Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Silken Chocolate Pie (with a secret healthy ingredient)

This pie is one of my newest favourite desserts! One of the girls in my spring cooking class made it for her food demonstration and I couldn't wait to make it at home myself. I love it because it is so easy to make (it only has 4 main ingredients) and it tastes SO amazing! Each bite is velvety, rich, chocolate that pairs perfectly with berries or whipped cream. You honestly won't believe that it contains a secret ingredient! 
The secret is using silken tofu in the chocolate pie filling. It gives the filling a creamy, silky texture, without cream cheese or a custard-base. I love it mainly because I am lactose-intolerant and it doesn't contain dairy. I brought this pie into work to share with the girls in my office after lunch one day and it got rave reviews from them all, and my dad loved what was leftover for dessert that night. As expected, no one believed that it was actually tofu in the pie! I know it sounds weird, but you really must try this for yourself and be amazed at how delicious it is.
Another great thing about this recipe is that you can enjoy the pie filling on its own as a dairy-free, vegan, and healthier chocolate pudding! You could also use it as a fruit dip or ice cream topping.

Silken Tofu Chocolate Pie Filling Ingredients:
13 oz. semisweet chocolate - This pie is very rich, so don't use milk chocolate otherwise it will be too sweet. Opt for a good quality semisweet or dark chocolate. You can use chocolate chips too.
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 (12.3oz.) package Mori-nu Silken Lite Tofu or 1lb. silken tofu - Silken tofu is very smooth and creamy because it doesn't have very much water pressed out of it. You can find it next to the other kinds of tofu in the grocery store refrigerator section. Sometimes the Mori-nu brand will be in the regular aisles because it has special packaging that doesn't require it to be refrigerated.
1 9" prepared healthy graham crust (recipe below)

This is what Mori-Nu Silken Lite Tofu looks like:

Healthy Graham Crust Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs - Use gluten free graham crumbs or crushed graham crackers to make this celiac friendly
1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt - You can use soy yogurt to make this vegan, and melted coconut oil may work too but I haven't tried it
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, yogurt, and cinnamon (if using). This mixture should resemble wet sand at the end of mixing. If it is too dry then add a little more yogurt, or if it is too wet then add more graham crumbs. Press the crust mixture firmly into a 9" pie pan using the heel of your hand or the bottom of a glass. Bake in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes, until slightly golden. This will just set the crust. Set aside on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the vanilla, stirring often with a rubber spatula. If you don't have a double boiler, then make your own by setting a heatproof metal bowl over a medium-large pot full of simmering water, and placing the chocolate and vanilla in the metal bowl. The double boiler keeps your chocolate away from the direct heat and just uses the steam from the boiling water to melt it so it will not burn.

In a blender or food processor, combine the silken tofu and the melted chocolate mixture on a high speed until completely smooth. This process will take a bit of time, so just be patient and keep blending and stopping every few minutes to give it a stir with a rubber spatula or spoon, and continue blending until perfectly smooth with no chunks of tofu or chocolate. The mixture will gradually go from pale brown to dark chocolate brown, with a pudding-like consistency. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and refrigerate for 1-2 hours, or until the filling sets firm. You should have some extra filling leftover, so you can save it to use as a pudding or a dip, or discard. If you are just using this as a pudding you can refrigerate it for 30-60 min. so it will become thicker and chilled, or enjoy it immediately.

Top the pie with fresh berries, whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut, chopped or crushed nuts, mint leaves, shaved chocolate, or just leave it plain. Slice, serve, and have your friends try to guess what the secret ingredient is! Store leftover pie in the refrigerator.

*Recipe adapted from Maxine Hackett

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