Decadent Chocolate Pâté
1-1/4 cups (7 oz. or 210 g.) nondairy dark chocolate (70% cocoa is best), chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed (essential!) orange juice (remove larger pieces of pulp)
1 small ripe (but not squishy) Haas avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks (about 110-120 g. flesh)
2 Tbsp. (30 ml.) pure maple syrup
1 tsp. (5 ml.) pure vanilla extract, optional
Line three individual-serving loaf pans or a single small loaf pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.
Place chocolate in a heatproof glass or metal bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Melt together with the orange juice and maple syrup, stirring frequently, until perfectly smooth.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, purée the avocado, making sure to scrape down the sides so there are no lumps. Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla and purée until perfectly smooth, creamy, and glossy. It will have the texture of an old-fashioned cooked pudding–thick and almost glutinous. Turn the mixture into the pan(s) and smooth the top(s). Refrigerate about an hour until the top is just firm, then cover the top with more plastic and refrigerate overnight.
To unmold, remove the top piece of plastic. Place a serving plate upside down onto the loaf pan, then, holding the plate against the pan, turn the whole thing over so the pan is on top and the plate is on the bottom. Remove the loaf pan, then carefully peel off the plastic. To cut into slices, use a long, sharp knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped clean between slices. A little goes a long way–one individual-serving loaf will serve 3-4 people (or 9-12 servings for the entire batch of pâté). Serve with fresh berries, cream, or other fruits.