I have a love/hate relationship with the word vegan. On one hand, it encompasses many fundamental aspects of who I am. Legitimate scientific concerns about my health and the systematic destruction of our planet, topped with my love and compassion for ALL of God’s creatures, far outweigh any desire I might have for a Delmonico Ribeye. But, on the other hand the word vegan strikes fear into the hearts of most people. And its presumed connotations immediately separate me from the flock. For many, vegans are seen as extremists. Fanatics, who are either angry animal right suffragists, or gaunt, pale hippies who live on scant amounts of lettuce and tofu. Just Google the phrase, “Vegans are…” and see what comes next. Adjectives like crazy, stupid, weird, and extreme, popped up in my search bar. But ya know what? I’m kinda getting over it.
When an “Omni'” eats a meal I’ve prepared, they are intrigued. Almost beguiled by my ability to make not only a palatable, but delectable meal without using any part of an animal. It’s as if they’ve suddenly realized eating meat and cheese isn’t the only way to be truly satiated. And one of my favorite ways to showcase my vegan culinary prowess is with this Chocolate Cream Pie.
• 2 cups raw pecans
• 1/4 cup date sugar or maple sugar (I used coconut sugar and 1 tbsp maple syrup)
• 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1/4 tsp chipotle powder (optional, but highly recommended)
• 2 1/2 cups vegan dark chocolate chips (add half semi-sweet vegan to make pie sweeter)
• 2 packs of organic firm silken tofu (I like Mori-Nu Organic firm)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F
To prepare the crust, combine the pecans and sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until the mixture resembles a fine meal. Add the coconut oil, salt and optional chipotle powder and pulse to combine well.
Transfer the mixture to an 8- or 9-inch pie pan (I use an 8″ springform pan). Press and shape the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan to make a pie shell.
Place the chocolate chips in a baking tray or shallow pan, Transfer to the preheated oven and heat for 3 to 4 minutes or just until melted. Watch carefully as the chocolate can burn quickly. Remove from the oven.
While the chocolate is melting, combine the tofu, vanilla and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the melted chocolate and blend until very smooth.
*Note: For the tofu, if you cannot find firm silken tofu, “soft” tofu can be used instead. In this case, use 600 grams total.
Pour the mixture into the reserved pie shell, smooth the top with an offset spatula and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or until firm. When firm, slice and serve.
*Modified from Original Recipe via Rouxbe Cooking School.