Archive for May, 2009

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

CIMG2763-1

Guess what?

My oven broke.

Ha! I think this was its way of getting back at me for my negligence these past couple of weeks. I already knew it was temperamental, but this takes sensitivity to a whole new level. You don’t want to use me? Fine, I’ll stop working. A little passive aggressive, no?

So that’s getting fixed. But in the meantime, I couldn’t leave you all hanging with no new recipe! So today I’m sharing a sweet treat that requires no oven. Now I know this is a “baking” blog, but I personally would rather have a no-baked treat than no treat at all. So let’s roll with it.

Last summer, I came across this recipe for chocolate mousse made from avocados, or – in Jason Mraz The Creator’s words – chocomole. Cute name, right? I was instantly intrigued. It was right after a beach vacation where my friends and I made a GINORMOUS bowl of guacamole and proceeded to devour it quicker than I thought humanly possible that we really enjoyed. My friend, Kristen, Co-Guacamole Maker Extraordinaire, spotted the chocomole recipe the same day and forwarded it to me. It was clearly a must-try. So when I thought about making a no-bake sweet, guess what immediately came to mind?

CIMG2765-1

The recipe is SUPER easy and all you need is a food processor to make it happen. But! It is pretty vague about how much of each ingredient to use. So I got to Googling and found a billion different versions, including one by the lovely Gena. Most of them seemed to suggest the same taste, adjust, taste, adjust process as Mr. Mraz. So that’s what I did – and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out!

You can add some extra sweetness if you’d like – agave nectar or maple syrup would be great and make it nice and smoooooth! – but I just wanted to keep the recipe as simple as possible.  Plus I think it’s really cool that there’s absolutely no added sweetener in this version.  This really is health food my friends.  

Here’s my Chocolate Avocado Mousse:

1 avocado

8 Medjool dates, chopped

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in food processor. Blend, blend, blend – scraping sides when necessary – until smooth. That’s it! Makes 2-3 servings.

CIMG2762-1

I loooooved this. It was so thick and fudgy. I am amazed at how so few and healthy – and maybe odd? – ingredients can come together to create something so delicious. Will definitley be making this again and again.

Have you ever made a sweet treat from avocado?

CIMG2758-1

Advertisements

Molasses

SW025Molasses is:

(a) an awesome natural sweetener

(b) an example of how slow I’ve been at getting a new post up.  Badum-ching!  Cue laugh track.

How about all of the above?

Friends!  I know, I know.  I’ve been gone for far too long.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks – full of work craziness, business travels, fun travels, friends in town, etc.  And this post just sat on my To Do list.  And sat.  And sat.

And molasses doesn’t deserve that!  It treated me so well in my Walnut Molasses Whole Wheat Bread.  It’s only right that I return the favor and write it up for you all!  So here goes.

Molasses is the thick by-product from the processing of sugar cane into suger.  It has a syrupy texture, dark, caramel color and robust, bittersweet flavor.  Quick history…It was first imported into the U.S. from the Caribbean during colonial times – for use in rum!  It was a very popular sweetener until the late 19th century because, at the time, it was much more affordable than refined sugar.  But when refined sugar got cheaper, molasses was displaced.  It still has a fan in me!

To make molasses, the sugar cane plant is harvested and its juice is extracted.  The juice is then boiled, which causes the sugar to crystallize. This happens in three different stages.  When this first boiling is over and the sugar crystals are removed, you have first molasses, or light molasses.  Light molasses has the highest sugar content of all types of molasses because not much sugar has been taken out.  Second molasses, or dark molasses, comes from the second boiling and crystal removal.  The third creates blackstrap molasses, which has the least amount of sugar of all the molasses types.  Blackstrap molasses is pretty great.  Extracting all the sugar leaves behind a bunch of good stuff – manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium.  Vitamins and minerals galore!

Molasses can be sulfured or unsulfured.  But go for the unsulfured.  That means the fumes used in processing the sugar aren’t retained as sulfur in the molasses.  No one wants that!

Molasses is about 65% as sweet as refined sugar.  If you want to substitute it in your recipes, your best bet is to use it in place of brown sugar.  The flavor profile and moisture content of molasses lend themselves well to this swap.  Try 1 cup molasses for every 3/4 cup brown sugar.  Molasses can also be used cup for cup in place of honey, agave nectar or maple syrup.  The taste will obviously change, but it could make for some fun experiments!

Do you use molasses in your baking?  What’s your favorite recipe?


Contact

ashley.sweetandnatural@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter!


Quantcast