This dreamy chocolate mousse pie happened last week, and it's been hard to get it off my mind. It turned out so rich, decadent, and with an amazing salted chocolate flavor. It's totally the kind of chocolate pie that's sure to satisfy all your chocolate cravings. A chocolate lover's dream.
A light and barely there chocolate crust, a rich soft chocolate mousse filling with a brownie like edge, a deliciously light chocolate topping, and some chocolate shavings on top for good measure. We're talking chocolate on chocolate on chocolate on chocolate here! So simple, but so so good.
One of my favorite parts about this dessert is that it's not a frozen treat. It's nice and soft from the fridge and will hold up well at room temperature too, provided it's not super hot where you live. I love the raw cakes and cheesecakes very much, but sometimes you just want something a little bit softer and lusher -- this pie hits the spot.
I served it to a few friends, one of whom (a great critic usually -- great in a good way, as in very thorough, unashamed to point out flaws, generally skeptical of vegan or gluten-free baking, etc. I love having him as a taste-tester for some of my recipes) said this is one of the best baked chocolate treats he's had, something he'd totally order in a restaurant, and that he'd never guess this is another one of Audrey's crazy cashew concoctions -- I'd say that's a pass! ;)
Just a quick note about the recipe before you get to taste all the chocolatey goodness for yourself, since I think the photos might throw some people off -- you don't need to make a crust for the edges of the pie. That brownie-like crust along the edges that I mentioned above and that you can see in the photos is something that happens naturally as the filling bakes.
Another quick note is that the recipe is "calibrated" to work as is (the balance of sweetness to saltiness, for example, etc.). If you modify any of the ingredients, be sure to adjust the flavors to taste (for example if you use an unsweetened yogurt, the amount of salt in the pie might be a bit overpowering and so should be reduced a little, etc.).
Another quick note about the pan size: the tart pan you're using should have a taller edge to it. I have several 7" tart pans, and some have taller rims than others. You need a rim that's about 1 ½" tall (like this one, for example) as the pie rises slightly as it bakes.
Last but not least, just wanted to add that the crust in this pie is very thin -- it's meant to be barely there. The purpose of it is to make the mousse layer come out of the pan more easily, and also to make sure it doesn't leak through the pan in the beginning stages of baking (as it seals the edge around the removable plate at the base). So don't be surprised it's very thin -- that's the plan ;) But If you like crusts, feel free to double or triple it even depending on where you want to go with the dessert. Just make sure there's enough room for the filling to rise and not spill over.
A decadent gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan chocolate mouse pie recipe with a chocolate topping.
- 1 cup cashews
- 6 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp non-dairy yogurt*
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¾ cup raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained**
- ¾ cup non-dairy yogurt
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp ground chia seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp almond extract
- ¼ tsp raw ground vanilla bean
- ½ cup non-dairy yogurt
- ⅓ cup melted dark chocolate of your choice, melted
- a few tablespoon shaved dark chocolate for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 7" tart pan (the walls should be at least 1½" tall -- like this one) with a removable bottom and set aside.
- Process all crust ingredients into a fine sticky crumble in a food processor. Transfer this mixture into the tart pan and press down into an even thin flat crust along the base with your hands. Set aside.
- Blend all filling ingredients until completely smooth in a high power blender. Pour the filling over the crust in the pan and bake in a pre-heated oven for 40 mins. Note: keep an eye out to make sure the top is not burning.
- Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for 30 mins or so, then remove out of the pan. Note: the cake will be domed when it comes out of the oven and will deflate as it cools -- this is normal.
- Once the pie is cooled off, stir the yogurt with the melted dark chocolate to make the topping. Spread this topping over the baked pie. Sprinkle with some shaved chocolate (note: it's important that the cake has cooled off for this, as otherwise the sprinkled chocolate will melt from the warmth of the cake). Chill the pie in the fridge for 20 mins (or longer) to let the topping set and enjoy! Keep leftovers refrigerated.
*I used an agave-sweetened vanilla coconut yogurt. If using an unsweetened yogurt, add 2 tablespoon coconut sugar to the filling (or to taste), and 1 tablespoon maple syrup to the topping layer.
**To pre-soak nuts: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water.
For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above).
Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.