Culinary Press Release
- Kiaran Locy
- (415) 274-7915
California Avocados Make Desserts Delectable
Creamy Avocados Serve as a Surprising Ingredient in Sweet Treats
IRVINE, Calif. (July 28, 2010) – While everyone loves California avocados as the star ingredient in guacamole, this versatile fruit also is perfect in a variety of other dishes – including desserts. California avocados lend themselves well to dessert recipes, as their delicious, mild flavor and smooth texture can make dishes feel even more decadent.
The unique idea of featuring avocados in desserts has been gaining popularity among chefs and home cooks alike. The fruit is easy to prepare and imparts a delicate flavor to dessert recipes from pies and cakes, to custards and ice creams. With California avocados at the peak of their season, this is the perfect time to incorporate them into dessert dishes. An added benefit to utilizing avocados in these treats is that their nutritional value is increased with the fruit’s contribution of “good fats,” along with nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to one’s diet.
The California Avocado Commission is offering up its recipes for Chocolate Avocado Pistachio Cake with California Avocado Crème Anglaise and California Avocado Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins to inspire at-home chefs with ways to use California avocados in dessert dishes. More recipes featuring California avocados can be found at CaliforniaAvocado.com.
Chocolate Avocado Pistachio Cake with California Avocado Crème Anglaise
- 6 oz. pistachios, shelled
- 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped in the food processor
- 6 oz. unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 ripe, fresh California avocados, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
- Powdered sugar
- Crème Anglaise (see make-ahead recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Arrange pistachios on a baking sheet and place in oven for about 15 minutes to toast the nuts until they are dry and aromatic. Stir the pistachios occasionally, being careful not to allow them to brown; cool completely. Finely grind nuts in the food processor with 1/4 cup sugar and the flour, pulsing on/off, until the consistency of fine meal.
- Increase oven heat to 350ºF. Butter an 8-inch springform pan, line with parchment paper, then turn paper over.
- Combine chocolate and butter in a bowl and microwave on medium power for 2 1/2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
- Beat egg yolks with the whisk attachment in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and continue beating until yolks are very thick. Add the avocados to the mixer, increase speed and beat until smooth. Reduce speed to low and gradually stir in the vanilla and chocolate and nut mixtures.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until stiff, but not dry. Gently fold the beaten whites into the yolk mixture (yolk mixture will be very thick). Fold the yolk mixture back into the remaining whites. Pour into the prepared pan. Tap the pan on the work surface and smooth top with a spatula to level. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean. Allow the cake to cool in pan.
- Remove sides of the springform pan and using a long spatula, slide the cake off the paper onto the serving plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Ladle Crème Anglaise into the center of each dessert plate, place a wedge of cake in the center of the plate and serve immediately.
California Avocado Crème Anglaise
Do-Ahead: The sauce can be completely prepared a day or so before serving.
- 1 ripe, fresh California avocado, seeded, peeled and scooped out
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Place the avocado in a food processor, pulsing on/off, until coarsely chopped.
- Mix milk and sugar together in a small heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat.
- Whisk egg yolks together just to blend in a medium bowl.
- Whisk scalded milk into the yolks, a drop at a time and return the mixture to the saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat with a spatula until the sauce thickens. Do not allow the mixture to simmer or boil at anytime or it will curdle. Add the mixture to the avocado in the food processor and process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container, until completely puréed. Cover and refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.
California Avocado Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 (4-oz.) stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 ripe, fresh California avocado, peeled and seeded
- 1 1/4 cups raisins
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange oats on a small baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and golden, about 20 minutes; cool.
- Increase oven heat to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with a nonstick silicon mat or aluminum foil, shiny-side up.
- Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda together into a small bowl; set aside.
- Cream butter in the large bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually mix in brown and white sugars, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add egg, increase speed to high and beat until well mixed. Add avocado to the bowl and beat until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low, and mix in flour mixture and oats. Stir in raisins. If an electric mixer is unavailable, use a sturdy wooden spoon or spatula to add and mix the ingredients.
- Use two level tablespoons of batter to form each cookie and place them about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared sheet. (The cookies will not spread.) Slightly flatten and shape each cookie into a 2 1/2-inch round.
- Bake until browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Store in a covered container.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 120; Total Fat 5 g (Sat 2.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 0.3 g, Mono 1.7 g); Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 45 mg; Total Carbohydrates 19 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Protein 1 g
Tip: Dough can be prepared several days in advance, covered and refrigerated before it is formed and baked.
About the California Avocado Commission
Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to increase demand for California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities that benefit the state’s 6,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. For information about California avocados, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com, become a fan at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados and follow the California Avocado Commission on Twitter at Twitter.com/CA_Avocados.
Editor's note: High-resolution images of these California avocado growers and their recipes are available for download at CaliforniaAvocado.com/PressRoom.