If you ask someone who grew up in Southeast Asia – say, me for instance – how they enjoy their avocado, they’ll most likely tell you that they consume it in a refreshing dessert drink or simply drizzled with palm sugar syrup. To which, someone else might grimace and make gagging sounds.
Most people I know are used to avocado in guacamole or a salad or on a sandwich, and are shocked at my preference for eating avocado as dessert. But maybe tastes are changing. In the last few years, I’ve seen recipes for avocado panna cotta, avocado chocolate pudding, and other avocado something-or-another desserts.
My favorite so far is the pudding. It capitalizes on avocado’s creamy texture to create a pudding-like consistency minus the double boiling and endless stirring (and if you use this recipe, you’ll have a vegan, lower-fat version). Plus it recruits avocado’s best friends, chocolate and coffee.
I’m not vegan nor am I inclined toward low-fat when it comes to dessert so I created my own version using an ingredient that has a reliable track record with avocado – sweetened condensed milk.
Here are some general avocado tips:
- My avocado of choice is the dark green Hass which has bumpy, pebbly skin and dense, creamy flesh.
- Look for an avocado with skin that has an even, unblemished texture. The avocado should be heavy for its size, and without bruises. The avocado should be uniformly hard or soft with no hollows between flesh and skin.
- An avocado’s flavor is developed fully when it is perfectly ripe. You can tell when it yields to gentle pressure. If your avocado is rock hard, leave it in a brown paper bag or on a sunny window sill for 1 to 3 days. When ripe, store in the refrigerator.
- To pit an avocado, embed a knife into the pit, rotate and lift out.
No cooking and using only four ingredients, the hardest part of this recipe is cleaning your appliance! Now that’s my kind dessert.
Avocado chocolate pudding
Makes 4 (1/2 cup) servings
For me, this avocado chocolate pudding is a wonderful update to a traditional Indonesian avocado drink (es alpukat). Thick and creamy, it has the consistency of a true-blue chocolate pudding with the flavors of my childhood. The cocoa powder almost masks the avocado (which I think may be the point). But if you prefer more avocado flavor, use less cocoa powder. Another variation: add a teaspoon of instant coffee powder. This avocado chocolate pudding is very rich and indulgent and a little will go a long way to satisfying the sweetest of sweet tooths.
2 large ripe Hass avocados, halved and pitted
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup whole milk (and more as needed)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1. Scoop the avocado flesh from the peel with a spoon and pop into a blender (or a food processor, or a Vitamix). Add the condensed milk, whole milk and cocoa powder and process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the jug as needed. Add a little more whole milk if the mixture has trouble coming together. Keep going until you don’t see any more avocado bits, a total of about 2 minutes. Taste and add more cocoa powder or condensed milk if desired, and process until smooth. If the pudding is still lumpy (or if you’re a perfectionist), press it through a fine-mesh strainer.
2. If you can resist, transfer the pudding to a container with a tight lid, cover and chill for 1 hour. When ready to serve, stir it up, spoon into bowls or cups and enjoy! The pudding will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.
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