Happy Monday everyone ! I hope you had a good weekend. With the days getting longer but still not any warmer I decided to go to a cacao ceremony this weekend. Here I was guaranteed to get a hot chocolate and would be able to lie down covered with a warm blanket to do some mediation afterwards- just the perfect way to stay in doors on a breezy and cold Spring day. What an amazing experience it was and although ceremonial hot chocolate is made from raw cacao with no added sugar, the taste was rich and deep and after getting used to the bitterness the flavour kept growing- incredible. Definitely doing that again.
Cacao is the fermented bean of a tree called Theobroma . Worshiped by the Mayans as a symbol of fertility and life, cacao has been used as a ceremonial drink for centuries and the Aztecs even used it as a currency. Jumping way forward in history it appears that Casanova used champagne and chocolate to seduce the ladies, who would have thought that he came up with this combination ?
Apart from its vast history, raw chocolate is a fabulous source of flavonoid antioxidants and minerals including potassium, magnesium, calcium and even has a small kick of caffeine, possibly offering an alternative to the morning coffee for some.
Inspired by this hot drink of the gods and Casanova, I embarked on a little experiment making a raw chocolate and salted caramel mousse. After a few attempts I managed to produce a super quick & easy, rich & creamy chocolate mousse. Adding some extra cocoa nibs, a lovely ground nut base and a sprinkle of seasonal berries or pomegranate works a treat but for the purists amongst us it will do just fine without adding any extras.
Raw Chocolate & salted caramel mousse
Ingredients – serves 2-3:
1 ripe medium sized avocado
3 tbsp of raw chocolate powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 vanilla pod ( scraping out the seeds)
8 Medjool dates
2/4-3/4 cup of filtered water
1/4 tsp of Himalayan salt
3-4 tsp chocolate nibs or grated dark chocolate (optional)
Nut base (optional)
2 tbsp of ground pumpkin seeds, almonds or brazil nuts
Soak the dates in 1 cup of water, ideally over night or at least for a couple of hours. Once soaked add dates, vanilla seeds, the salt and 1/2 cup of soaking water to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add more water if too thick, you want to get a nice creamy texture of the date mix. Once smooth, add avocado, raw cacao, coconut oil and blend until smooth and creamy. Add 1 tsp of cocoa nips towards the end if you would like to have a crunchy mousse.
To serve place 1-2 tablespoons of ground nuts in a small glass jar and carefully pour the chocolate mouse on top, keep some ground nuts and cocoa nips to sprinkle on top. Either serve straight away or keep covered in the fridge. The mousse will set a bit more in the fridge in case you want it less creamy before eating it. Adding seasonal or frozen berries give the mousse a nice fresh kick but it is equally delicious just as is.