Lucky Comestible III (2): Decadent Chocolate Pâté

June 18, 2008


If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.” 

[I thought it would be fun to run a little series over here at DDD: I’ll profile one one of my favorite foods, or a food that I’ve recently discovered and enjoyed, over several days.  For this third entry, I’m focusing on Avocados. The series is presented on an occasional (and entirely arbitrary) basis, before I move on to the next lucky comestible. ]


Want to wow your boss?  Want to thrill your sweetheart?  Want to get addicted to something rich, dense, smooth, chocolately and truly decadent?  Well, all you need is an avocado plus 3 more ingredients, and you’re there. 

This pâté will dazzle you, seduce you (but not in the same way as Mark Bittman), soothe you and make you very, very happy.  This is my HH’s all-time favorite dessert (well, maybe on a par with coconut cream pie).

Last year, when the HH and I went out to our favorite restaurant for our 10-year anniversary, we reached the end of the meal when I found myself suddenly craving chocolate (my, how unusual!).  For some reason that night, the always-stellar dessert menu lacked anything that appealed to me.  But here’s the sign of an exceptional establishment:  when I mentioned my desire to Tony (our waiter–we were on a first-name basis by that point), he apologized profusely for the menu’s shortcoming, swiftly and deftly cleared our plates, and trotted off to get the HH’s coconut cream pie (okay, he didn’t really order coconut cream pie, but since I can’t remember what he did actually order and since I just mentioned that coconut cream pie was a favorite of his, I thought it would sound good here. . . I plead literary license).

A few moments later,  Tony returned with two plates of dessert–the pie for the HH, and a selection of three exquisitely formed chocolate truffles for me.  The chef had whipped them up with some ganache he had prepared for another dessert!  I was blown away, not only by the astonishingly good service, but also by the truffles themselves: light, smooth, and soft as a butterfly’s touch.  I savored every bite, every deep, rich, cacao-dense tidbit. 

Well, that’s what this pâté reminds me of–the filling in those truffles.

I created this recipe several years ago for a cooking class on heart-healthy foods, and was delighted to discover that both avocados and dark chocolate provide benefits to our body’s main muscle.  Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats (the same heart-healthy fat touted in the “Mediterannean diet,” also in olive oil), and chocolate contains flavonoids that can improve cardiovascular functioning by preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

The taste of avocado is imperceptible in this dessert, yet it adds a rich, creamy, lustrous texture.  The orange juice provides sweetness and additional flavor to counterbalance the chocolate perfectly (hmm, come to think of it, perhaps Grand Marnier in place of some of that juice would be nice. . . ).  Once refrigerated, the pâté firms up enough to hold its shape and cut into slices, yet it remains soft and yielding, something of a cross between a fudge and a ganache. 

Because it actually provides most of the substance of the pâté, be sure to use a good quality dark chocolate here.  If you’re feeling extravagant, you might try Vogzes.  I’ve used Green and Black’s, Dagoba, Endangered SpeciesLindt, Vivani, and even President’s Choice in a pinch (can you tell we like this dessert in our house?), all with delicious results.

Want a little preview of life beyond the pearly gates?  Go make this.

(Since this pâté is my very healthy version of a traditional chocolate pâté made with sugar, cream, eggs and butter, I’m submitting this to Giz and Psychgrad’s event, Tried, Tested and True II, over at Equal Opportunity Kitchen.  They’re asking for surefire hits that are made healthier than original versions.)

Finally, thanks to everyone who’s entered the Cookbook Contest so far.  And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for??  It’s open to everyone, and you can win one of eight cookbooks! Just go here and enter!

This pâté tastes incredibly rich, but is actually good for you.  A little goes a long way, so I’d advise cutting into thin slices. . . otherwise, I can’t be responsible for what happens.



34 Responses to “Lucky Comestible III (2): Decadent Chocolate Pâté”

  1. BitterSweet Says:

    Brilliant! Perfect for hot days when you don’t want to turn on the oven, and you can even say that it’s “healthy” with that avocado, right? 😉

  2. Romina Says:

    This is killing the chocoholic in me!

  3. oh my goodness, that looks lovely. thanks so much for the inspiration!!!

  4. That is so rad! I can definitely see this as a component in a romantic evening feast.

  5. celine Says:

    consider me done by slayage. this is too good!

  6. shellyfish Says:

    Talk about special treatment! Special desserts for the two of you – cool.
    You’re killing me here, I’m trying to pretend that I’m cutting out (or limiting) desserts…

  7. Hippolyra Says:

    I think I have to make this very very soon!

    Many thanks for posting it!

  8. giz Says:

    Wow – when I first looked at this I thought – no way can that be low cal or remotely healthy…as I continued to read, I was incredibly impressed had how ingeniously the ingredients come together and how low calorie it is. Brilliant – and thanks for the entry to Tried Tested and True. I’m thinking I need a flavanoid injection – hmmm…

  9. Allison Says:

    That looks delicious!~Beautiful picture! I can’t believe avocado is a main ingredient!…I love it!

  10. Deb Schiff Says:

    I’d love to see a slice of it. 🙂 Will have to live vicariously through you, per usual.

    Gorgeous loafyness to it.

  11. Lizzie Says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This dessert looks absolutely heavenly. And healthy too? You rock, Ricki!!!

  12. Johanna Says:

    this looks amazing – although might have to wait for summer but I love the idea of it (strangely enough I have recently taken down a recipe for chocolate mousse with avocado from Have Cake will Travel).

    And I can see why that is your favourite restaurant if they know when the dessert menu doesn’t inspire that what you need is some decadent choolate truffles.

  13. Lisa Says:

    I so love your healthy desserts! I never really would have thought of avocado for dessert, but now I am sold. Thanks Ricki.

  14. Andrea Says:

    Last summer a friend made me avocado ice cream which tasted rich and delicious. I wonder if you could put this pate in an ice cream freezer. (the kind that you keep in the freezer and doesn’t need ice) Of course, it looks fabulous just as it is!

  15. atxvegn Says:

    Wow! What a brilliant creation!

  16. holler Says:

    I will definitely be making this one Ricki! I will have to invite guests especially, so I can make it! Boy, does it look good 🙂

    I have been in Cyprus over a week now and have not craved chocolate once, until last night when Graham & I shared a slice of chocolate cake, but I can tell you the cravings are back in full force, now I have seen this! You are a genius, girl!

  17. Astra Libris Says:

    Oh my gosh, Ricki, this looks and sounds amazing… Healthy chocolate, with avocado – you just described my idea of heaven, for certain!

  18. I think this is the most beautiful dish you’ve posted yet… and that’s saying something, considering how delicious your recipes look/taste.

    I’m copying this one down for sure. (How could I not? It’s CHOCOLATE!)

  19. Joe Says:

    Avocado and chocolate? Color me intrigued! You certainly made it look great!

  20. Ricki Says:

    Hadn’t thought about the non-oven issue, but it is perfect that way! And it IS actually healthy!

    You sound like the HH when he sees this dessert. . .

    No, this won’t kill ya. . . it’s good for you 😉

    Thanks! Let me know if you give it a go.

    Well, if my honey’s reaction is any indication, yes, this is great for a romantic dinner!

    “slayage”–love it! 🙂

    Well, I got special treatment, anyway (the HH just got what he ordered!). But I guess for those prices, they really SHOULD give us special treatment!!

    Thanks so much! Let me know if you do try it out.

    One can never have too many flavonoids. (I was skeptical about the calories so I calculated again. . . still 150 per serving. Yay! I can eat more!)

    Thanks so much. I think there’s a bit more chocolate than avocado, but the avoc is definitely in there!

    I bet this would work beautifully with carob chips and maple syrup. Hmmm. . . .

    Aww, thanks! 🙂

    Quite amazing at the similarity (esp. since we created them independently–and in different years!!). And the restaurant? Yep, a real gem. 🙂

    You really don’t taste the avocado at all, but I’m glad it’s there. 🙂

    Avocado ice cream? Sounds divine. I have frozen this mousse, and it ends up with a texture of firm fudge. But if you added some soymilk or coconut milk, I bet it would be a wowsa ice cream!

    Thanks so much!

    You really do want to invite guests for this, as it makes quite a bit and I find if I don’t get rid of it, we eat it all! Your trip sounds just heavenly–and it looks gorgeous there.

    Astra Libris,
    Well, if I’m going to eat chocolate anyway, I figure it should at least have added health benefits!

    Thanks so much! And bien sur, it’s calling your name (well, the “chocolate” part, anyway)!

    Thanks for visiting, and for your comment! Glad you like it. 🙂

  21. Lysy Says:

    The picture had me seduced before I read any more! I’m glad you said you can’t taste the avocado too much – there’s more chance of selling it to my other half!

  22. Ricki Says:

    Actually, you can’t taste the avocado at all! I just wouldn’t even mention it. . . . 😉

  23. veganhomemade Says:

    This sounds truly scrumptious! I’ve seen avocado used in chocolate pies and puddings, but have never heard of such a pate.

  24. Ashley Says:

    Oh wow another yummy treat! Looks delicious and love that it’s healthier.

  25. richa Says:

    hi Ricki, I tried this & true to it’s name it was rich, smooth & d-lish 🙂 being a fan of avocado, the pate fits in nicely with my other avo recipes. Just posted it for the mbp event, thanks!

  26. vivnidhi Says:

    Wow,this looks and sounds fantastic. I am certainly going to try it! Thank you for a great recipe.

  27. Mansi Says:

    avocado by itself is a high-calorie fruit, so yeah, I’d try to limit to one piece if I’m dieting!) but that pate looks too good to reast at just one piece Ricki!!:D

  28. After seeing this on Richa’s blog, I made it too, and gosh, it is one of things that make you think ‘where have you been all along’!!! Thanks so much for a fabulous recipe.

  29. Carol Miranda Says:

    Ricki ! Splendid is more than I can say, your site is as exquisite as melting toffee. I simply love the way you put food into your language, such beautiful entendre and I have still to devour all the rest of your fare.
    Good work
    Carol from Mumbai (Bombay)

  30. ttfn300 Says:

    yummy! this was fantastic 🙂

  31. nannykim Says:

    Thanks for telling me about your blog!! This dessert looks nice in the nice even shape–I am now coveting that size pan!!!!

  32. Chou Says:

    You’re right! I’ll make this for valentine’s day, and let you know how much I love it. Because I will love it! What a great place to eat.

  33. Dani Says:

    Thanks for sharing Ricki! This is original and sounds amazing. I’m gonna link to this one for Valentine’s Day as well:)

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