For the most part, turning on my oven at this time of year feels like a treat, rather than a burden. I love to bake, and I love it especially during the holidays.
But when you’re jet-lagged and catching up on work and very possibly catching a cold, it’s not necessarily the time to be fussing with the oven or with a complicated holiday dessert. Which is exactly why I’m happy to be posting this easy, no-bake vegan chocolate mousse pie.
The pie requires some time, but very little effort. The crust is a simple, press-in chocolate graham cracker crust, which you could replace with a store-bought vegan graham cracker crust if you like (a few brands are vegan, including the one made by Arrowhead Mills).
The filling is a silken tofu chocolate mousse that would be dreamy to serve all on its own, in ramekins. It needs some time to chill and set, but it’s fast and easy to make. And the coconut whipped cream is optional (replace it with any store-bought, vegan whipped cream), but it’s simple to make in either a stand mixer or with a hand mixer.
That’s it: three simple components that need to chill in the fridge, but won’t demand any rolling or baking or complex decorating.
The pie itself is a delight. The chocolate gives it richness, and it definitely registers as an indulgence. But the texture is light and silky, which is a nice departure from heavier Thanksgiving treats! Here’s how to make it.
shaved/chopped vegan dark chocolate, for decorating (optional)
Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse repeatedly to break into a crumble. Add the brown sugar and cocoa powder and pulse to combine. Add the melted butter and pulse a few more times, until you have a crumbly mixture that will hold together if you squeeze it tightly in your hand. (Alternately, you can crush the graham crackers in a large mixing bowl with a can, till they're finely crumbled, and proceed with adding the melted butter.) Press the graham mixture into a standard size pie dish, using your fingers and/or the back of a spoon to inch it up the sides of the dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
To make the mousse, place the tofu, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt into a blender and blend till smooth. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in your microwave and whisk to get it smooth. Add the melted chocolate to the blender and blend again to combine everything well. When the crust has set, pour the mousse into the prepared crust. Transfer the pie back to the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
To make the coconut whipped cream, drain the coconut cream cans of any loose liquid that might be hiding under the cream. Place the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed till the cream is fluffy and light and smooth (about 2-3 minutes). Alternately, use a hand mixer on high speed to whip the cream. Add the vanilla and the sugar by the tablespoon, beating as you go.
Spoon the coconut cream on top of the pie and use a spatula to gently spread it into a circle, or simply serve the cream alongside the pie. Garnish the top of the pie with shaved or chopped vegan dark chocolate, if you like.
All components can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge. The whipped cream will harden as it sits in the fridge, so you can re-whip before serving. In place of the graham cracker crust, you can use a store-bought, vegan graham cracker crust of choice.
A nutrition client recently mentioned to me that chocolate cream pie was always served at the kids’ table at her family’s Thanksgiving, but that everyone loved it so much that the adults would sneak slices as the night went on. More traditional and grown-up holiday pies are lovely, but sometimes a plate of something simple and chocolatey just hits the spot.
I hope this pie will hit the spot for some of you. I’m sending you my most loving and heartfelt wishes for a happy Thanksgiving, if you’re celebrating this week. See you for weekend reading!