Salted Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla & Hazelnut Pots

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Anyone who knows me can vouch for me being a slight avocado addict. I absolutely love avocados. I often eat them for breakfast. Granted, I have not always loved them, so all you anti avocado lovers take note. All the years I spent not liking them, meant the same numbers of years missed eating this dream dessert. Not butter, cream, refined sugar, cream cheese, eggs, or any real naughtiness was used in the making of this deliciously yummy dessert. How many desserts can claim to provide 20 essential, health boosting nutrients, including; fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins and folic acid?  And yes, I promise you can’t taste the avocado!

The recipe I am sharing with you was created for a wonderful friend of mines dinner party. Mamma Jayne hosted a vegan dinner party for all her wonderful friends. I fortunately had the pleasure of being there. Now most of the guests were non vegans (myself included) but not surprisingly we were all treated to a wonderful evening of delicious, nourishing food and lots of laughter.

Vegan Dinner Party

Veganisim is growing increasingly popular as a life style choice for many. It is easy to see why when you consider the state of the food industry and the quality of mass farmed meat and dairy. There are many reasons why people are making the choice for a vegan diet:

  • Growth hormones and antibiotics are found in non-organic farmed meat and dairy products
  • Intensive farming is hugely detrimental to the environment, not only do animals need space to be reared, but add to that the land needed to grow crops for animal feed, and the water needed for both the crops and the animals.
  • There are many health benefits to living a plant empowered existence
  • Compassion to animals
  • The rising costs of animal products can be prohibitive
  • Veganism could help ease the pressure on food production in a ever increasing population

Although not a vegan myself (more on this in a future post), I fully appreciate and support why people choose to be. I thoroughly enjoyed dreaming up vegan recipes at Happy Kitchen and love the added creativeness that comes from restricting certain ingredients. You have to become a whole lot more inventive with your ingredients, and that leads to many unusual, yet wonderful recipes.

Myself and Jayne had huge amounts of fun over the weekend experimenting and cooking, and I was very happy to be told that we were to be dreaming up a pudding made from avocados and chocolate. Now I love a bit of an experiment in the kitchen, especially when avocados and chocolate are on the menu. Avocados have a beautifully creamy and silky texture which lends itself well to creating a convincing decadent dessert. And chocolate, well, no one needs convincing of chocolates place in a dessert. We experimented the night before to make truly sure that this recipe would stand up to the scrutiny of 12 women, who are all self confessed pudding lovers.

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The real key to getting this dessert perfect, is the time in which you spend blending the avocados until completely smooth. The more time spent getting these silky smooth, the more it will pass for the real deal.

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Salted Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla & Hazelnut Pots (Serves 4)

2 ripe medium to large avocados
28g/4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
2 Tbsp chopped dates (soaked)
5 tbsp salted caramel sauce, plus extra for decoration (see recipe below)
2 Tbsp chopped hazlenuts

Salted Caramel Sauce

1 400g can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
60 ml pure maple syrup or honey
50g coconut palm sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil 

Firstly, make the salted caramel sauce. To do this combne the coconut milk, maple syrup, and coconut sugar in a saucepan over a medium-high heat.

Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat, ensuring the mixture does not boil over. Stir continuously whilst the mixture reduces and becomes dark amber in colour. This should take about 15 minutes. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon and look lovely and glossy.

Remove from the heat and then mix in the coconut oil, salt and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Leave the caramel to cool whilst making the avocado pudding.

Cut open the avocados, remove the stone and scrape the insides into the blender. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, salt, soaked dates and caramel sauce.  Switch blender on and blend until completely smooth. Depending on the type of blender you have, this may take some effort! You may have to turn the blender off, scrape down the sides with a spatular and blend again. All the effort put into this part is certainly worth it.

Once the mixture is smooth, make sure you taste it. If it still tastes a little green(!) (you’ll understand what I am talking about if it does) add another tablespoon of the caramel sauce and mix well. Once sweet enough, remove from the blender and spoon into small pots/glasses/ramekins, top with the hazlenuts and a generous drizzle of the salted caramel sauce.

Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Mmmmmm.

Got anything you'd like to add? Feel free to comment, I love hearing from you!