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Everything you want to know about chocolate
I'm forever on the lookout for new chocolate flavor combos to inspire me. Just a few weeks ago at a fruit smoothie stand here in Singapore, I spied a Chocolate Avocado Milkshake on the menu and ordered it straight away. Though avocados are a fruit, I like them salty, not sweet. I've never considered paring the two together, and to be honest I thought the shake would be disgusting.
Squeamishly, and trying to not look like a tourist, I took the first suck up the straw. Well there's nothing to fear here, people—this velvety, chocolaty shake was seriously good. The flavor of the avocado was subtle, which suited it just fine, as avocados are relatively mild anyway. Avocado's role here is to add body the shake. Drinking this reminded me of a thick and creamy chocolate milkshake, but the overall effect felt lighter. It didn't have that heavy "sink to the bottom of your gut" quality of a typical ice cream shake.
After hoovering up the last drop, I tried to snag the recipe from the vendor, but the double whammy of my American accent and unhoned ear for Singlish left both of us confused. When home I conversed with my laptop and started blending away.
Make sure to use a fully soft, ripe avocado here, in order to reap the most from the fruit's creamy, slightly sweet flesh. To chocolate up the milkshake, I whip up a quick chocolate sauce of bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, and water. "Blooming" the cocoa by adding it to the sauce helps to open up the cocoa molecules and slightly boost the chocolate flavor. Every little bit counts.
I'd suspected soy milk or simply crushed ice as the base of this drink, but most recipes call for milk. My first try with whole milk was a success, so I left it at that. Like any shake, an Avocado Milkshake screams to be super cold or partially frozen. To achieve that, most recipes either pour the blended drink over ice cubes, or blend crushed ice directly into the shake. To keep the flavors undiluted, I axed the ice.
Instead, I partially freeze the milk first. It might take a little more time this way, but the results are worth it. After giving all the ingredients a quick whirl in the blender, you end up with a luscious, slushy shake that is remarkably refreshing. And healthy? Yeah, it's probably better for you than a cream based concoction. And though I didn't test soy milk, I'd bet that it would create a primo chocolate milkshake that's non-dairy to boot.
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About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore and is currently at work constructing her new blog, "ShopHouseCook".