(Don’t let the quotation marks in “cream” pie scare you– I promise that this recipe is creamy, rich, and delicious, despite being dairy-free!)
Did you know, before I heard of this recipe I’d never made a chocolate cream pie before? It wasn’t that I didn’t like the idea– I love chocolate and I love creamy, pudding-y desserts– but I just never got around to making one. I think it was partially because the recipes I saw fell into one of two camps– overly complicated, involving separating eggs and slaving over a hot stove to make custard; or extremely processed, relying on instant pudding and Cool Whip. Not that I have anything against instant pudding or Cool Whip– both are staples of my quick dessert repertoire– but “chocolate cream pie” seemed to call for something a bit more involved to live up to the decadence of its name.
Anyway, that all flew out the window when I heard of a chocolate cream pie recipe that called for only a few ingredients, one of which seemed so preposterous I had to try it. I’m always a sucker for a “secret ingredient,” and this was too good to pass up. What was it?
Yes, silken tofu. It takes the place of eggs and/or dairy. Now, as anyone can tell from this blog I am most assuredly not a vegan, so it wasn’t necessity that drew me to this recipe (though it’s always nice to have something like this in your back pocket for guests with food restrictions). But I just had to give this a shot. And it turned out fantastically– dense, creamy, extremely chocolate-y, without even a hint of tofu flavor.
Since making the initial pie I’ve also used this in frozen mini tarts (this freezes beautifully, by the way) and mousses. In any form, the basic filling is a great dessert base. So when I needed a quick and easy dessert to serve for a family lunch gathering, I immediately thought of this one. The cherries (found in the freezer) were a nice bonus.
Chocolate Cherry “Cream” Pie
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips*
1-lb block of silken tofu (needs to be labelled “silken”– not just “soft”)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbs. honey
pre-made chocolate crumb crust
1/2 cup fresh or frozen sweet cherries
whipped cream/whipped topping (optional)
*12 oz. of chocolate makes for a soft, creamy pie. You can increase the amount to 16 oz. for a firmer, more sliceable pie.
1. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until smooth.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine chocolate, tofu, vanilla, and honey. Blend until completely smooth.
3. Halve cherries and place flat-side down into the bottom of the crumb crust.
4. Pour chocolate filling over cherries and smooth the top.
5. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Alternately, freeze the pie and remove from freezer about 30 minutes before serving.
6. Serve with whipped cream.
- One variation I’ve seen includes a few tablespoons of your favorite liqueur for added flavor. I can see this working well with Kahlua, amaretto, Grand Marnier, or creme de menthe very nicely indeed.
- Alternatively, you could use other flavored extracts, like orange, peppermint, or coconut.
- I do recommend serving this with a whipped topping, to add some lightness to the chocolate and cut the slight acidity that you get with darker chocolate desserts.