In the late 1970s it was très chic to have Dartington Crystal avocado dishes in one's trousseau. As a young bride, I always coveted a set... heaven knows why, for it wasn't until the last decade or two that my taste buds came to really enjoy avocado. I didn't like the texture nor the flavour, and, besides, it always seemed curious to me that a dish as elegant as a prawn cocktail should be served in half of an avocado! Time changes most things and, as you will see by the surprisingly delicious and decadent little number above, the grown up me now fully appreciates the versatility of avocado in all forms.
One of the first recipes to arouse my interest was this avocado, mango and walnut salad from an Australian Women's Weekly cookbook. I tasted it at a 1980s dinner party and the host was kind enough to copy the recipe for me. Nowadays, I love guacamole, especially on a chicken sandwich, and also as an accompaniment to smoked salmon on ribbon sandwiches with cream cheese!
Christine Heaslip's The Complete Avocado Cookbook (1984) is tucked away on my bookshelves and there are so many avocado recipes that I've yet to try, including Ms Heaslip's avocado based sweets of green-with-envy cheesecake and green velvet meringue roll. I had seen chocolate avocado mousse recipes many times over the years, but hadn't been adventurous enough to try any of them until I saw a version on Manu's Menu. You will note that my mousse is lighter in colour than Manuela's... this is due to the addition of banana, suggested by my daughter, Lauren, who makes her own version of this dessert with raw cacao nibs. I also tweaked Manu's quantities slightly and must admit that both Peter and I were surprised by the smoothness and 'light' richness of the mousse. Moreover, the recipe is so quick and easy to prepare. If only I had known about it when I was organising those weekly dinner parties!
CHOCOLATE AVOCADO BANANA MOUSSE
3/4 cup dark chocolate pieces
2 ripe avocados
1 ripe banana
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons low fat milk
pinch sea salt, optional
Place the chocolate pieces into a Pyrex bowl and sit the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (or use a double boiler if you have one) until the chocolate has melted. Combine the avocado, banana, cocoa powder, honey, maple syrup, milk and melted chocolate in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon into serving glasses. Can be chilled before serving, or serve immediately. For decoration, I popped a few of the raspberries that I froze at the end of last Summer on top. This quantity serves 4.
This little number is surprisingly delicious and decadent...
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Tell me, do you enjoy avocados? Have you ever used avocado in a dessert? And do you have a set of avocado dishes tucked away in your trousseau?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.