We're having a company cookout this week, accompanied by a dessert contest. Up until yesterday I was a shoe-in to win, being one of only two people to sign up.
My colleagues have started to answer the call, and looking at the list I'm excited to sample. Last years offerings were fantastic. I'm still hopeful about my chances, I have a silk pie recipe guaranteed to please.
Full disclosure – I've brought in variations over the past few years and It is always one of the first desserts to disappear, even when I make double, So while a victory isn't guaranteed, I have a fighting chance. Friends, family, colleagues, even dyed-in-the-wool carnivores (of Texas ilk) have raved. Why should that matter? Well it doesn't, apart, from the fact that my dessert is vegan. Not that the carnivorous community cares once they taste the chocolatey richness.
I'm not an advocate for using soy for soy's sake, but when a recipe is this good, vegetarians, carnivores and really small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, just don't care.
This is adapted from my friend's cookbook Venturesome Vegetarian, one that I had the good fortune of testing recipes for. (Hoping to reprise the gig for it's sequel.) I adapted his recipe for the Rich Chocolate Pie (added some coffee and magic), and created a Chocolate Espresso Silk pie, that, depending on the consistency, makes a great cheesecake, silk pie, or frozen delicacy. Never has tofu and chocolate been so good – a veritable, (dairy free), chocolate triple threat! Forgo the traditional crust for a Oreo crust and then you've really got something!
The recipe couldn't be simpler, and since no baking is involved, it fits the bill for this week… (Really, really hot… but at least it's not raining anymore!)
Combine and puree the following until smooth and creamy,
1 package silken Tofu (12 oz),
1 tsp vanilla,
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon (substitue 2 Tbs Instant Coffee or Instant Espresso Powder)
1 cup cashew nut butter, (for variety you can substitute any nut butter, peanut, cashew/macadamia, nutella…)
2 Cups (1 package) chocolate chips, (melted)Pour into pie crust of choice (pre baked).
Chill in the fridge a few hours (or overnight). Serve (small slices, it's rich) with a drizzle of chocolate, garnish with berries and cream, or just dig right in! Serve straight from the fridge for a cheesecake consistency, or leave it out at room temp. for an hour or so for a silk pie. The 'batter' can also be poured into cups and served as pudding, or frozen into fudgicles.
I started making this pie when I was vegan, using Tropical Souce chocolate chips, and a frozen, dairy free pie crust available at my local health food store, I think Whole Foods also carries one. But, as I got a little lax over the years, I would use a regular graham cracker, or preferably, oreo crust from the mega mart. When they stopped carrying the espresso roasted chocolate chips (one of the best inventions ever) I swiched to Ghirardelli, or whichever brand Trader Joe's carries, I like dark, but you can use any chocolate that strikes your fancy. (Note, white chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips will not melt, they will burn in the microwave.)
To mix things up, I garnish (before setting up in the fridge) with instant coffee, chocolate shavings, Cookie bits, white chocolate chips… the choices are limitless.
…for a taste, show up (early) Friday afternoon at the company cook out.
As for the results… time will tell, fingers crossed!