I’ve been MIA for a few weeks. I can’t completely explain why. Is there such a thing as writer’s block, but for cooks? Is it imposter syndrome? Perhaps it’s because of the oppressive July heat in NYC, making me hesitate every time I even think about turning on the stove. Or maybe it’s the ceiling leak, forcing my studio apartment into disorderly disaster and causing an allergic reaction that put me in the doctor’s office. Maybe it’s the challenges of the moment, of corona and George Floyd, weighing on my mind and making things like food seem, well, insignificant.
But at the end of the day, I love to cook and learn more about food and culture and how those things interact, so I can’t be myself and step away from this project. Food is significant, we eat it every day and it tells our stories. Feeling renewed and recommitted after this unexpected pause, I’m back with a recipe to rise to the occasion.
This creamy chocolate avocado pudding is both decadent and nutrient-packed, benefiting from the vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fats in avocados, maple syrup, bananas, and of course chocolate! The recipe can be made without turning on your stove (it’s just too hot for that), is served cold, and takes only 10 minutes of active time. It’s easily customizable to different tastes and diets. Eat it as dessert or, if you’re like me, as a meal.
I made this chocolate avocado pudding using ripe avocados, coconut milk for extra creaminess, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, maple syrup, bananas, and a pinch of salt, topped with fresh berries and mint leaves.
Here’s a few tips and tricks for this recipe…
Make sure your avocados are ripe enough. The most important factor for pudding success. You can check ripeness by gently squeezing the avocado, especially on the top stem. If it’s as hard as a rock, the avocado isn’t ripe enough, so set it aside on a countertop and check it every day. Once it gives a little bit, especially on the stem, it’s ripe. This is when I either eat it or put it in the fridge to slow the ripening process further (especially if I know I won’t get to eating it right away). If the avocado is squishy in your hand, it’s overripe and may have started to rot.
Make it to your preference. Controversial statement: I’m not a fan of very dark chocolate with a high level of cacao because I find it too bitter. I do however have a huge sweet tooth! So for this recipe I used semisweet chocolate chips which suit my tastes. I encourage you to play with the type of chocolate that you like the most. If you substitute dark chocolate you will probably want to increase the level of sweetness.
You’ll need to judge readiness based on your equipment. If you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, I recommend using a lower speed because this doesn’t mix well on the higher speeds. You want the avocado to be well-combined and the length of time/speed that takes does depend on your equipment.
Pay attention to the chocolate. When you melt the chocolate chips, give your full attention to the chocolate. This is not the time to set and forget the microwave. Melted chocolate hardens fast, so move quickly. Have all your utensils and maple syrup ready to go.
Berries are strongly recommended. The lightness of the berries really sets off the decadence of the chocolate and avocado. Now if you have everything else and want to go ahead, I can’t stop you, but I can urge you to find some berries to mix in.
Creamy Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Makes 2 cups of pudding, 40 minutes
- 2 Hass avocados, ripe, halved, and pitted
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (1.5 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 banana, frozen and sliced
- Fresh berries, to taste
- Mint leaves for garnish, optional
- Blender or food processor
- Ramekins or small serving glasses (optional)
- Blend the avocado flesh, coconut milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt until avocado is completely combined, approximately 30-45 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula as needed.
- Melt the chocolate chips in 15-second intervals in the microwave. After each interval, stir quickly with a spoon. The chocolate is ready when it melts into sauce while stirring (for me, this happened on the third interval). Continue stirring the chocolate until fully melted and add the maple syrup. Stir until completely combined and thickened, approximately 30 seconds, then pour the mixture into the blender. Add the frozen banana slices.
- Blend until all combined, approximately 30 seconds. Scoop into ramekins or serving glasses and set in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Top with fresh berries and garnish with mint, and enjoy.