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cocoa

Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

This isn’t even close to a seasonal Pennsylvanian dish, but since I’m a California native, I feel justified in posting a recipe made primarily from avocados.

For those of you who follow a Keto diet, this is a super rich, fiber-filled, chocolatey treat. My preferred zero-carb sweetener is Erythritol because it doesn’t have an off-putting aftertaste, and can be bought in 1:1 sugar ratios. Feel free to substitute maple syrup or cane sugar. Adding a dollop of coconut yogurt or crème fraîche and a sprinkle of cacao nibs makes it super fun and fancy.

INGREDIENTS

2 avocados
1/3 cup high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1/4 cup Erythritol or favorite sweetener
1/4 cup crème fraîche or coconut cream
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, or heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
A dash Ceylon cinnamon
A pinch cayenne or chili powder
A pinch salt

METHOD

  1. Purée all ingredients in a food processor until very smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides to incorporate all the cocoa powder. Adjust the sweetness and consistency to your liking.

  2. For serving, scoop equal amounts into 4 small serving dishes or ramekins. Finish with a dollop of crème fraîche, coconut yogurt, or whipped cream, a sprinkle of cacao nibs, and a couple raspberries.

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Chocolate-Sesame Banana Bread

TIME: 1.5 HOURS; SERVES: 1, 9 X 5 INCH LOAF PAN
Adapted from Camille Becerra’s recipe in ‘Cherry Bombe’

This gluten-free banana "bread" and I have a love-hate relationship: I adored it so much that I started eating a fat slice slathered in crème fraîche every morning for breakfast. I soon realized I was justifying eating cake for breakfast, and sadly ended our love affair. But I’ll whip up a loaf every now and then when I’m feeling fancy.

The original recipe is not gluten-free, and is made with ginger & coconut instead of chocolate & tahini. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to make your dream banana cake bread.

I wouldn't categorize this under "seasonal recipes", except for the fact that our local grocery outlet gets weekly shipments of over-ripe bananas and I feel obligated to divert some of them from the waste stream.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup sesame seeds
4 bananas: 3 mashed, 1 cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup cane sugar, rapadura or coconut sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain, whole-fat yogurt
1 cup gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Grease a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan with butter or oil and coat with the sesame seeds. I do this by pouring the seeds in and swirling them around as I would flour a cake pan.

  3. Mix the 3 mashed bananas, tahini, sugar, eggs, and yogurt together in a large bowl.

  4. In another bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder, and optional cacao nibs. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to incorporate.

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and garnish with the remaining halved banana on top, like an off-set yin yang.

  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 50 - 60 minutes more, or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

  7. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before slicing. The loaf will keep at room temperature, wrapped in beeswax wrap for up to 3 days.

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