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Chocolate of the Gods Mousse with Raspberries and Mint

Impress your guests with this rich recipe that's sure to be a crowd pleaser.

This recipe has evolved with me over the years to become a signature dish. Just a touch of balsamic vinegar and shoyu (soy sauce) may sound as unusual as coupling chocolate and avocados, both of which should be undetectable, but draw out the subtle complexity of good chocolate. Aged balsamic is choice as it is complex like fine wine, sweeter and syrupy.

The coconut butter is optional, and makes it truly velvety smooth, with incredible, beautifying properties. I recommend Omega Nutrition coconut butter as it does not have a coconut aroma, which imposes on the balance of flavor, or you can choose another coconut butter/oil that does not have a strong aroma. Non-alcohol vanilla extract is also recommended as the alcohol in vanilla extract is bitter and does not evaporate as it does when used for baking.

I guarantee, this is life changing. A votre santé!

2 cups avocado (the richer, the better — Haas is a great varietal)
1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2-4 Tbsp. organic evaporated cane juice or organic sugar (optional: for the sweeter tooth)
2 Tbsp. Omega Nutrition coconut butter, or any coconut butter/oil that does not have a strong, fragrant smell (optional)
1-2 Tsp. non-alcohol vanilla extract
1 Tsp. balsamic vinegar (aged balsamic is best)
1/2 Tsp. shoyu
1 cup pure cocoa powder (Green & Black is choice)
1 pint raspberries
handful of fresh mint leaves
sprinkle cacao nibs (optional)

In a food processor blend avocado, maple syrup, organic sugar (if choosing), coconut butter, vanilla extract, balsamic and shoyu until smooth and creamy.

Add cocoa powder and blend until smooth. Sifting the cocoa powder before adding is a good idea to prevent lumps. A simple metal strainer works well.

Serve in a wine glass, parfait glass or martini glass.

I put a few raspberries on the bottom of the glass so it isn’t necessary to try and like the bottom of the glass, which is quite awkward. Then, a dollop of mousse, a sprinkle of chopped mint, generously topped with raspberries, chopped mint again and cacao nibs.

For larger servings, raspberries and mousse can be layered 2 times each, and topped the same.

Yields: 4-8 servings

Recipe courtesy of Renee Loux, author of "The Balanced Plate."

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