Some things get better with age like fine wine, George Clooney, and this insanely decadent dessert. I whipped this up last night within minutes, then let it chill for an hour in the fridge like I was supposed to. When I finally sampled it, I was pleased but not wowed at first. It was strong and really rich so a little went a long way. When I dug into it again today though, things had changed some. It had thickened to a gloriously creamy and firm velvety texture and had mellowed and sweetened significantly. The night before, although it was getting really good by about the third bite, I could still detect strong flavors like the almond extract and avocado. But today everything tasted blended and in unison, sweeter, more wonderful. Yes! I am excited. Really guys, what other dessert do you know of that is as healthy for you as a handful of vegetables?
I used organic raw cacao powder for the chocolate in this recipe. It might seem like the same same thing as cocoa powder, but it's not. Hark! I got a lesson in raw cacao from Sarah B over at My New Roots, who has an equally delicious recipe for vegan chocolate mousse tarts, a while ago and it changed my world. Raw cacao is considered a superfood because it contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants and is also a good source of dietary fiber. It's also known to be one of the highest sources of magnesium, flavanols and polyphenols that will increase energy and enhance health. It also contains more antioxidants per gram than goji berries, blueberries, red wine and even green tea. Yes, it's quite amazing what a little raw cacao can do for your health, but it doesn't mean you should read this and use it as a pass to start eating chocolate mousse everyday. This is dessert after all, and should be treated like it. Regular cocoa powder that can be bought at the grocery store is not good for you and is highly processed thus killing any and all of the nutritious enzymes that were once present, but (and I say this reluctantly) you can use it as a substitute if you don't have the real thing- I'd go out and buy some at your local health food store if I were you, though. Make sure it is organic and raw before making the purchase. I like the Navitas Naturals brand. It will cost you a few extra dollars than the Hershey's stuff, but it's well worth it and not that expensive. Think $10 vs. $4.50.
The other ingredients in this recipe are great for you too. I'm sure you knew avocados were good for you, but do you know just how great they are? If you are one of those people who sees the word avocado and thinks "fat", please, please, go google the benefits. Avocados are a good fat, which is good for your body. I know you have heard that before, but they can also help lower your cholesterol, not to mention providing good amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. Plus, they are delicious. Can I get an amen?
This mousse is sweetened with agave or maple syrup and flavored with vanilla and almond extracts (you can leave out the almond and sub vanilla if you are not a fan). You just put all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz away. That's it! This will keep covered in the refrigerator for a few days just fine. I'd serve it in little shot glasses if I were you because it's cute and seems to be the perfect serving size for me.
Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse
adapted from "If It Makes You Healthy" by Chuck White and Sheryl Crow (chocolate-avocado mousse martinis)
2 large ripe avocados
1/2 cup raw organic cacao powder (or cocoa powder with a minimum of 70 % cocoa)
1/2 cup agave nectar, or maple syrup, or more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 pint fresh raspberries for garnish
Halve and pit the avocados and scoop out the flesh. Transfer the avocado flesh to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the cacao powder, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and almond extract to the bowl and process for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and process again until the mousse is very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Taste the mousse and if not sweet enough add more agave, 1 teaspoon at a time.
Transfer the mousse to a clean container and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour (taste is better and more developed if it sits overnight). Serve chilled in tiny bowls or shot glasses and garnished with raspberries.
By the way, I don't have a thing for George Clooney. I don't even know why I said that in the beginning of this post, but you have to agree that he looked better in "Oceans Eleven", when he was older, than in "ER".