The recent hot weather has inspired (or forced) me to come up with a variety of salads, some raw and some requiring minimal cooking. (May I interest you in bulgur/chickpea salad with pistachio pesto?) Salads with grains or pasta makes a relatively quick and filling dinner, but what about dessert? What can I make to satisfy my sweet tooth without breaking a sweat in a 90-degree kitchen?
So here's my solution: Almost raw chocolate mousse tart. "Almost" because the almonds in the crust are roasted, the filling has maple syrup (which is not technically raw although it is used by some raw foodists) and the raspberry sauce is cooked. But no cooking required. The secret ingredient in creating the creamy yet sliceable texture is... avocado! Make sure the avocados are ripe and free of any browning or stringiness.
This dessert is rich, decadent and satisfying and so much more elegant (and less pathetic) than nibbling on frozen blueberries on a warm summer night. Indulge!
Ingredients (for one 5" spring-form pan)
3/4 cups toasted almonds
1/2 cup pitted dates (4 to 5 dates)
2 tsp water
Chocolate mousse filling
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 TBS unrefined coconut oil
1 to 2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Super easy raspberry sauce
1/2 cup raspberry jam (fruit juice sweetened)
1/4 cup apple juice
Fresh raspberries and mint leaves
To make the crust, grind the almonds and dates together in a food processor. Add water so the dough becomes moist and holds together. Press it into a 5 inch spring form pan. (You can use a small tart pan too but make sure it has a removable bottom.)
To make the chocolate mousse, place all the ingredients in a blender and process for a few minutes, until everything is well incorporated. You may need to pause a few times to scrape the sides down with a rubber spatula.
To make the raspberry sauce, simply mix the jam and apple juice. Remove the seeds by pushing the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.
Pour the chocolate mousse in the crust and refrigerate overnight. Garnish with fresh raspberries. Remove from the pan, slice and serve with raspberry sauce and mint leaves.
You can also divide the filling into parfait glasses and and enjoy it as a mousse. After refrigerating the filling overnight, use a small ice cream scooper or tablespoon to dish it out. Serve with raspberry sauce and garnish with mint and fresh raspberries.
The tart freezes well too! Take it out from the freezer and thaw at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy it like a chocolate ice cream tart! Yum!