Cheating Recipes

I’m always pretty skeptical of “cheating recipes”: recipes that claim to provide a way to enjoy everything from brownies to pudding by replacing all the good stuff (butter, flower, cream, chocolate, etc.) with vegetables. I had an especially bad experience last week with a recipe for Cauliflower Pizza Dough. The only ingredients were cauliflower, eggs, herbs, and a little bit of cheese. Red flags should have gone up, but the excitement about the possibility of a bread-free pizza that I could eat without abandon was too overwhelming.
They were horrible. Horrible actually doesn’t even begin to cover it, inedible would be more accurate. So when I came across a recipe for Avocado Chocolate Mousse, although I was curious, I didn’t have even mildly high expectations.
To my surprise, the mousse came out very well. The creamy texture of the avocado perfectly translates into a mousse. It is not on par with a proper mousse made with cream, butter, and chocolate, but it’s simple, uses natural ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes. Most importantly, it can quickly get you past those mind-numbing chocolate cravings without doing too much caloric damage.
I made mine by adapting Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for Chocolate-Avocado Mousseand making a few substitutions based on some similar recipes from health food websites. However, this recipe has so few ingredients that you can just do it by taste.

I started with four ripe avocados, blended them in a food processor and then added unsweetened cocoa powder, melted chocolate chips, honey, and some almond milk to thin it out. I couldn’t even tell you how much of each ingredient I added because I just tweaked it until it tasted right. Add cocoa powder if the avocado taste is too strong, honey if it’s not sweet enough, and almond milk (I’m sure any kind of milk would work) if it gets too thick. I only added about a third of a cup of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips because I wanted to feel no guilt when eating the mousse. However, my finished mousse has an aftertaste with a tiny reminder of the presence of avocado. That didn’t at all bother me but if it bothers you, the more melted chocolate you add, the more you cancel out the avocado flavor. Chill it in the refrigerator for about three hours then serve with berries or chocolate chips.

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