I can still remember the first dish I ever made from scratch that blew my tastebuds away – Grade 8 Home Ec. Mrs Eckley pulled out her overhead projector (dating myself) and started writing the recipe which we were all expected to copy… “CHOCOLATE TOFU PIE”?!?!?!
You could feel the doubt in the room. Probably the same doubt several of you had reading the word “tofu” in the title of this post.
But when the pie was done and we sat down to try it, most of us inhaled the creamy goodness. And I never doubted Mrs Eckley’s recipes again.
That particular food memory recently resurfaced in my consciousness. And because I purchased a large quantity of really great chocolate at Kerstin’s Chocolates closing sale (A sad loss for Edmonton), I felt it was time to try my hand (and tastebuds) at another chocolate tofu pie.
I was also looking for a recipe that is low carb. After reviewing many low-carb crust and chocolate tofu pie recipes, I adapted my recipe based on two that sounded particularly yummy and easy (here and here). I made two chocolate pie experiments… very yummy experiments might I add. D ate both pies up. And the first time I had him try it, he couldn’t tell there was tofu in it. So I can promise that the tofu adds a silky creamy texture but with a ripe banana and some GOOD chocolate, it doesn’t affect the flavour… AT ALL… TRUST ME.
Need a visual enticement?
I should also note that this recipe is not only gluten-free, it’s also vegan-friendly… as long as the chocolate used is a vegan-friendly product.
In terms of the ingredients, I’ve tried using different brands of tofu, chocolate, and even tried this recipe once with vanilla extract in the filling and the second time with vanilla bean. I tried a medium firm tofu Sunrise brand and a boxed Mori Nu silky tofu. Surprisingly I found little difference between vanilla bean and vanilla extract. In the future I would probably stick to extract. I was also a bit surprised that there was a lot of difference in the tofu I used. Ironically, I found the “silky” Mori Nu tofu not as silky as the medium firm Sunrise brand. No surprise but good chocolate makes a huge difference. We like Valhrona chocolate and I like a ratio of 75% dark chocolate (72% cocoa) and 25% milk chocolate (64% cocoa), it offers a good balance between creamy and rich.
To start, you’ll need to make the almond-coconut crust. I wasn’t sure what to expect but the first time I had this crust baking in my oven, the delicious smell of nuts and coconut wafted through our house. This crust is so good, I’m going to experiment using it for cheese cake and lemon curd. Since it’s mainly nuts and coconut, it’s also a great low-carb alternative.
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups ground almonds
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp agave syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Heat (over low heat), coconut oil and stir in agave and extracts when oil is melted
3. Stir in ground almonds and shredded coconut
4. Stir quickly until all oil is absorbed by the dry ingredients
5. Press mixture into the pie pan
6. Bake until crust is all golden brown, approximately 12-15 minutes
7. Let stand until cool when it’ll be ready for the filling
One tip for the crust, is to ensure the crust is fully golden brown before removing it from the oven. The crust shown here is not quite done. You’ll notice the ring of beigeyness. We found it still tasted great but required a longer refrigeration time to keep the crust together and even so, the area that hadn’t fully baked was still a bit too “loose’ and crumbly.
1 package of medium firm tofu (454 grams)
12 oz chocolate (approx 1.5 cups)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp agave
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana
1. Melt chocolate in a bowl over boiling water (or in double broiler)
2. Drain water from tofu. Press tofu into colander to get the water out
3. Blend together remaining ingredients in food processor (tofu, banana, vanilla, agave, cinnamon)
4. Add melted chocolate into blended mixture, process until smooth and thick
5. Pour into cool crust and chill until set (approximately 2.5 hours)
Although the pie is ready when it’s fully set, I’ve found the pie tastes much richer after it’s rested overnight. Perhaps it gives the ingredients time to meld together. As I’ve mentioned the quality of chocolate used makes a huge difference to the overall richness and flavour of the pie. I prefer Valhrona chocolate and will use 9 oz dark chocolate and 3 oz milk chocolate.
As a basic recipe, this is quite versatile. There are also some variations I’m going to try with this pie – adding peanut butter to the filling for example. And once I can find pure coconut extract, I think I may also try this without the almond extract in the crust and with some coconut extract in the filling.
If you do try this recipe out, I would love to hear what you think. Enjoy!
UPDATE: April 27, 9:15 am – I can’t believe I forgot to mention the beautiful photos without which this post wouldn’t be as complete – All photos in this post were taken by Dong Kim.