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Coconut chocolate pie

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I am sure that most of you vegan foodies have all tried the chocolate silk tofu pie by now. I have made it countless times for vegans & non-vegans alike & it is loved by all. (Except my Mother, who would have loved it had we not all been staring at her anticipating her reaction! She is one of the pickiest people I know & if she even thinks it has something she deems as "weird" in it, she turns her nose up.) I typically make a chocolate peanut butter version, which is yummalicious. Back in the spring I was doing a cooking demonstration for Walton County Earth Day & was asked to use local ingredients. Well, Earth Day is in April & not much is growing in Northwest Florida in April, except for strawberries. So, I attempted a strawberry version of this pie; I made the crust from coconut cookies & was planning on filling it with a mixture of silken tofu, fresh strawberries, & coconut milk (note: planning). Let me assure you, it was a complete disaster, so much so that I had to pour the tofu mixture down the garbage disposal. Strawberries are not a strong enough flavor to mask the gluey flavor of the silken tofu. Don't get me wrong, I love tofu, I eat it straight out of the package before even cooking it, but that is firm tofu; silken tofu tends to lend itself to a glue-like flavor, in my opinion. I added an entire jar of strawberry fruit spread, no use. I ended up cooking a vegan green bean casserole for my demonstration instead of strawberry pie--not necessarily in season in April, but they do grow abundantly in this area.

However, I still had a coconut pie crust prepared; when handed a coconut pie crust, make coconut chocolate pie--which I did. Here's my recipe:

Coconut Chocolate Pie

2 or so cups finely crushed coconut flavored cookies
1/4 cup Earth Balance, melted
2 cups Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or coconut would be awesome, I just don't keep it on hand)
1 package silken tofu
1 tablespoon honey (or agave nectar or whatever sweetener you choose to use--I know honey is not considered vegan, but we eat it.)
1 cup toasted, shredded coconut
toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans
toasted, shredded coconut

In a blender or food processor blend the cookies until finely crushed. Mix cookies & butter together. Spread the cookie mixture into the bottom & part way up the sides of a well greased springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Melt chocolate & coconut milk in double boiler over simmering water. When the chocolate has melted, stir in the vanilla extract.

In a blender or food processer puree the tofu, honey/sweetener, 1 cup coconut, and chocolate mixture until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides. Pour this into cooled pie crust; smooth the top. Sprinkle the nuts around the edges of the pie & then add the remaining toasted coconut to the center. Or, just mix the nuts & coconut & sprinkle over the entire pie.

Chill for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!

This turned out wonderfully! My sister, her husband & son, who are all vegetarians, were visiting from France & my brother, his wife, their three boys, me & Sean were all having dinner at my parents' house & I brought this pie--everyone loved it (yeah, yeah, everyone but my Mother!), there were no leftovers that night! I served this again this weekend to some friends who are definitely not vegans & they loved it, too. I would love to hear other variations that you may have tried with this recipe.

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
2:46 PM


Cookin' Up Some Love

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Daddy loves to cook. He shows his love through cooking. We are not a lovey-dovey family with lots of hugs & kisses & "I love you"'s. He cooks, we eat & all is well. He is what I call a "feeder". He truly enjoys to see people eating. (Mind you, this is no longer simple since Sean & I have alternative diets. My Daddy is a southern cook who likes to use bacon grease--really, I should say, my Mother likes for him to cook with bacon grease. As usual, I digress.) I have discovered over the years that I have inherited this trait.

Sean & I went to help a friend, Bala Boyd, film a video for his production company, Gypsy House Productions, & we had to be there at the crack of dawn (actually at 8:00am, but dressed, ready & out the door that early is the crack of dawn for us!). I decided I would bring some homemade monkey bread using a great new whole wheat bread recipe that Bala's wife, Joni, had shared with me. I also made a salad to go with lunch. As I was loading all my yummalicious goodies in the car, I thought "I come bringing love.". I have really been pondering this ever since. When I cook for people it is out of love & the food is love. Whether it is for family & friends that come over for dinner, for clients, or just for me & Sean, it is done out of love.

Speaking of clients, I have been cooking like crazy! I recently cooked in a home in Destiny by the Sea that has been under construction for years (literally); the group that I cooked for were the first people to stay there & the last, from what they had heard, because a member of John Mayer's band bought the house. Pretty cool! It was enourmous & had a great kitchen! You would be amazed at some of the not-so-great kitchens I have cooked in; the smallest one so far was several weeks ago at Sandestin--great family, tiny kitchen. I normally cook for omnivores, but I had the pleasure of cooking for a group at Alys Beach, three of which were vegetarians; that was a lot of fun! Currently I have some clients in town that own a second home at WaterSound, I have been cooking for them for over a year, when they are in town; it is so nice to go into the home & "know the kitchen" & the family. All of this cooking is a form of love...not necessarily love for the client, because I usually don't know them; but love of the food & of the experience.

So as an end note, I am leaving you with a photo of a chocolate peanut butter pie that I make & my clients love.

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
7:39 AM