Avocado Chocolate Mousse
A decadent dessert loaded with fair trade ingredients that makes dinner feel extra special.
This chocolate mousse recipe, starring Fair Trade Certified™ chocolate front-and-center, is a rich and delicious treat for Valentine’s Day. Ever tried a coconut bonbon? This takes inspiration from that classic flavor duo, but with a healthy twist. Believe it or not, this mousse gets its velvety texture from Fair Trade Certified avocado and is naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, Paleo, refined-sugar free, and vegan.
With seven Fair Trade Certified ingredients, your dessert directly benefits people and planet, too. While the cocoa helps create stability in the cocoa industry, the Fair Trade Certified coconut helps replenish the world’s dwindling coconut supply, offers family farmers protection from the shady side of the coconut business, and keeps younger generations on the farm (more on that here). Impressive on so many levels!
We can all agree that chocolate is worth celebrating, right? With Valentine’s Day coming up, there’s even more of an excuse (perhaps an obligation?) to indulge in your favorite treat. It’s an easy gift (to yourself or someone else), it’s delicious, and it’s decadent. Chocolate is so popular that in 2018, the US alone purchased 58 million pounds of chocolate in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. But with the cocoa crisis in the news, you have to wonder: where does all that chocolate come from—and at what cost?
Most of the cocoa used in conventional chocolate bars in the US comes from cocoa farmers in West Africa. These farmers face environmental and economical obstacles that only intensify with increased demand during Valentine’s Day. According to a 2018 study, 58 percent of West African cocoa farmers are living in poverty, with 2.1 million of their children working in the fields. With fluctuating cocoa prices and corrupt cooperatives, cocoa farmers often get stuck in a cycle of poverty. While they struggle to keep up with demand, the environment takes a toll as well. Farming chemicals pollute and strip soils of necessary nutrients, making it difficult for cocoa farmers to keep yield high unless they move to new, more fertile lands—an issue of its own which can result in deforestation of valuable tropical rainforests.
The good news? By seeking the Fair Trade Certified seal, it’s totally possible to purchase chocolate made ethically and responsibly. Producers of Fair Trade Certified chocolate receive a Fair Trade Minimum Price for their goods, guaranteeing a stable price even when conditions and market prices fluctuate. They follow strict labor, environmental, and ethical standards that prohibit slavery and child labor. Fair Trade Certified farming cooperatives also receive additional money in a Community Development Fund to spend on projects of their choosing, such as improving medical services, building schools, establishing low-interest loan programs, and recovering after a disaster. As opposed to many conventional chocolates that are harmful, Fair Trade Certified chocolate promotes equity and prosperity – and it’s delicious. So how about a recipe to enjoy it?
For the mousse
- 8 oz Fair Trade Certified dark chocolate (at least 60% dark), either chips or bar, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 Tbsp Fair Trade Certified coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp Fair Trade Certified cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Splash of maple syrup or Fair Trade Certified honey, to taste
- ½ cup Fair Trade Certified cashew milk
- 2 Fair Trade Certified avocados
For the topping (all optional)
Serves 2–4, depending on serving vessel
- Microwave the chocolate and coconut oil in 30-second increments until melted; err on the side of caution and check regularly to ensure chocolate does not burn. Stir vigorously. Mixture should be very smooth with no lumps.
- Pulse the chocolate mixture with the rest of the mousse ingredients in a food processor, adding more cashew milk as necessary to reach a pudding-like consistency. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the food processor often with a spatula. Watch for chunks below food processor blades. Once the desired consistency is reached, taste. Add more maple syrup as desired.
- Transfer to serving bowls of choice. Small jars or ramekins work well. Serve now for a pudding-textured mousse, or chill mousse in the refrigerator for a few hours until set. The chilled mousse should be very thick, like a truffle.
- Toppings: A dusting of cocoa powder and fresh berries is nice, as well as a touch of flaky sea salt (like Maldon) for some crunch.
- If you choose to make coconut cream, whip the solid portion (below the liquid) of a can of coconut cream until thick. Add sweetener, like maple syrup or agave, as desired. Dollop on top of mousse.
Adapted from a recipe by Erin Clarke of wellplated.com.