Introduction: World's Easiest Chocolate Cream Pie Is Also the Healthiest, and It's Delicious.
I realize that is a bold statement and lets just say up front that healthiness is all relative when it comes to chocolate cream pie. My family has a traditional recipe passed down from my great-grandmother for chocolate cream pie which is delicious. The main ingredients are chocolate and marshmallows. I think you'll find this pie is quite a bit healthier, and just as tasty. But I am not suggesting that you eat this pie instead of your broccoli and kale (although you may want to).
The world's easiest claim is easier to defend. This pie has only two ingredients and as you might hope from the name, one of them is chocolate. The other ingredient is available at almost any grocery store, but it is something you might not associate with chocolaty deliciousness. At the risk of sounding like internet click-bait it is "one weird ingredient".
Step 1: Assemble Your Ingredients
I am speaking, of course, of tofu, loved by some, feared and hated by others. Tofu is so bland that it tastes almost like creamy nothingness. It lends its texture while the chocolate brings its flavor. The combination is so rich and creamy that it has to be tried to be believed.
Now, when serving this pie you need to consider your strategy. One approach is to not tell anyone and just serve it. This is only really an option if you are sure none of your guests has a soy allergy. But since these days it is a common practice (at least in Northern California) to ask your guests about their possible food allergies, you should be able to clear this without blowing your cover. This approach can be especially satisfying with friends and relatives who normally wouldn't be caught dead eating tofu.
The other approach is to announce loud and clear that "this is my Chocolate tofu pie". Or better yet "this is my Chocolate Bean curd pie". The idea is to gross everyone out so you get to eat it all yourself. Yes, it is that good.
The ingredients couldn't be simpler:
The chocolate is usually in the form of chocolate chips, but any chocolate will do. After studying this extensively (and I promise you it was simply grueling research) I have concluded that semi-sweet chocolate works best as it has just the right balance of sweetness and chocolatyness. Even if you prefer higher proof chocolate for eating, I would start with semi-sweet for the pie. You can perform your own grueling experiments later if you like.
The tofu is more specific. We want soft, or silken tofu. If you open the wrapper and find a block of tofu swimming in water, use it for a nice veggie stir-fry because that isn't going to work for this recipe. Soft tofu is poured into the tub at the factory so it fills the whole package to the edges.
Step 2: Pie or Mousse?
Chocolate and tofu are all you need to create pure creamy deliciousness and you can serve this in a ramekin and call it a mousse, or even a pot de creme if you are French, or pretentious. I would imagine that this variation would be gluten-free as well. But I will leave it to those who are concerned with such things to decide for themselves.
Every pie needs a shell and this one is no exception. Something in the graham cracker family goes best. If you have a favorite recipe and the time and inclination, feel free to make your own. This pie is worthy of a homemade crust, but in keeping with the quick and easy theme I usually use a store-bought crust. If you aren't afraid of chocolate overload I recommend an Oreo cookie crust or something similar.
Step 3: The Master Recipe
Since the filling has only two ingredients the only real question is the ratio. The simplest approach is a package of tofu, about 14-16 oz. depending on the brand, to a small package of chocolate chips, usually 12 oz. for most brands. This makes a lovely creamy pie where the chocolate is assertive but not overwhelming. If you use the room temperature aseptic packaged tofu it typically comes in a 12 oz. package. It works fine, but the 1 to 1 ratio makes a very rich, almost truffle like, pie. Feel free to experiment with even richer proportions if you think you can handle it, but do not blame me for any weight gain which may result.
If you buy your chocolate in bulk (and you know who you are) or you are lucky enough to live in the land of metric, you will want between 75% and 100% of the weight of your tofu. Two cups of chips is a good approximation for most tofu packages.
We often serve this pie to the kids (they usually fight over the last piece), so I tend to keep it plain and simple. But you can add any additional flavoring you want such as of a 1/2 - 1 tsp of vanilla extract, or espresso or the liqueur of your choice. If you want to add more liquid than that you should add more chocolate as well to keep the consistency. Remember that since you aren't cooking this pie any alcohol you put in it will be there when you serve it. Some experimentation is needed here if you don't want a boozy chocolate pie. Or maybe you do. . . That said, it doesn't really need any extra flavor, but some people just always like to kick things up another notch.
Step 4: Melt the Chocolate
Putting it together couldn't be easier. First melt the chocolate. You can use a double boiler if you are a sissy (or if you have hard-won wisdom) or you can melt it in the microwave. In keeping with the theme of quick and easy I use the microwave. I usually use 30-45 second shots at 50% power and check it after each round. Beware that chocolate chips are formulated to keep their shape when baked, so don't wait for your chocolate to melt to smooth creamy lusciousness. It may burn first. Give it a stir when it first starts to look like it is melting. When it is creamy with no un-melted lumps left it is ready. Don't over do it. If you do burn the chocolate there is no recovery. Please don't use it anyway and then tell me that my pie is horrible. It will be. I already know that.
Step 5: Blend With the Tofu
Put the tofu in a blender, add the melted chocolate and blend it until smooth. Unless you like to pretend you are a contestant on "The Great British Bake Off" in which case you should "blitz" it until smooth. Scrape the sides a few times with a rubber spatula because the chocolate tends to stick some. When it is all a nice uniform creamy milk chocolate color you are done.
Step 6: Pour Into the Crust and Chill
Pour the filling into your crust, ramekins, or mouth, scraping the blender to get every last bit of goodness out. Cover your pie and refrigerate for a few hours to set the filling. If you use a pre-made crust save the plastic cover that protects the crust in the store. It makes a perfect cover in the fridge.
Now comes the fun part. Since there is no raw egg in this recipe you can lick everything clean. Just be careful with the blender blades.
Step 7: Finishing Up
Once it is cool and the filling has set you can serve you pie. Start with small pieces because it is very rich and satisfying. Garnish with whipped cream or fresh raspberries if you like.
It may not be as healthy as Aunt Ermintrude's prune surprise (you know, the one that people only eat when she is glaring at them), but this is about as healthy a pie as you can get and still be so delicious. In fact my kids don't think of it as healthy at all, they think of it as their favorite dessert.
For those of you who like a concise written recipe it can be summarized as follows:
Melt 1 12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Blend into 1 package silken or soft tofu
Pour into the graham cracker crust of your choice
Chill 3-4 hours
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