70s throwback vegan chocolate mousse
This mousse is a perfect fusion of generational stereotypes: the 1970s boozy pudding meets the Millennial interest in both veganism and smashed avocado. Originally it was a recipe in some soused 1970s cookbook somewhere, but this is the freestylin' adaptation version.
Serves 4-6 (very rich, can be served in tiny doses)
250g chocolate so dark it's vegan
One large or two small ripe avocados
Juice of one citrus fruit, e.g. lime or lemon but hey try tangelo I don't care
A slug of booze of your chooze. I've used Cointreau and butterscotch schnapps in the past; I think the original recipe called for crème de cassis (an ancient French term for blackcurrant liqueur). Experiment, remembering to think about what citrus notes you're pairing your liqueur with, and have fun.
Also, a nice-to-have: pretty fruit for decorating, e.g. mandarin segments if winter, cherries if summer.
OK, take your sealed block of chocolate and whack it against the bench to break it up. Now put all those broken pieces, the lot, into a little heatproof bowl. This can actually be your intended serving bowl if you're lazy about dishes, but it needs to sit comfortably inside a pot or saucepan, size-wise, because you're going to bain-marie it. Now bain-marie it! That means you put enough water in a pot or saucepan to go about halfway up the side of your bowl, once your bowl is sat in it. The water should NOT overflow into the bowl as you don't want water in your chocolate; you just want to melt it gently using the heat from the water underneath. So, turn up the heat on your pot of water with the chocolate sitting in the bowl inside it. Yaaay, melted dark chocolate!
When that's done, stir your slug of booze in. This will also help cool your chocolate sufficiently for you to add avocado without like, cooking the avocado, which is a possible hazard I have not thought of till just now. But would it make a difference to the mousse? I don't know. Anyway.
Now scoop out the goodies of your avocado or avocados, into a sieve. This next step will not work if you didn't get ripe ones, so get ripe ones. Mush all the green stuff through that sieve, and into your waiting chocolate puddle in a bowl. Scrape off all mushed avocado clinging the underside of the sieve, too, and include it.
Now add your citrus juice and stir this glorious mixture into the vegan chocolate mousse of your dreams. Add more citrus juice if you think it's too thick or too rich, or more booze if you're inclined that way. Transfer to a serving bowl if your current bowl is not the serving bowl.
Now put it in the fridge to set for a bit, like an hour or something, and then decorate with pretty fruit to serve. Yum!
Anna Chinn is an RNZ Bulletin Editor who exclusively works on the graveyard shift.