For my birthday recently I was given a copy of the cookbook “Deliciously Ella” written by the blogger Ella Woodward. It’s a lovely book with beautiful photographs: something all us food bloggers can aspire to. Her philosophy centres on plant-based, wholefood living and has everything to recommend it. You may have read here many times that following a healthy diet – as current wisdom dictates, it could all change next year – is an aim that I admire and want to live by, I just can’t quite seem to fully commit. I am constantly striving for a healthier, better diet and some days I manage it better than others. Within my huge cookery book collection I have a large number of traditional baking and cookery books, but I also have a lot of books that focus on wholefoods, superfoods, low sugar, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, etc, etc. It’s a constant battle and one that I will never fully win while I try to run a business that is based predominantly around baking cakes and cupcakes. So for now I will continue to try and follow my own philosophy of fresh, seasonal food and everything in moderation, while trying to get all the latest superfoods into my diet and reduce the amount of refined sugar I consume. It’s not easy. Even thinking about it makes me want a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.
It seemed a good time to try this chocolate mousse recipe as I have various books that use avocados in chocolate desserts and have been meaning to give it a try for ages. It’s a delicious dessert in its own right but you’ll be disappointed if you are expecting it to taste exactly like a chocolate mousse. It is deliciously creamy and so rich that we couldn’t even eat a whole portion in one go (not something I usually struggle with!). And that is quite impressive when you think that it’s a chocolate dessert with no butter, sugar, eggs or cream. Ella suggests serving it sprinkled with chia seeds but I didn’t fancy adding a crunch. The recipe uses almond butter which is made with nothing but toasted almonds and a sprinkle of salt and I made a large pot of it using the directions in Ella’s book. It’s delicious and I have been eating it on my toast. I’m sure you could use smooth peanut butter as an alternative if you don’t have any almond butter and don’t want to make it. I’ve made her roasted squash, olive, avocado and rocket salad and I can recommend that also. I’m really looking forward to working my way through the book: homemade hummus is next on my list.
Recipe – makes two large portions
1 ripe avocado
2 ripe bananas
6 Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons almond butter
4 teaspoons raw cacao powder
Maple syrup – optional
If you want to make your own almond butter, set the oven to 200°C. Spread your almonds on a baking tray and add a sprinkle of salt. I used 400g which made a large jar of almond butter.
Roast for about 10 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool for a while.
Put them into a food processor and blend – it can take up to about 15 minutes to get it smooth and creamy:
To make the mousse:
Remove the skin and stone of the avocado and peel the bananas.
Put all the ingredients, with a splash of water, into a food processor.
Maple syrup can be added for extra sweetness if required.
Blend until it is smooth and divide between two ramekins or glasses (or more if you want a smaller portion).