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I made a dessert. It's a clean dessert, though still a high-calorie dessert. Things got a little tricky in the making of this one, I made some changes to the recipe, and in the end I basically came up with ... chocolate guacamole on pie crust. Not the greatest success. I'm a firm believer that we learn through our mistakes, though, so I'm chalking this one up to a lesson well learned. As I move forward in the world of clean baking, I'll be able to look back at this one and make better choices.
So this is what I was originally going for: avocado lime cheesecake. It's sugar-free, flour-free, and dairy free — and therefore practically a health food, right? I looked through the ingredient list and was pleased to see only healthy options: pecans, coconut, cacao nibs, pitted dates, coconut oil, avocado flesh, lime juice, lime zest, and honey. Boom. Perfect. No fake ingredients. No extra sugar or fat. Sounds like a dream dessert.
This dream dessert, it turns out, is also a very high-maintenance dessert. I couldn't just start throwing ingredients together. The instructions said I should soak the pecans to get rid of their bitterness for AT LEAST SEVEN HOURS and then toast them, if desired, for 12-24 more. (There's a raw option to skip this step.) If you didn't read these instructions until the day you're planning on making the recipe, you're screwed. You're not making the recipe today. You're making it tomorrow. Today you're soaking nuts.
Fast forward to the next day when your pecans have been soaked. I chose the raw option so I could get to work instead of waiting another 12-24 hours. Here are the ingredients for the base of the pie: pecans, coconut, tons of dates (about 32 of them), dark chocolate chips (because I couldn't find cacao nibs), and melted coconut oil.
Toast the pecans and coconut in a 300 degree oven for 7-8 minutes.
Add all the base ingredients, including the toasted pecans and coconut, to a food processor. My food processor really struggled with this amount of ingredients. I fear my food processor will never be the same again.
Most of the crust blended well after a lot of effort.
There came a point when my food processor just wasn't having it anymore, so I added the remaining nuts whole.
Next up while the crust is in the fridge: make the filling. This is a step that requires five avocados, ten limes, and — wait, what? THIRTEEN TABLESPOONS OF HONEY and TWELVE TABLESPOONS OF COCONUT OIL? This seems like a good place in the story to remind you of the importance of reading through the ingredient list — including the measurements — thoroughly before starting any recipe.
So, there are a lot of naturally decadent ingredients in this recipe: lots of avocado, lots of dates, lots of coconut, and a little dark chocolate. While these foods have their health benefits, they are in no way low-calorie. So if I'm going to make a recipe using these ingredients, I would hope that I'll basically only be using these ingredients, plus maybe a sprinkle of sweetener and oil. Nearly a cup is not a sprinkle. Nearly a cup is a lot. Nearly a cup, to me, kind of defeats the purpose of making a "healthy" dessert. If I'm going to eat an absolute calorie bomb, I'd almost prefer to just have one full-sugar, full-fat cupcake than a dish with lots of natural ingredients but lots of sweetener and oil, too. So I made a bold decision: I'm skipping the honey and oil.
At which point I realized I'm making guacamole. Literally. Avocados + lime juice = guacamole. Guacamole pie? Hmm.
At this point in the experiment my food processor was like, "Hell no! I'm out!" and I had to transfer everything to a blender so I could continue whipping up my guacamole pie.
So if I'm not adding sweetener and I don't want it to seem like straight-up guacamole, what should I do? I know: add a little unsweetened cocoa powder to make it like a chocolate mousse.
Except it still basically tasted like guacamole. It looks like chocolate. It tastes like guacamole. Here's the filling spread over the crust.
How can I save this culinary disaster? When in doubt, add a smiley face with dark chocolate chips. They'll assume your dessert knows something they don't and that it tastes better than it does.
The real taste test comes once the filing is all set, but of course for that we have to wait several more hours because this is pretty much the most time-consuming recipe ever. How will the chocolate guacamole pie recipe taste in the end? Only time will tell. Stay tuned ...
Update: It turned out amazing. It didn't taste like guacamole at all. My husband said it could be sweeter, but I loved the super lime-y taste with a hint of chocolate. The crust is really sweet so I think the two balanced each other out.
Here is the original recipe for the avocado lime cheesecake.
Changes I made:
omitted coconut oil in filling
omitted honey in filling
omitted lime zest in filling
added 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder to filling