The other night two friends came over for dinner. They were in charge of the main, we were in charge of starters and dessert. This was the menu:
Crispy Mexican carnitas, made with pulled pork marinated overnight, then roasted and grilled for extra crispiness
Chocolate mousse with raspberries & blueberries
To tell you about this chocolaty dessert I need to first tell you how I got to it.
Following recipes is boring, or so I think most of the time. I have several recipe books at home and I love flipping through them, admiring the beautifully lighted pictures, the colours, wondering how easy or challenging certain recipes are, getting excited about some or turning the page without a second look when I’m certain “I will never make that recipe”… I don’t like following instructions, I feel I will miss a step or do something not quite right, then end up with something not as pretty or delicious-looking as the author did. So recipe books sometimes feel risky too. You can embark on a culinary exploration for dinner, just to end up with a miserable-looking dish that has little to do with the “promised land” you had put so much hope and effort into reaching.
Why does this happen? As I learnt in this very interesting article on SeriousEats, there are several variables that can affect your cooking results and which can explain why we experience deviations when we follow a recipe: room temperature, the equipment you use, your oven, or stove and the recipe source. With time, I have developed a slight mistrust towards recipes and so I have learnt to always follow them with a pinch of salt.
There is one book though, a gift I got for Christmas this year from my mom, that has surprised me in a really positive way. Despite my initial scepticism, every recipe I have made from it has turned out to be just amazing, and as much as I like to add/remove ingredients or give recipes a twist, I’ve rarely had to.
It is called The Green Kitchen: Delicious, Healthy, Vegetarian recipes for every day. It is written by a Swedish couple who started a blog in 2013. The recipe today is from this book: a super simple and very very healthy variation of chocolate mousse that will surprise and satisfy you equally.
Making a traditional mousse is fine too, and very delicious. But I am curious to try out alternatives, versions or “spin-offs” of the traditional recipes too. Firstly, because it is fun to see what happens when you use unexpected ingredients in a recipe, and secondly, because finding healthier versions of delicious things = you might feel better about eating them = you will eat (enjoy) them more often.
Other interesting vegan chocolate mousses I have stumbled upon during my research are
- DeliciousMartha’s, who uses the now very popular ingredient among vegans: aquafaba, which replaces eggs.
- Dra.Cooking Healthy’s, she uses tofu and banana to get that nice creaminess.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 ripe bananas
- 60g raw cacao powder
- 40g almond or cashew butter
- Salt, a pinch
- Toppings: raspberries and blueberries, grated walnuts
Optional & alternatives:
- Honey or agave/maple syrup: if bananas are not too ripe and sweet, you can sweeten it up a little too.
- Base: toasted sourdough / brioche
- Set 4 small glasses or bowls in the fridge, to cool down.
- Place all ingredients except for toppings in a food processor, blend until creamy.
- Fill an icing bag with the mix, grab the cold glasses/bowls and pour into mix in equal amounts into them. Put them back in the fridge to cool down.
- When ready to serve, remove glasses from fridge > add toppings > grate a walnut > done!
Mains*: I couldn’t help but post a couple of pictures of what the mains looked like. I had never tried homemade carnitas and I was mindblown. Juicy, tender but crispy at the same time, flavourful and with lots of toppings and extras to add to my corn tortilla! Thank you Kelsey & Mike for making our bellies happy.