Aside from that, I am looking forward to celebrating tonight at Shizen, a vegan sushi restaurant in the mission district with my boyfriend, Jack. I'm seriously obsessed with this place and if any of you are local to the Bay Area, or visit San Francisco, you definitely need to go there. Shizen hands down has the most creative and delicious vegan food of any restaurant I've ever been to. I'm already dreaming of their spicy ramen (with a vegan egg!), specialty rolls with ingredients like smoked beets and pumpkin tempura and fresh fruit cocktails. Tonight can't get here soon enough.
The reasons why this post is a birthday present to myself are two fold. One is because this is my very first dessert post on S&S, and I felt it was fitting for that to fall on today. The other is because I've been super excited to share this recipe with you all. It's as close to perfection as you get. It's rich and decadent but still dense in nutrients. No really! Avocados are extremely heart healthy, chocolate provides tons of antioxidants and walnuts are full of anti-inflammatory Omega-3's.
Healthy, meet Dessert.
Just to clarify, you're only going to taste chocolaty goodness here, not any flavor from the avocado, which is just added to create that creamy, rich texture that makes this so decadent.
Also, if you've never tried coconut whipped cream before, your life is about to change forever. It's literally the most creamy, airy, magnificent concoction ever invented. When it's paired with this rich, chocolate pudding its absolute heaven. And, in my opinion, the date-walnut spread is a must since it adds a whole other level of natural sweetness to the mix. And don't forget to sprinkle some chopped walnuts and cocoa nibs on top at the end for that much needed crunch.
Side note: I don't bake all that often so, up until recently, I didn't own any kind of electric mixer. Growing up, my mom always used one of the KitchenAid standing mixers that comes in a rainbow of colors. One day I hope to own one but for now I needed something that wouldn't break the bank or take up much space in my tiny apartment, so I bought this KitchenAid Hand Mixer. It was a great price, had tons of positive reviews and was from a reputable brand. Since I've become addicted to coconut whipped cream, I've used it dozens of times and it always gets the job done. If you're looking for a mixer too, I definitely recommend it.
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see! Tag #sprinklesandsaturdays so I can find it.
Ingredients (serves 6):
For the Pudding:
- 2 large avocados
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (or more depending on desired sweetness)
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
For the Coconut Whipped Cream (Optional):
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled in the refrigerator over night
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Date-Walnut Spread (Optional):
- 6 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup walnuts
To Top it Off (Optional):
- Chopped walnuts
- Cocoa nibs (or vegan chocolate chips)
1. To make the pudding: Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding more almond milk if needed. Divide between small bowls or cups and cover with plastic wrap (pressing it down to make sure the puddings don't form a skin). Chill for a few hours or overnight.
2. To make the walnut-date spread: Soak dates in 2/3 cup warm water for 10 minutes to soften. Add to a food processor or blender with your walnuts and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
4. To make the coconut whipped cream: Chill your can of coconut milk in the fridge over night. Make sure not to tip or shake the can; we do this so the cream will separate from the milk. When you're ready to whip, chill a large mixing bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes. Open the can of coconut milk and scrap the cream off the top, reserving the liquid on the bottom for smoothies, etc. Place the cream in your bowl and beat with a mixer for a few seconds until smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
4. To assemble: Remove the pudding from the fridge and top with whipped cream, date-walnut spread, chopped walnuts and cocoa nibs. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for up to a few days.