E had a wonderful birthday yesterday and appreciated all of your comments. She spent the afternoon playing with her new basketball goal, the present that she asked for and got early because it took D and me two weekends to put it together. After eating the dinner she requested (Mac and Cheese), she opened her other presents and ate a slice of her birthday pie.
Why pie? Well, I guess we’re just non-traditional like that. E will have a cake at her official birthday party, but just for the family, I wanted something simple and easy to throw together on a week night. I really hadn’t planned to post the recipe here, but after so many people wrote to ask about it, here goes:
The basic pie, which definitely fits into the Ridiculously Easy category, is impossible to mess up; I’ve thrown everything from almonds to oranges to peanut butter in it, and it always comes out delicious. It’s a variation on the chocolate mousse that every vegan knows, the first vegan dessert that many of us learned, the one that’s printed on the back of your Card Carrying Vegan Card. (Just kidding–I think it’s the wacky cake recipe on the card.) This time, I had some dried cherries that I wanted to use, and I have to say, I think I like this variation best of all. It reminded me, in a good way, of the chocolate cordial cherries my parents used to buy every Christmas.
Warning: This recipe is nowhere close to fat-free. Though I’ve heard of people making a lower-fat version by using cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips, I’ve never been brave enough to try. My philosophy is that certain occasions, such as your only child’s birthday, call for real chocolate chips.
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1 12-ounce box light silken tofu (or extra-firm silken tofu)
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar (more if you want it sweeter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 prepared Graham cracker crust
- Cover the dried cherries with 1/2 cup of boiling water and soak them until soft. Drain (and reserve) the water, and put the cherries into the food processor. Pulse to chop. Drain the tofu and add it to the food processor along with the agave nectar and vanilla. Process until smooth.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour it into the food processor and puree, scraping down the sides as needed to make sure it’s well blended. Pour into a prepared crust and chill for several hours.
Serving Suggestion: Take the reserved cherry-soaking water, add some sugar, and simmer it on the stove until it’s reduced to a syrup. Drizzle over pie just before serving. (Here’s a sneaky photographer’s secret: I added some grenadine to the cherry syrup to brighten the color.)
(See, I told you it wasn’t fat-free!)