How to make healthy choices every day

Smooth Criminal Chocolate Mousse Tarts

If being delicious were a crime, this dessert would certainly be put in the big house. So incredibly creamy, rich, and satisfying, it tastes like decadent chocolate mousse, but you’d never guess that it’s healthier than a salad!

The inspiration for this sinfully healthy dessert actually came from the film “Go Further” – Woody Harrelson’s documentary about his Sustainable Organic Living Tour in 2003, where one of his friends makes a raw chocolate avocado pie. After many delicious attempts at making my own, I came up with this very quick and easy recipe that anyone can make, and everyone will eat.

The Skinny on Fat

The most awesome aspect of this dessert (besides how incredible it tastes) is the fact that it supplies your body with some of the best fats on the planet. I realize that fats have gotten a bad rap over the years, but there are so many kinds of fats and knowing which ones are harmful and which ones are healing is crucial to good health and happy eating!

The main ingredient in this dessert is the lovely avocado. Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fats – a good kind of fat also found in olive oil, that boasts all sorts of health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, and even offering protection against certain cancers like colon cancer and breast cancer. Avocados are also a very concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein, a phytochemical that protects the eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts. They also contain significant amounts of vitamin K, essential for normal blood clotting; calcium to maintain strong bones; folate to combat against Alzheimer’s disease; and vitamin C to boost the immune system. Not bad for a handful of smooth green goodness.
And if that wasn’t enough to fill you up, we’ve got polyunsaturated fats (think those oh-so-elusive Omega 3’s!) from all of the beautiful walnuts. Omega 3 fats are essential, meaning that our bodies cannot produce them and we need to get them from our diet. And why are they so important? Oh, only because they reduce cholesterol, lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, boost the immune system, control viral infections, improve brain function, and relieve symptoms of inflammatory condition such as arthritis. Whatevs. No big deal.

Smooth Criminal Chocolate Mousse Tarts
Maple Walnut Crust
1 ½ cups organic walnuts
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
a pinch fine sea salt

Chocolate Avocado Mousse
4 ripe avocados
10 very soft dates (soaked if necessary)
4 Tbsp. raw agave nectar
2 Tbsp. high-quality raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder if you don’t have the other)

1. Place walnuts in a food processor and pulse until chunky. Add the maple syrup and sea salt and pulse until the mixture is combined. (You can create a smoother crust by blending longer if you like, but in my experience leaving some chunks is a good idea to add contrast against the smooth chocolate pudding).
2. Get out a muffin pan. Scoop out a couple tablespoons of the walnut mixture at a time and press into the bottom of a muffin cup. Press firmly so that the walnut mixture is compact and holds together. You should be able to fill about 8 cups with the walnut crust. Refrigerate.
3. Finely chop the dates.
4. Cut open all the avocados and scoop them out into a clean food processor. Blend. Add the other ingredients and blend to incorporate.
5. Remove walnut crusts by running a knife around the perimeter to loosen, then lift out. If the crust breaks or becomes dented, simply press it back together once it’s out the mold.
6. Spoon a large dollop of avocado mouse on top of the crust base. Garnish with whatever fruit you have on hand (fresh berries, banana, dates, pomegranate, pineapple…). Serve to very lucky people.

Notes: You can change things up by making a whole tart – simply press the walnut mixture into a tart shell, spoon the avocado pudding on top and slice.
If you have any extra filling, just keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days and eat it like pudding. It’s great for breakfast!

This is the kind of dessert that makes you question why on earth you’d ever reach for something full of empty calories, harmful fats, and tons of sugar. It really is one of the most delicious treats I eat and I always make it for company – the fun part is making them guess what’s in it!

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at

37 thoughts on “Smooth Criminal Chocolate Mousse Tarts”

  • The recipe works if you use date paste instead of rehydrated, dried dates. Sarah, you should update the recipe to call for 1/4 cup date paste instead of whole dates. Date paste is very affordable and plentiful in Middle Eastern or SWANA grocery stores. It’s meant for baking!

  • I agree with others who have said this is a miss. It is nothing like chocolate mousse as the recipe is written. It’s really avocado pudding with a bit of cocoa and sweetener. I was making for Thanksgiving and had to look up another recipe. I was able to fix it by added 9 oz of dairy free semi-sweet and dark chocolate (melted first), almost a whole can of coconut milk and quite a bit extra cocoa powder and about 2 tsp vanilla. I don’t think this recipe, as is, should be advertised as chocolate mousse. Normally I love your recipes though!

  • Love your blog and recipes but had to tell you – this recipe is totally off! I thought upon reading that 4 avocados to 2 tbsp of raw cacao was wrong so I bumped it to 4. Still way off. I kept adding cacao powder until I could at least get the mousse color to turn chocolate brown – I think I got all the way to 8 but it’s still not great. I went a checked the quantities of your yummy raw choc milkshake miracle and you have 2 tbsp of cacao to 1 avocado. I cross checked against Cherie Soria’s (famous raw chef) choc mousse and she’s got 6 tbsp cacao to 1 avocado. With the dates and agave I wasn’t sure where else to adjust but bottom line… I think you’ve got a typo or two in there. Would love for you to check and repost. I was hoping for a great Xmas dessert and got a huge fail by the crowd. I see so many positive comments so I’m wondering what’s off. Maybe the size of your avocados are different than my large California haas avocados ??? Thx!!

    • I had the same result unfortunately. Perhaps blitzing the dates and sweetener first would make a difference and extra cacao power. This is the first time I’ve had a failed attempt. I’ve made many of of your recipes and loved them Sarah. It would be great to have some feedback if you ever check back in on old posts, I’ve been curious about this dish for a while!

      • I also had a terrible time with this recipe. My chocolate mousse was brown but the taste was terrible. It was so overwhelmingly avocado-y but with these weird hints of chocolate mixed with sweet. I don’t know what happened as I tried to make the recipe exactly as you printed it. This is my first major fail with your posts as usually I find them divine.

  • Sarah, I really love your blog and your recipes. I just made this tonight in little glasses (I used activated walnuts) and put blueberries on top. My husband is not a fan of avocado or dates but absolutely adored this recipe. It tasted sinful and it really filled my chocolate craving. Thank you. You are a true genius.

  • Hi Sarah! I was about to write EXACTLY the same comment as Anon above me. I even made this in a vitamix to fully process the dates, but something just didn’t work. The color was completely different and the mousse tasted like an unripe banana.

  • Hi Sarah! I tried this recipe (after *LOVING* your raw tacos and black bean cookies) but it just didn’t turn out right. I made it exactly as stated, aside from having to use cocoa powder. The mousse was a really unappetizing color, even after I added more cocoa powder to try to darken it up (to look like the picture). And my soaked dates didn’t process fully and so there were little teeny chunks mixed with the green-brown avocado-y stuff. I couldn’t eat it, even though my four-year-old liked it. What am I missing?

  • Oh my god. I just woke up this morning and made one of these for breakfast. Didnt measure anything as I only wanted to make one little tart so I just put in small quantities, and OMG I am in HEAVEN!! This mousse has rocked my world! I’m going to be making it every day and putting it on EVERYTHING and smearing it all over my body when I run out of things to put it on!

    Thank you! 🙂

  • I’ve never made something “raw” before, so my bias is probably different than others who frequent this site. Made it last night for friends in Malawi (where you can get beautiful big avocados with a more mild flavor than the Americas ones for $.26.)

    I probably liked it the best of all, my husband said, “Why can’t you just make cupcakes?” but we had fun with our guests guessing the main ingredient.

    No one took seconds, but I’m about to have a big spoon of chocolate avo pudding for breakfast.

  • there was a sale on avocados at my coop, so naturally I made this like twice in the last week….
    loved it!
    while it looks like poop in a picture, much to my dismay as I posted it on facebook, I don’t even care and I love it
    can’t wait to make it for friends

  • I’ve made this twice in one week and I love it!!! It’s so simple to make and yummy. Sometimes I have one in the morning or afternoon when I’m feeling hungry.

    I’ve tried one batch with raw cacao and the other with cocoa – organic of course – the cacao batch is a much lighter brown still a little green but still so delicious.

    I’ve made quite a few of your recipes and rave about them to friends – and always send them your blog site

  • Hello 🙂
    I have actually never made a baked pumpkin pie, so i have no idea what unbaked filling would feel or taste like? That’s your call. Anyway, I really don’t think you should bake this crust. Find another one, or make the whole dessert raw.

    Enjoy! Sarah B

  • Wow, that was fast! I understand this version is raw, but if you used this type of crust for a pumpkin pie, COULD you bake it or modify it in a way to do so?

  • Hi Elizabeth,

    No, absolutely do NOT bake the crust! The whole point is that it’s raw 🙂 Plus, it will probably not turn out properly.
    And no, no butter required – it’s raw! Trust me…

    All the best,
    Sarah B

  • Hi Sarah!

    I’d really like to try this crust with pecans and use it in place of a traditional crust for pumpkin pie. Would this crust be ok to bake? Would you need to add butter at all to it?


  • Hi Sarah, I recently tried this recipe (and then made it two more times!) and absolutely LOVE it! I adapted the amounts of maple syrup and agave nectar as I found it to be too sweet initially, but THANK YOU for sharing this rawesomeness! -Grace


  • I saw that documentary! It was that exact pie that sparked my interest in raw cooking. It inspired me to try and push my culinary boundaries further. I will have to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • This looks delicious. I’ve made a cake with avocado, but never a dessert with raw avocados. Sounds so good. Cant wait to try it…

  • What an amazing, simple and inventive recipe, I can’t wait to try it myself and will let you know how it goes. This is my new favorite blog!

  • I tried this and it is unbelievable. It tastes creamy and decadent, you’d never guess it was made of avocados!

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