Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Yep, there was a time when I disliked avocado immensely. Weird, mushy, avocado. Can you believe it? Thankfully the times have changed – I can’t get enough of it these days and could happily have it at least once a day on toast. Ahhh nature’s butter. While my favourite is probably on toast with chilli, it is also the perfect side to pretty much every dish ever.

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This recipe is a tweaked version of one I posted about three years ago, back when I was living/travelling in a van and my photography was embarrassing. So today I bring to you an updated recipe with a little more stylish photos. Avo is still the main player in this dish, though it is hidden by cacao to bring you a rich and creamy dessert. It is quite thick, and I have seen some people do a similar thing but blend a banana into it or extra coconut cream which I suppose would create a lighter texture, I’m yet to try it though.

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Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse
(serves 2-3)

2 avocados
1/2 cup cacao
1/4 cup coconut cream
4 Tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener
1 Tbsp coconut oil, liquified
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add more sweetener if desired, though keep in mind that the taste does settle overnight – I find the avocado flavour mellows completely with some time. Pour into serving glasses and chill in the fridge over night. Top with desired toppings e.g. berries, coconut, cacao nibs, choc chips, banana.

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Hazelnut Choc Chip Cookies

I haven’t done much (read: any) experimenting with aquafaba until now, and I wouldn’t even say that this was very experimental, considering the meringue stuff that has been going on (SRSLY!). I did attempt a sponge cake in which I got to whip the aquafaba up and see it form peaks – a pretty amazing sight indeed. The sponge cake itself wasn’t what I had hoped, it was still dense rather than the light and fluffy I was going for. In these cookies, I had hoped the aquafaba would create this mad chewiness, but it didn’t happen to the extent I had intended. I don’t really think the aquafaba is even that necessary here. Regardless, these cookies are damn delicious.

What (insert well known person) would eat if they were vegan.

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So who would I be feeding these delicious cookies to, you ask?

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ZOMG! It’s Cookie Monster! Everyone knows Cookie Monster loves a good old choc chip cookie, but the addition of nuts suits his personality down to a T. I only hope he’s brought his cookie eating game cos we are getting pretty damn good and wolfing these babies down.

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No seriously, blink and you will miss them.

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Hazelnut Choc Chip Cookies
(makes about 28-32 cookies)

2/3 cup vegan butter
½ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup raw sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp chickpea juice
1 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ ts p baking powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup choc chips
½ cup hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 180, line a tray with baking paper. .

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars with electric beaters for a good couple of minutes. Add vanilla, chick juice and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients except for choc chips and hazelnuts. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine, before adding the rest along with the choc chips and hazelnuts and stirring to form a dough.

Taking heaps teaspoons, roll into balls then flatten into discs on the tray. Bake for 10-12 mins until bottoms slightly golden (on the shorter side for chewier cookies, longer for crispy). Allow to sit on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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Nom nom nom nom…

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New bloginnings and Pana Cafe

You may have noticed something different around the little vegan bear neck of the woods (ha, bear…woods….yep), we’ve had a bit of a makeover! I am now a dot com! After much time feeling overwhelmed and technologically incapable, and then a little time with my brother and his girlfriend doing the majority of the legwork (thanks guys) I am here. Thank goodness for the technical knowledge of others.

These parts will remain pretty basic for the time being while I work out how to do a little more, which will most likely be a bit further down the track as I am aware that MoFo is fast approaching – if I’m going to participate this year I need to spend a bit of time planning. While I recall the stress of last MoFo like it were yesterday (has it really been a year?!) it was also a whole heap of fun and with the new structure I am hoping it will take some of the pressure off (no matter how self-imposed said pressure may have been). Nevertheless, a bit of forethought can’t hurt.

I’m doing my best to update all links, and I’m hoping that the transfer of subscribers went down successfully. Please let me know if you have any issues viewing, commenting, or anything else while on the blog and I’ll try to amend it.

Oh, and while I remember – I am officially getting ‘social’. I’m now on instagram as littleveganbear_ and you can link up with me through the button on the right side bar. Oooh look at me go!

Just for kicks, here are some snaps from a recent trip to Pana Cafe in Richmond with some girlfriends. For those who aren’t aware, Pana are a Melbourne business who deal in the trade of delicious raw chocolate. You may have seen their bars stocked in shops around the place – they are recognisable by the cute little alien looking dudes on the front of the box. Pana use all vegan, organic ingredients and are refined sugar free.

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Apart from their classic bars sold through various stockists, Pana also have a cafe on Church street in Richmond where they serve up an array of slices, cakes and other raw treats which look almost too good to eat. Seriously, I reckon we spent more time ooh-ing and aah-ing over everything than we did actually eating, they are so gosh darn beautiful.

We couldn’t help but be pulled by the allure of the larger ‘surprise cake’, which we were pretty sure we had pegged as choc-mint. We also got a slice of what I think was spicy apple slice, if my memory serves me correct.

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Well we sure were surprised, because there was not a hint of mint in this baby. Instead we found berries and a delicious lime tasting cream on top. Rich, silky smooth and delicious the whole way through. I was keen for something less chocolate-y with the slice, and it didn’t disappoint. I felt our eyes were a little too big for our tummies though, as I was feeling pretty stuffed by the end.

Shout out to my pal Steph for the photos which I have borrowed. Also shout out to the lovely lady who did an excellent job at slicing the goodies into thirds for us. It is worth noting that while it is called the Pana Cafe, there really are only a couple of stools (3 or 4) and a bench at the front of the shop, so if you aren’t lucky enough to nab them you might have to take away.

Speaking of take aways, I took a few choccies home to share with the bear. I can’t remember what they all were – oh deary me, how many times do I swear I’ll start taking notes for occasions like this? One was sesame, I feel like one might have been lemonade, maybe lavender and rose? Whatever the case – they were all incredible. I would even go so far as to say that I enjoyed them more than the cakes – perhaps being bite sized there was less chance of being overcome by the richness.


Apologies for the shitty late night camera phone job, but these darlings couldn’t wait any longer!

Pana Cafe
491 Church St, Richmond
Mon – Fri – 10am – 5pm
Sat – 10am – 4pm
Sun – 11am – 3pm

Music for your Mouth: Hot Chocolate

We all know Hot Chocolate. We all love hot chocolate.

hotchoc4 I am not going to go on about stuff today, because I am really tired. Instead I will show you pictures of my hot chocolate.

I have been going mad on the cashew milk lately, it is just so creamy that it makes everything velvety and amazing.

hotchocI had planned to do a giveaway today, but I haven’t organised it and as mentioned above, I am tired, and have also been sick this week. Hopefully I will get around to it in the next couple of days. Sit tight!

Also please note my mum’s beautiful mugs that I borrowed for a photo shoot. She has had these since I was little and they are my favourite.

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Spiced Hot Chocolate
(serves 2)

2 1/2 cups cashew milk
1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp cacao powder
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Dash of cayenne pepper
Marshmallows to serve (optional)

Place cashew milk in a small saucepan, then remove a couple of tablespoons of it and place it in a small bowl. Add cacao powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. Whisk with a fork until the mix becomes a thick slurry, then add it back to the rest of the cashew milk. Stir in agave nectar and vanilla.

Heat saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until combined. Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows.

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Vegan Market Day

The Sunday before last, Billy and I visited the St Kilda Botanical gardens for the vegan market day organised by Animal Liberation Victoria. It was a beautiful day for it, with no better place to be than out in the sunshine in the gardens, with the smell of vegan food wafting through the air.

We had a little wander around the stalls, picking up some goodies as we went. The first we came across was a stall called ‘A Vegan Smiles’, which was doing cheese along with some other sweet treats like protein bites. By the time we had got there, they had sold out of all the cheese apart from one final pack, so we snapped it up to give it a try.

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This wasn’t bad – it was enjoyable spread on crackers. The consistency was more like a spread than a solid cheese, and it had a very nutritional yeast/garlic/oniony flavour. Because I find it quite easy to make a cheese of that description, I probably wouldn’t get this again. Great to have new local vegan products on the market though!

Next we picked up some sweeties – the lady at the stall we got this from informed us that these were the only smores supplies in Australia at the moment. How could we pass up them after hearing that information?!

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It was pretty yummy – I haven’t had marshmallow in sooooo long, and this wasn’t as sickly sweet as I had suspected it might be. I also got a bag of Dandies marshmallows, as I’ve never tried them.

mark3I know right?! What is this crazy chocolate bar I’ve never seen? I’ll tell you what it is – DELICIOUS. Lovely dark chocolate, with mini marshmallows scattered through it to give it a yummy chewy texture. How have I never seen this before?

Next we wandered over to the area where they had live music, food, and talks happening. Our intention was to get a sausage from the sausage sizzle (how often do I get to say that?) but when we got there they had run out of bread, and it was going to be half an hour until they got more. We had every intention of waiting, but then we wandered down to the other stalls and found some dosas on the go, so opted for them instead.

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These were lovely! Not quite as good as the smokey eggplant ones from Overdosa, but definitely did the job. They were filled with a lovely potato mix, and came with three different chutneys – a coconut based, a chilli, and something else that I can no longer remember (pumpkin?).

After our savoury stop-over, we were ready to tackle the bake sale.

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Unfortunately for us, it seemed that the bake sale had already been tackled – the table was almost bare! We did manage to snap up a profiterole to share, which had apparently won the bake-off. I thought the pastry was a bit heavy, but I loved the crunchy toffee bits.

While we were eating, somehow a plate of doughnuts appeared on the table. We managed to sneak one of the last ones before they disappeared (a matter of minutes)!

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It was lovely – I wish I had ten!

Our final stop was to the coconut ice-cream cart. I’d seen this cart somewhere else not too long ago, but for some reason didn’t indulge. Well I was not going to let that happen again.

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Funky packaging, with a little paddle to eat it with tucked inside the lid. The flavours all sounded amazing, and I managed to sway myself from the usual mint-choc chip (it wasn’t easy) to try something else…

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This was be-a-u-tiful! The flavour was amazing, and unlike some other coconut ice-creams i’ve tried that have been quite hard and icy, this was lovely and creamy. I will never walk past this cart without indulging again!

Finally, it was time to make our way home. The food didn’t end there though – we smooshed up on the couch with a bowl of Red Thai Tofu and Green Beans with Thai Basil from Appetite for Reduction – the perfect way to end our delicious day.

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Strawberry Fields For-never (or not getting jobs as strawberry pickers)

Have you ever wondered why voting booths give you PENCILS instead of pens? Billy’s mum alerted us to this a little while ago, and when casting my early vote this morning, I couldn’t help but notice that I was given a pen to fill out the envelope I had to write on for the interstate form, but when I got to the booth – only pencils! Conspiracy?!?

Luckily for me, I had a pen on hand and the voting volunteer said it was fine that I used it but assured me that there was no chance that anybody was going to be messing with the votes. Not now that mine’s in pen, that’s for sure!

Anyway, I digress from what I came here to post.

Queensland is home to many strawberry farms, particularly along around the Sunshine Coast region. We tried our hardest to get some picking work on one of them on the way up but the place was swarming with backpackers, also desperately seeking some employment.

In many ways, it’s a good thing we didn’t get any as it opened up other opportunities to us – Billy getting to work at the Gympie Muster (and getting paid an hourly wage rather than oh…about $4/tray of strawberries) as well as the work I am doing this week the jewellery stall. But it was still kind of demoralising ringing farm after farm, doing drive arounds and stopping at every strawberry farm in sight and just getting rejection after rejection. Nothing personal, but still.

Nevertheless, just because we didn’t pick the strawberries, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of what sunny Queensland has to offer us in the form of these little red gems.

Melt a little chocolate and some coconut oil, grab some strawberries and voila! Heavenly choc berries!

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Raw Choc-Mint Mousse

Happy Vegan MoFo everybody! Wahoo!

This is my first time participating, which is a bit exciting for me. I was umming and ahhing over whether or not I was going to do a theme as I thought posting every day as I travel around might already be quite a challenge, but hey, I love a good challenge – so I’m hitting the ground running and doing a theme.

I’m opting for what I am hoping will be quite a simple one, which is ‘locally sourced’. This means that I will be aiming to use at least one locally sourced (from wherever I am local to at the time) ingredient every day, which as well as a fun theme is a great way to support local farmers and industry. As we are in quite a big veggie growing region at the moment, it shouldn’t be too difficult. And it’s an excuse to visit more farmer’s markets too! I know, tough gig right?

So we’ve moved on from Gympie – we left today and are currently in Bundaberg, as I have picked up a week of work selling jewellery at a stall starting tomorrow. Billy finished up his labour gig yesterday, so it was perfect timing.

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Before we left though, I had a chance to go on a little trip of my own to Eumundi to visit the infamous markets there. Eumundi is about half an hour south of Gympie, and a little closer towards the coast. It’s a really cute, funky little town and it is buzzing on market day.

The markets were awesome – a diverse range of arts, crafts, food, clothing, jewellery, instrument, handmade toys and so on. I had just eaten brekkie before arriving, which was a bit of a bummer as there were a few different vegan options on offer including momos, smoothies, raw sweets and a Hare Krishna café. I just couldn’t justify buying food for my already full tummy.

I did grab some organic veggies though – some local garlic, salad mix and a big bag of avocados. How I love cheap avocados!

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Afterwards, I decided to travel a little further to the coast as it had been a while since I’d seen the ocean. I drove through Noosaville to Sunshine Beach, where I was able to enjoy the last day of winter under the sun (not that Queensland could call this ‘winter’….29 degrees! That’s summer in Tassie!)

Anyway, enough talk, more food!

Last week I made this deliciously creamy mousse with some avocados that I got in Nanango….being well stocked in the avo department I thought it would be a great start to MoFo to share this simple and sweet recipe.

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Raw Choc-Mint Mousse
(serves 2)

2 avocados
3 Tbsp cacao powder
1-1.5 Tbsp stevia or other sweetener (depending on taste)
1/4 cup fresh mint
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp virgin coconut oil

Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Chill in the fridge before serving, and garnish with extra mint leaves.

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That’s it. It is sooo easy and I just can’t get over the creaminess..it’s amazing. It’s also super versatile, as you can easily alter the flavours – I’m thinking Mocha, Raspberry and Jaffa next. Mmm…

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