It was only day 3 of a 10 day visit, it was hot and everyone was already starting to get a little cranky. And as we stared across the living room at each other, I could tell that we were all thinking the same things; we’ve got to get out of here and what are we going to do today?!
Visiting with family can be hard and just how hard depends on a lot of things, including your family. And it’s not just because you’re visiting with your family, it’s because you’re expected to get creative! That means finding activities that everyone, young and old, can participate in. This no easy task! So whether you are away visiting family or hosting family yourself, berry picking is a great family activity option!
And since berry picking and specifically raspberry picking season is just around the corner, I am sharing my Gluten-free Chocolate Avocado & Raspberry Cake Shots.
Summer is upon us- finally. It’s been a really long winter in Calgary and in most of Canada. In fact, it’s the longest winter I’ve experienced in the 25 years I’ve lived in Alberta. So, I am more excited than ever about summer. And especially summer fruit! Raspberries are a summer favorite in Canada and these Gluten-free Chocolate Raspberry Cake Shots are the perfect way to showcase those delicious freshly picked raspberries.
Dessert Shooters = Smaller Portions
I also love this dessert because it’s healthy (the chocolate mousse is made with avocado) and it’s served in shot glasses, so it’s smaller portions. So, if you are watching your calories, you can indulge, just a little, but still keep yourself on track. And having gluten-free options for your guests is a bonus! My aunt was diagnosed with Celiac disease a few years back, so I have become a lot more conscious about making sure there are gluten-free options at family gatherings for her to enjoy as well!
As I sat there in that stuffy room, straining to come up with ideas for things to do that could include the whole family, I could see the kids were starting to get squirrelly, Grandpa was getting growly and the general restlessness was rising amongst the troop. Thankfully, that was when I got a giant brainwave- RASPBERRY PICKING!
Raspberry Picking is a family bonding experience
And ever since that fateful day, picking raspberries has become a summer tradition with my family, as well as my husband’s family. It’s something fun that the whole family can participate in, including Grandma and Grandpa! There are usually plenty of places to rest and picnic tables to sit down at if the older folks get a little tired. There are even spaces for family picnics at many berry farms.
Then you get to take your raspberry haul with you and bond even further by eating them straight up, with some ice cream or making them into something more yummy for dessert that night. I have made them into these delicious Raspberry Lemon Scones, as well as several other delicious treats on past berry picking excursions!
Funny how times change. When I was a kid, berry picking was a lousy chore forced upon kids by their parents. Nowadays we take our kids to do this as an activity and we pay someone to let us do it. But it really is worth every penny! And the younger generations get to experience foraging for their own food (if you can call a berry farm foraging).
Late July to early August is the ideal time for raspberry picking in Canada, but you can check out this full in-season produce guide for a list of ideal picking times for many fruits and vegetable grown in Canada: http://www.mrsjanuary.com/downloads/in-season-produce-guide.pdf
Gluten-free products have come a long way since they started making their way onto shelves in mainstream grocery stores nearly a decade ago. Around that time, I recall being asked to make a decorated gluten-free birthday cake for someone, ran out of time and ended up buying a gluten-free cake mix from Superstore. After tasting it, I found myself sorely disappointed at both the taste and texture of the cake.
But when I created this recipe, I thought I’d give Betty Crocker a try and I was really impressed! If I had to do a taste test, I honestly wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between the gluten-free and the regular cake mix. Now that is progress…
So, if you are looking for fun activities for the whole family, give raspberry picking a try! Then make these fabulous Chocolate Avocado & Raspberry Dessert Shots with your freshly picked raspberries!
If you like this recipe PIN IT for later!
For more raspberry recipes and other delicious, easy and healthy recipes visit Terri @Food Meanderings.com
Gluten -free Chocolate Avocado & Raspberry Cake Shots
These Gluten-free Chocolate Avocado & Raspberry Cake Shots are a perfect and healthy way to showcase beautiful summer raspberries! A gluten-free chocolate cake (made with avocado) is layered with a healthy chocolate avocado mousse, fresh raspberries and topped off with whipped cream!
- 1 Gluten-free Chocolate cake mix I use Betty Crocker
- 2 whole avocados (if replacing for butter in cake- see Recipe Notes) , approximately mashed
- 1 pint Raspberries
Avocado chocolate Mousse:
- 2 ripe avocados
- 4 tablespoons agave
- ½ cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder see Ann’s Tips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch table salt
- 4 tablespoons milk I use 1%
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- whipped cream
- Cocoa - sprinkled
- fresh raspberry
Gluten-free Chocolate Avocado Cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and prepare a 8 X 8 square cake pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray (or preferably Wilton cake release)
IF desired, substitute avocado for butter (direct substitution of the same amount of mashed avocado for butter) and bake at low temp to 325 degrees F . Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
Avocado Chocolate Mousse:
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh.
Put into a small blender or food processor.
Add the agave or honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and milk. Blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust for desired sweetness.
Pour mixture into a bowl, set aside in fridge to chill.
Add cake layer to 1/3 of shot glass, then add a few raspberries then mousse then a little more cake, until you reach just under the rim of the shot glass (you want room for whipped cream!)
Then top with whipped cream, a fresh raspberry and sprinkle with a little cocoa.
*Alternatively, you can use a pre-baked gluten-free from your grocery store or bakery or your favorite gluten-free scratch cake for this recipe
** You will have cake left over, so freeze it. It will last at least 6 months in a zip-lock freezer bag.
Terri is a competitive home cook and baker, recipe developer, food writer, and cake decorator. Her original and award winning recipes have been published in Taste of Home magazine, Saltscape Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Family Circle Hometown Cooking Cookbook, The Old Farmer’s Almanac Readers’ Best Recipes 25th Anniversary Edition Cookbook, Safeway Destination Cheese Champions, among other publications and on several websites. She also contributes a monthly food & recipe column to The Rocky Ridge Royal Oak Community newsletter. She is a happily married mom of two that loves everything food. By day she works as a Project Manager in the health care field.