When chronic illness strikes and you come to the realization that a complete lifestyle revamp is necessary in order to optimize your chances for healing and living as full a life as possible there can be quite a grieving process. Some aspects are easier to let go of than others, but saying “goodbye” to the things you enjoyed most can be extremely difficult. For me, near the top of the list was dessert, or treats. I actually went completely sugar-free (yes, even fruit) for about five years (not recommended, though I do feel removing white/refined sugar can really benefit pretty much everyone)! I just sort of shut the door on sweets, because all or nothing seemed easier at the time.
I thought for sure my cake, pie, cookie, and chocolate days were over…until Not Your Sugar Mamas came to the rescue! My love affair started with their super pure chocolate bars, and then I was first in line (okay, maybe not literally, but I consider myself their biggest fan) to buy their magical Chocolate Every Day plant-based, allergy-friendly, cacao-focused cookbook. And as a foodie I don’t say this lightly, it is my all-time FAVORITE I have on my shelves!
The NYSM ladies were generous and kind enough to allow me to share my favorite recipe from the cookbook with all of you, most especially for the chronic illness community. This mouthwatering treasure has now been a 3-year tradition on my Thanksgiving table, as well as a go-to for almost every other holiday and special occasion in our lives…and EVERYONE loves it. Even those not on special diets. There are NO compromises with this pie! It is my heartfelt wish that it will bring you just as much joy and connection as it has brought me and my loved ones (what I should really be saying is, prepare to have your mind blown)! ENJOY!!!
Chocolate Cream Pie
(Makes One 9-Inch Pie) *Note: Overnight prep instruction below
For The Crust:
- 2 cups almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
- 3 tablespoons unrefined virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- Pinch sea salt
For The Chocolate Cream Filling:
- One 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup almond or cashew butter
- 1/4 cup raw cacao butter, coarsely chopped
- 5 ounces 72% or darker raw chocolate (my favorite = NYSM Pure + Simple Bars), chopped
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For The Coconut Whipped Cream Topping:
- One 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk *CHILLED OVERNIGHT* (try not to tip or shake the can, as you want the solids to separate from the liquid) Splash pure vanilla extract
- 1/4-1/2 cup powdered maple or coconut palm sugar (see note), or a drizzle of pure maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Make the crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar. Stir in the coconut oil, almond milk, and salt until well combined. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 12 minutes, or until it starts to turn the slightest golden color on the edges. Set the crust on a wire rack and let cool completely.
- While the crust cools, make the filling: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk and nut and cacao butters. Add the chopped chocolate bar and stir until fully melted.
- Pour the mixture into a blender and add the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Puree until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and transfer to the refrigerator for about 1 hour (can take a little longer, depending on your fridge setting), until the filling is firm to the touch.
- Gently open the can of coconut milk that had been in the refrigerator overnight and transfer the solids that have settled at the top to the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also use a medium mixing bowl & hand mixer instead) – reserve the liquid for another use. Add the vanilla, and if using the coconut/maple sugar or pure maple syrup, add it now, too.
- With the whisk attachment or using a hand mixer, beat the coconut cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Spread a thick coat of coconut whipped cream on top of the fully firm pie and garnish with shaved chocolate if desired. Store in the refrigerator covered for 2-5 days.
NOTE: To make homemade powdered sugar, place the sugar in a high-speed blender and process until fine (1/2 cup granulated coconut or maple sugar yields 1/2 cup powdered). It won’t be as fluffy as traditional confectioners’ sugar, but it’ll dissolve nicely into the cream. Use the leftover coconut milk for baking or making smoothies.
If you want more incredible recipes like this, check out the Chocolate Every Day cookbook, and you can buy your own allergy-friendly NYSM chocolate bars, too (I love them all, but my two favorites are Lavender Sea Salt and Mocha Latte).*Code: SHARON10 will get you 10%-off your order!*