I've been playing around with the idea of a seasonal dessert for Winter. There are so many different flavors, but since mint is one of my favorites that became my focal point. This is a really great choice for a Winter gathering, holiday party, or some solo stress eating since the ingredients aren't the usual holiday fare. No coconut milk or coconut oil, the main ingredients to create this dessert are nuts, bananas and avocados. The photo sort of makes it look like it's a three-day old piece of Dominos pizza but honestly photos are just not my strong suit. It's a winner--promise.
I was informed the other day that I need to make sure I keep updating this blog because people are actually reading it. My first reaction, that came deep from my introverted soul was, "Well what the hell are they doing that for?" Then I realized that the entire purpose of creating this was so people would read it, so thank you. Tell your friends about it. But don't tell me you've told your friends about it.
But back to this Winter dessert. Two exciting things about it: 1) Unlike the amazing Pumpkin themed dessert I made for Thanksgiving but then didn't take a photograph of, this one is actually timely and won't have to wait until next year. 2) This was not my first attempt at a Winter dessert. My original idea involved a peppermint pie using a beet to make it a 'delicate, pretty red color'. It was not a delicate, pretty red color. It was a horrifying, garish shade of magenta. I think I invented a trust exercise for relationships with that dessert. Put something made with blended beets in front of your partner, tell them it's a dessert, then see if they trust you enough to try it. It tasted fine, by the way. Just a visually appealing deficit. Luckily after that creation I remembered that avocados are green, mint is green, green is a seasonal color...phew.
What You Need:
For the Crust:
5 dates, pitted
1 cup walnuts
1 cup quick oats
Water, as needed
For the Filling:
Two ripe Avocados
3 Tablespoons of Honey/Agave
Teaspoon vanilla extract
Handful of fresh mint/two tablespoons dried mint/teaspoon mint extract
One cup of walnuts (Can be soaked, I did not)
For the Topping:
Two tablespoons cacao powder or cocoa powder
1/4 cup of peanuts
This is a similar recipe to the other ice cream creations that I've posted. In this case, I created the filling, then left a small amount of it in the Vitamix and turned the remaining component into the 'swirl' layer. There are quite a few steps and this does take quite a bit of time to prepare, but most if it is the 'waiting' and not the 'doing' which is my kind of recipe.
Step One: Take your crust ingredients and put them in a food processor or blender. Pulse until the mixture gets crumbly. If you're using a blender you will need some water, but don't add too much as you want this to have a crumbly texture over a paste-like texture. (Alternately you could just make this without a crust).
Step Two: Pour your crust into whatever pan you're using, and press it into the bottom and up the sides. I use a 10" Springform pan, but anything will work as long as it's freezer safe.
Step Three: Put all of your filling ingredients in a VitaMix or blender except for the cacao and the peanuts, those will be added later. Start blending, then slowly add water until you get the consistency that you want. I would recommend the minimal amount of liquid to get everything blended smoothly as this will ensure a really creamy, thick texture! Do a taste test and see if you need to add any additional mint or honey, depending on your taste preferences.
Step Four: Leave at least a quarter cup of the filling in the VitaMix or blender that you're using. This will be an eyeball situation, which is fine--we don't need an even amount for the topping.
Step Five: Slowly pour your filling (minus the quarter cup you're holding onto) over the crust in the pan. Make sure it evenly covers the crust. I usually just slowly pour it in and then shake the sides of the pan to get the level even.
Step Six: Add the cacao and peanuts to the remaining mixture still in your blender. Pulse to get everything blended. You may need to use some water to help everything combine, but use sparingly as we want this to be thicker than the original filling mixture. It will be a little grainy, and that is fine.
Step Seven: Slowly start pouring your topping in a thin spiral pattern over the filling in the pan. You can also go with the 'dollop' approach if you've got fine motor skill issues--just put dollops of the topping at random intervals on top of the filling, making sure you're leaving space between each one. It's okay if it's a little messy. Depending on your personality you might feel irrational anxiety during this step. Not speaking from experience.
Step Eight: Take a knife, and lightly drag it from the center of the filling towards the edge of pie crust. Do this repeatedly about an inch apart until you have your 'swirl' or spiderweb pattern. If you're not worried about a pattern, you can just lightly drag the knife any way that you like to create more of a chaotic pattern.
Step Nine: Time to wait! Put this in the freezer for a minimum of two hours. Keep testing it to see if it's frozen.
Take this out of the fridge about 5-10 minutes before you're ready to eat so it can thaw a little and you can get a knife through it. Let me know what you think!