Beautiful but Bizarre

I've heard of some crazy combinations before when it comes to recipes, but nothing like this. Believe me, you'll see what I mean - and you'll think, GROSS - there's no way that tastes good at all. But I urge you to put all prior judgment aside - seriously, this is an exciting dessert, game-changing. And in fact, there are variations of this recipe all over the internet! The world of raw desserts spreads far and wide and includes some fantastically simple preparations, involving only a handful of ingredients. Take, for example, the soft banana ice cream. It starts with one ingredient: frozen bananas. Then you build from there. You could add whatever your sweet tooth desires and it would still be far healthier than a carton of Ben & Jerry's!

I'm so excited about this dessert, I've even added a "raw" tag to my small list of tags. This means you can expect to see much more in the raw dessert department on this blog. The main reason for this is simple: almost everyone can eat a raw dessert without any worries about dietary restrictions or health concerns. It's a double bonus!

This doesn't look healthy, does it? But IT IS! I won't tell you the main ingredient just yet (for that creamy, chocolatey filling), but I'll just briefly run over some of the fantastic other ingredients first.

Carob (us/uk)- Have you tried carob before or heard of it? It is actually a fruit, but is commonly used as a chocolate substitute for anyone looking for a healthy alternative (you may have seen carob bars or carob chips in your local health food shop). It's caffeine-free and lower in fat than cocoa, plus it contains fiber and calcium. In powder form, it works as a wonderful cocoa powder substitute in baking. However, it tastes quite different to the real deal, so in this recipe I used half carob powder, half cocoa powder.

Coconut oil (us/uk) - A wonderful substance that can be used in a variety of situations. I have recently started using it as a moisturizer! The antibacterial properties of coconut oil make it great for problem skin rather than an oil-free lotion. In baking and frying, it acts as a brilliant dairy-free and healthy alternative to butter and most oils, since it has a very high heat resistance. And the fats contained in coconut (medium chain fatty acids) are healthy fats, stimulating your metabolism and easily digestible. Not to mention the fact that it smells amazing! Assuming you like the smell of coconut... :)

Okay, on to the recipe! This chocolate pie requires no baking at all. What you DO need is a food processor. But trust me when I say that it will be worth the kitchen cupboard space - pretty much all of the raw dessert recipes I've been making involve the use of a processor, so I'm forever grateful for having one!

Raw Chocolate Mousse Pie

Adapted from simply raw by joel odhner

The particulars:

  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 2-3 ripe avocados (YES AVOCADOS)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup carob powder
  1. To make the crust, mix the coconut and dates in the food processor until a sticky, dough-like substance forms. This might take a minute or so. Tip the mixture into a springform cake tin (or any tin with a removable base) and press into the bottom and sides. Make sure it is even and that it comes up the sides about an inch.
  2. Prepare the filling by first mashing the avocados in a bowl until there aren't any big lumps. Transfer to the food processor and add the coconut oil, honey/syrup, and powders. Process until smooth - the end result should look (and taste!) like chocolate mousse.
  3. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth out with a knife or spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. To serve, remove plastic wrap and re-smooth with the knife or spatula, and decorate with raspberries (or any fruit you want!)

So, yes, avocados. But trust me on this one! It will not taste like guacamole, I promise. If you think about it, avocados are quite bland in taste and smooth in consistency. Bizarre!