I’m not going to lie. I am NOT a big fan of the avocado. I know, I know…full of fiber and antioxidants, fatty acids and potassium, can lower cholesterol…”wonder food!” they say, beloved of the health conscious. Of course you could say similar things about blueberries and almonds…
So the other night after dinner Tonya told us she is trying out a new dessert recipe that she would be sharing at an upcoming event and wanted our opinion. Very secret and hush-hush as she added the final preparation touches.
What she presented was delicious looking chocolate mousse topping a couple of lady-fingers and covered in pecans. After having several scrumptious bites of this silky and smooth mousse and knowing there HAD to be something unusual about this dessert, I asked her “What’s the catch?” She explained, much to my surprise, that the chocolate mousse was prepared with…yep, avocados.
Chocolate-Avocado Mousse has been a favorite vegan and healthy chocolate alternative for several years as the avocado replaces a lot of the dairy and saturated fat ingredients usually associated with mousse, such as eggs and heavy whipped cream, without sacrificing the taste.
Needless to say, before knowing the details, I would have sworn the Chocolate-Avocado Mousse was just ordinary…mousse. And it’s quick! And it’s easy! Seriously. No baking, no boiling…no cooking! Just combine the ingredients, blend in a processor and…Done.
2 ripe avocados
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 – 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
dash of salt
Peel and pit the avocados. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Remove from processor and refrigerate at least an hour. Serving suggestions: Serve with lady-fingers or lemon wafers. Top with nuts, berries or chopped chocolate.
February is a busy month, not only for everyone but for our family as well. In fact sometimes it’s so busy there is an extra day added every four years just to catch your breath. There is the Super Bowl, there is Presidents Day, there is that Hallmark-created ‘holiday’ that has men ordering flowers online and paying for overnight shipping or running to Walgreens late on February 13th…Tonya and I celebrate our wedding anniversary around the same time as well.
Our family also has several birthdays in February including nieces, as well as Tonya’s mother, which is the inspiration for this recipe. The family takes birthdays pretty seriously and it usually involves either cake or some sort of dessert. As Tonya started her culinary journey with cakes and desserts, it’s only natural, and usually expected, that she creates many wonderful cakes for friends and family.
This cake is another great example. What better combination than bananas and…chocolate? You have a fruit…which is healthy…and you have chocolate, which is…chocolate…It’s banana bread with icing!!!
Banana Cake with Double Chocolate Icing
¾ cup of butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 tsps vanilla
1 ½ cups mashed bananas
1 ½ cups buttermilk
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsps baking soda
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter and sugar. Mix well. Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each egg. Stir in vanilla and bananas until well combined. In a separate bowl stir together flour, salt and baking soda. Alternately add the buttermilk and flour mixture to the banana mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour into greased and floured nine-inch round cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool slightly, then remove from pans.
1 cup butter, softened
1 lb powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter in a mixer. Stir in powdered sugar. Add cocoa and unsweetened chocolate. Mix well. Stir in vanilla and milk. Mix well. If icing is too stiff, add more milk until desired consistency. Ice the Banana cake layers.
Now in my opinion Tonya’s cakes are best paired with a glass of cold milk but try this beer I bought at The Casual Pint located in Franklin, TN. (click here to virtually visit The Casual Pint)
The beer is an oatmeal stout from New Holland Brewing called The Poet. New Holland is based in Holland, MI and The Poet is one of their year-round brews that has a malty and, of course, roasted oats taste that pairs well with chocolate.