Recipe Spotlight

This Chocolate Pudding Gets Its Luscious Texture From Avocado

Is there anything avocados can't do?

Published Apr. 8, 2021.

No one has to be convinced of avocados’ versatility. This fruit’s creaminess is the star of all kinds of dishes: guacamole, toast, tacos, chili . . . and chocolate pudding?

Avocados provide the same silky-smooth, luxurious texture without sacrificing any richness, and their flavor is mild enough so as to not interfere with the chocolatiness. Even if you’re not a vegan or committed plant-based eater, you should consider incorporating avocados into desserts.

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That said, many recipes for avocado-based chocolate pudding have noticeable off flavors and chalky textures. The problem is most recipes follow a nearly universal formula: toss avocados, cocoa powder, sugar, and some liquid into a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. 

It’s a super-simple method, but it’s far from perfect. The undissolved cocoa powder and sugar granules can make for a grainy texture, and the chocolate flavor is often too lackluster to balance the vegetal notes of the avocado.

When it came to choosing recipes for our new book, The Complete Plant Based Cookbook, we knew we could do better without making the recipe too complicated. Here’s how we did it:

  • Rather than simply blending everything together, we started by creating a simple hot cocoa-sugar syrup in a saucepan (with a touch of espresso powder, vanilla, and salt to enhance the chocolate flavor).
  • We processed two avocados for a full two minutes until they were absolutely smooth. (Want to speed up your avocados’ ripening? Use a banana.)
  • With the food processor running, we carefully streamed in the cocoa syrup until the mixture was velvety and glossy (which simply did not happen when we skipped the syrup step!). 
  • We finished by blending in some melted dark chocolate for punched-up flavor and a touch more richness.

Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Recipe from The Complete Plant Based Cookbook

Serves 6

This recipe was developed with Dutch-processed cocoa powder and 70-percent dark chocolate, but natural cocoa powder and up to 85-percent dark chocolate can be used; flavors will vary slightly.

1 cup water
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) sugar
¼ cup (¾ ounce) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 large ripe avocados (8 ounces each), halved and pitted
3½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1. Combine water; sugar; cocoa; vanilla; espresso powder, if using; and salt in small saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar and cocoa dissolve, about 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and cover to keep warm.

2. Scoop flesh of avocados into food processor bowl and process until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With processor running, slowly add warm cocoa mixture in steady stream until completely incorporated and mixture is smooth and glossy, about 2 minutes.

3. Microwave chocolate in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 2 to 4 minutes. Add to avocado mixture and process until well incorporated, about 1 minute. Transfer pudding to bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve.

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