We visited my parents on Long Island over the weekend and I came back home to four, yes FOUR, perfectly ripe avocados.
One went to a face mask – mushed it with some lemon and smeared it on my face (no photo documentation, sorry)
Two went to this chocolate ganache –
and the last one went to avocado toast for my baby #1.
Honestly, it’s not very often that I’m wracking my brain for ideas to use up ripe avocados, but it does happen.
Chocolate ganache may not seem like the easiest choice but it is pretty simple – only three ingredients!
I used this chocolate ganache to top my mini vanilla creme cake. Both were old recipes from the archives.
You can make the ganache (and the cake!) ahead of time and it will keep, covered in the fridge for a few days.
For the ganache –
2 or 3 ripe avocados, amounting to ~1 cup of flesh
1/3 c maple syrup or other liquid sweetener, agave or raw honey (<–I must point out that honey is not vegan, in case you weren’t aware)
1/4 c raw cacao powder
Blend all ingredients or use your food processor, until smooth.
Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. Sometimes I need to add a touch more maple syrup if the avocado flavor is still too prevalent.
Scoop it into a container and cover until ready to use (or eat it right now…).
For the crust –
5-6 soft dates, medjool preferably, pitted and chopped
1 c raw walnuts
Blend everything (or process) until soft, sticky, smushy and holds together when you squeeze it in your hand. Think the texture of a LARA bar.
Press this mixture into the bottom (and up the sides if you have enough) of a spring form pan if you have a small one. Mine is about 4 inches in diameter and 3 inches high. If not, just use any old mini tart pan BUT line it with parchment or wax paper first so that you can pull the cake out nice and easy. Make sure that the paper is high enough up the sides that you can grab it once the cake is in there.
Pop this crust in the freezer while you prepare everything else.
For the Vanilla Creme Cake –
note: I downsize this recipe from an old one I had that made a huge 8 inch springform pan worth of cake. I can’t justify using 3 cups of raw cashews! When I make them small like this, I treasure them much more.
1 1/3 c raw cashews, soaked for 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed well
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 c room temp. water
1/3 c maple syrup
1 T melted coconut oil
1/2 t vanilla extract or 1 t vanilla bean paste (or a little of both)
pinch of fine grain sea salt
Blend everything! If it’s difficult to blend, add a bit more water, scraping down the sides as necessary.
Taste. Adjust sweetness/ vanilla-y-ness if necessary. Just remember you can always add more flavor but it’s very hard to take too much flavor away.
Once completely smooth (should be the consistency of pudding, not too thin) and tasty to your liking, pour into your chilled crust.
note: I did not pour all my cashew creme into my pie pan, only about 1/2 – 2/3 of it fit into my crust. Save the rest in a container in the fridge.
Place this in the freezer for 4-5 hours so that it can set.
Pop it out of your pan before frosting.
If you’re going to make this ahead of time, you can freeze it for a few days if needed. Just take it out and let it thaw for 20-30 minutes before frosting with ganache so that you can slice through it easily. Using a hot knife helps slicing frozen cakes immensely! Just run it under hot water from the sink for a minute and then dry it off before cutting.
Spread your ganache, as thick or as thin as you like, over the top of the cake and sprinkle with hemp hearts if desired (coconut flakes would go well too!) A pinch of salt sprinkled over the top wouldn’t hurt either… 😉