ice cream cone optional

Instructions:

Refrigerate the coconut milk and avocados overnight. It is really important that your coconut milk is cold!
Melt the milk chocolate and let sit on the counter to cool. Remove avocados from the skin (and pit) and place in a food processor. Blend until combined and creamy. Flip your cold can of coconut milk upside down and open it. There should be around 1/2 cup of coconut water at the top. Pour this into a container and save for another use. Scoop out a 1/2 cup of the coconut cream (save the rest of this as well for another use) and place to into the food processor, blend until pureed. Add the melted milk chocolate, cocoa powder, powdered suger, honey, vanilla and salt. Blend until pureed, scraping down the sides when needed to combine. Blend for a good 2-4 minutes until completely creamy Taste and add more sweetener additionally if desired.
Scoop the ice cream into a piping bag fitted with a tip or just scoop into a bowl. Place in the freezer for 15-30 minutes, but no long if you want soft serve. Pipe or scoop the ice cream into cones or bowls and top with sprinkles if desired. Store the remaining ice cream in the freezer.
*Note that because you are freezing the avocados they will not turn brown and the flavor will stay the same. Just keep any leftover ice cream in the freezer!

Brownies

One bite of these ooey, gooey, and (gasp) healthy brownies, and you’ll discover a new kind of love. They’re timeless, effortless, and use…wait for it…baby food!

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Hungry Hannah:

Ingredients

3/4 cup oats, measured and then ground into flour (any type of flour will work here)

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cococa powder (I used half dark chocolate/dutch and half regular)

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sweetener of your choice (sugar in the raw, coconut sugar, or regular ol’ white sugar)*

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup pureed prunes (2 5-oz containers of baby food works perfectly)

1 egg, whisked (or 1 Tbsp ground chia or flax seeds for vegan)

1.5 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, melted (optional)

1/3 cup chopped dark or semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF and spray an 8×8″ baking dish thoroughly with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients: oat flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Whisk well and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients: pureed prunes, egg, honey, vanilla extract, oil/butter, and whisk. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined. Fold in chopped chocolate.

Pour into your greased baking dish and bake for 17 – 18 minutes (18 was perfect for mine), or until a toothpick inserted into brownies comes out clean. Let cool before serving, and enjoy with a glass of milk or ice cream!

Truffles

Craving a smaller bite of heaven? Then sink your teeth into these six-ingredient truffles that are the perfect after lunch, dinner, or even breakfast addition.

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Honey & Figs Kitchen:

Ingredients

5 oz. dark chocolate

1 ripe avocado

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons cacao powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

You can mash the avocado with a fork if it’s very ripe, but I suggest using a blender if you’re bothered by green chunks in the truffles. Make sure that the avocado is really really really ripe.

Blend avocado, melted chocolate, cacao, sugar, salt and vanilla together until smooth.

Chill mixture for 15 minutes.

Shape mixture into balls and chill for at least three hours.

You can use cocoa powder, coconut flakes, sprinkles or whatever you fancy to cover the truffles!

Birthday Cake

A vegan birthday cake that’s fit for the Queen in your life? Yes please! This bundt cake is no ordinary chocolate cake. It’s rich, dense, and topped with a creamy drizzle. What more can you ask for?

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen:

Ingredients

3 oz good-quality vegan chocolate

2/3 cup freshly brewed coffee

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Ghiradelli)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup canola oil (you can also use olive oil — but cake might have a slight olive oil flavor)

1/2 large very ripe avocado, mashed

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I get mine at Whole Foods)

For the vegan ganache:

8 oz vegan chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup light coconut milk, plus more if necessary

Instructions

Grease 12-cup bundt cake pan with whatever oil you have on hand. I usually use olive oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place a small saucepan over low heat and add in 3 oz of good-quality vegan chocolate and freshly brewed coffee. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, both sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a separate large bowl, beat together mashed avocado, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth. Whisk in cooled chocolate and your milk of choice. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips. Your cake batter should be pretty thick. If it’s too thick, add in an extra tablespoon or two of milk.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and smooth top. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out almost clean, with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool in pan an hour on a wire rack before flipping over and transferring to wire rack to finish cooling completely.

To make vegan chocolate ganache:

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add in coconut milk and chopped chocolate. Watch carefully and whisk until chocolate is completely melted. If you want a thinner ganache, add in more coconut milk. Let stand for a few minutes then immediately spoon ganache over cake. Top ganache with sprinkles, more chocolate chips, nuts, or another topping of choice. Cut into 12 slices and serve immediately!

Raw Mousse Tart

It might be raw, but it sure is delicious! Try this no bake tart when you’re in a hurry and be rest assured your dinner guests will be begging for seconds.

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Manna Eats:

Ingredients

For the Tart Base

300g or 3 cups Pecans

30 g or 2 Tbsp Ghee (or coconut oil/butter)

50g or 2 Tbsp Barley Malt Syrup (or Rice Malt Syrup/Maple Syrup/Honey)

For the Chocolate Mousse

400g or 4 Avocadoes

60g or ½ cup cacao

100g or 4 Tbsp honey (or sweetener of choice)

2-3f or 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)

Instructions

In a food processor, blend the pecans until coarse crumbs are formed.

Add the melted ghee or coconut oil/butter and the barley malt syrup (or sweetener of choice) and process. The mix should stick together when pressed with your hands.

Place the mix into the base of the tart tin and press down from the center outwards

Freeze for half an hour

For the chocolate mousse, blend the avocadoes, cacao, honey and vanilla paste until all the ingredients are well combined and the mousse is smooth

Fold into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe. Alternatively, pour into tart shell and spread evenly using an offset spatula.

Mint Cookies (Non-Vegan)

If there’s anything that can make an avo-choco combo better, it’s mint! These trendy, healthy cookies are the ideal snack for the healthy foodie with a serious sweet tooth.

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Veggie & The Beast:

Ingredients

1 avocado

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick butter

8 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate

2 cups flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped very fine

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

If your avocado is soft, mash the heck out of it with a fork. If your avocado needs some help, take out the food processor and blend until smooth. I had to go the processor route because my grocery store apparently refrigerated their avocados before putting them out for purchase. Tisk tisk. The avocado was ripe, just cold, so I knew I could work with it.

When your avocado is smooth, use a mixer to blend in the sugar until you have a creamy, vibrant mixture.

Add the eggs and the vanilla, and mix until well incorporated. Set the mixture aside for a few minutes while you get the star of the show ready.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and top with a larger glass bowl so it fits in the pot, but doesn’t touch the water. A plastic bowl will not work well for this…I’ve been there, and it’s not a good place to be. Add the stick of butter and chopped chocolate, and stir with a fork until it melts into silky smoothness

Then mix the melted chocolate into the wet ingredients, taking care not to let any accidentally make its way into your mouth (do as I say, not as I do). You want to use a mixer to fully incorporate it.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the chocolate avocado mixture. Blend in the mint and chocolate chips, and you’re ready to roll.

This dough is sticky, so you’ll have a much more attractive result, and less frustrating experience, if you refrigerate it for a half hour. While you’re waiting, cut some parchment paper to line your cookie sheet, and since that takes about 2 minutes, find something else to do for the remaining 28. After you’ve been patient and your dough has been chilled, take a hefty spoonful, roll it into a ball, and press down lightly with the palm of your hand. I experimented with sizes, and found that making a big, nearly golf-ball-sized cookie gave me the best results.

Bake for 9-10 minutes for golf-ball sized. You want these to be juuuuust set when you take them out.

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