Chocolate Cream Pie
Chocolate Cream Pie, what a sight. This stuff is probably what they serve at the gates of heaven. Smooth custard-like chocolate filling, surrounded (like a warm hug) by a glorious biscuit base and topped with light cloud-like wafts of coconut cream and finished with flecks of pure dark pizzaz. Ok so maybe i'm reading too much into this creation, but it really is heavenly and I'm mighty proud at how fabulously close it looks and tastes to that which I was emulating (the Julie & Julia Child pie that is). It all comes together in a way that is sure to please anyone you care for - or infact I believe it has the power to sway your enemies... or just skeptics.
I've made a few chocolate pie's in my time, ranging from FAR TOOOOooo rich, too soft to too crumbly, or honestly, just way too sad looking. So you can count that this is a well researched pie.
Agar Agar is hands down sold in every health food store so don't think it's a super foreign ingredient that's hard to source. It's around the place.
The coconut whip is always a layer that I've had hesitations about during my past pie endeavors. This topping is fail-safe. FAIL-SAFE - wahoo I hear you cry. How do I do it? Well I use a mix of coconut milk, vegan cream cheese (Tofutti for example), vanilla and icing sugar which together work wonders to form a cream like layer of ya' dreams. The recipe is forgiving when it comes to the coconut milk you purchase because I know that not everyone has access to brands that ensure success (me included). So just make sure you buy a tin that's organic if possible and full fat (none of the fat-reduced, light stuff ok? Sweet.).
Now on with the recipe honeybunches !!
- 200g vegan cookies (Lotus Biscoff, Hobnobs or plain Digestives for example)
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (or coconut oil if you'd prefer)
- 1/2 cup regular coconut milk (mixed), or any other plant milk
- 2 heaped tsp agar agar flakes (or 1 tsp of powder)
- 100g vegan dark chocolate, chopped
- 300g silken tofu
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp almond butter (or any nut butter)
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 x 400g tin full-fat coconut milk (chilled in the fridge for at least an hour)
- 2 heaped tbsp vegan cream cheese (e.g. Tofutti)
- 2 heaped tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- vegan dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated (for garnish)
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C and place a bowl in the freezer (the one that you are going to whip your cream layer in).
- Grab a food processor, and add the biscuits and salt, pulsing until they turn into a "dirt" like consistency.
- Melt the vegan butter, then add it to the cookie crumbs, pulsing again until evenly dispersed.
- Tip into your pie dish and press into all the corners and up the sides gently to form your crust. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, then stand aside to cool and turn off your oven.
- While your crust is cooking, grab a small saucepan and add the coconut milk (or plant milk) and the agar agar flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until the agar agar has mostly dissolved. Take off the heat and add the chocolate, whisking until melted and smooth.
- In the same food processor (no need to wash it), add the silken tofu, cocoa, almond butter, maple syrup, and melted chocolate mix. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides until it comes together. Pour into the prepared crust, smooth over the top, then move to the fridge to chill.
- Now make your top cream layer by first removing your cream whipping bowl from the freezer. In it, add only the hard cream substance from the top of your chilled can of coconut milk (none, or minimal of the water), saving the rest for a smoothie or curry etc. Then add the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. Beat, with electric beaters until smooth (alternatively you could do this step in a blender) and then transfer to the fridge until the pie is cooled.
- Once the pie has cooled in the fridge enough that it's not hot. Pipe or spread the "cream" on top and finish with the shaved/grated/chopped chocolate. Refridgerate until chilled and then serve. Enjoy honeybunches !!