Here is the BEST chocolate avocado mousse recipe… avocados + cacao powder + maple syrup. You may be thinking, “avocados in dessert?” But let me assure you that it is absolutely delicious. The avocado provides the perfect richness and creamy texture, and its flavor is neutral enough to be masked by the cacao and maple syrup. This powerhouse trio is so simple, and so good; so decadent, and so nutritious.
Even better: the process couldn’t be easier. You’ll just be blending it all in a food processor, rather than dealing with the multiple tricky steps of a traditional chocolate mousse recipe.
I’ve taken this dessert as my contribution to dinner parties and kept my lips sealed about the ingredients, and it’s gotten rave reviews, from even the most discriminating of eaters. And when I serve this to people who are interested in healthy eating and nutrition, I get so excited to divulge the ingredients: avocado, maple syrup, and cacao powder! Can you even believe it?
Truth be told, I’ve even used this recipe as frosting on a cake, when I discovered I was out of the usual ingredients. It worked wonderfully!
I’ve been making this for years, and I find it hilarious that my kids literally think avocados are a key ingredient in chocolate mousse. But if you’re new to it, you may want to be discreet about adding the avocados into the recipe… I’d imagine most kids (and to be honest, a lot of adults) would be pretty skeptical about their chocolate dessert if they knew what the key ingredient was prior to tasting it.
A few notes about the ingredients… first, the avocados: you want your avocados to be perfectly ripe, because this is when their flavor is the most neutral and they will blend to the best consistency.
Second, the cacao powder: there is a difference between cacao and cocoa powder, although most of this difference is in terms of nutrition rather than taste. Cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans, and this process preserves a lot of its nutritional value, whereas cocoa is made from cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures, which causes it to lose some of its nutritional value (see more information on this here). But in terms of flavor, I’ve had similar results using both cacao powder and cocoa powder, so if you can’t find cacao, go ahead and use unsweetened cocoa powder instead (just make sure it really is unsweetened; it’s easy to grab the wrong one in my experience).
Third, the maple syrup: make sure to buy real maple syrup, rather than maple-flavored syrup, which is made with refined sugar and/or high-fructose corn syrup. And in terms of choosing grade A (including light amber, medium amber, or dark amber) or grade B (the darkest choice), just use your palate to guide you. Do you like an intense maple flavor? Then try grade B. Or a more subtle maple flavor? Then opt for grade A, light amber, if it’s an option. For this recipe, I like a lighter option so the cacao flavor dominates.
Now for the toppings: let your imagination run wild. I like almonds for crunch, coconut for a complementary flavor, and pomegranate seeds for a little acidity and visual contrast. And a little sea salt — Maldonado flake salt is my favorite — will highlight the sweetness of the chocolate. We’ve also used whipped cream, chocolate shavings, banana slices… the options are endless.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Decadent and rich, but made with real, unprocessed ingredients. And only takes a few minutes in the food processor.
- 4 medium sized avocados halved, pitted, and peeled
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup cacao powder
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- coconut flakes
- chopped almonds
- pomegranate seeds
- Maldonado flake salt
Fill food processor with avocados, syrup, cacao, vanilla, and salt. Process until smooth, scraping sides as needed.
Transfer to storage container and refrigerate for at least an hour. Can be prepared 1 day in advance.
When ready to serve, spoon into serving dishes. Top with coconut, almonds, pomegranate seeds, and few flakes of salt.