Note: The subtitle for this one should be “Why I need a Vitamix!”
The combination of chocolate and raspberry is one of my all-time favorites. I love the sweet, tartness raspberries add to the chocolate. This is a dark, rich chocolate ganache, combined with a cranberry/raspberry juice, done vegan. Instead of the dairy cream used in a traditional ganache, we’re using cashew creme.
The crust is the basic nut crust recipe that I published yesterday. You can view it here.
I’m using my standard kitchen blender here. You will see shortly why the subtitle was mentioned above. If you have a Vitamix, the instructions are at the end, in the Notes section. Here’s my setup.
Blender (Vitamix preferred)
Electric Mixer (if not using a Vitamix)
2 cups raw cashews, soaked over night, drained
1⁄2 cup refined coconut oil, liquid
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup cacao powder, raw, natural
1⁄2 cup Coconut Secret Coconut Syrup
Put all of the juice, the vanilla extract, half of the coconut oil, salt and half of the cashews in the blender.
Note: The reason for only half of the cashews is because most kitchen blenders can’t handle two cups of cashews at one time. (Did anyone say “Vitamix”?)
Pulse a couple of times to start, then run the blender until the mix is smooth and the cashews are completely ground up.
Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the cacao powder.
I actually have to use a spatula and stir this up before blending to help it along.
Now blend until everything is smooth and creamy. Stop and scrape down the sides occasionally. Let the blender cool off before restarting!
It should be at least this smooth. (This is about the best my blender can do without burning up or taking all day.)
The smoother your creme is, the better results you will have for the end product.
I already know that I can’t add the cacao powder to the mix in the blender. My blender won’t handle it. You can use either a hand mixer (works well) …
Or your stand mixer (a better choice) for the rest.
Put the cashew creme in a bowl. Using a spatula, stir in the cacao powder.
When it is mixed together, switch to the electric mixer. You want to mix this until all the cacao is no longer grainy, and the mixture is smooth and shiny. It should be very thick, but not quite as thick as mine ended up. You can thin it with more juice if necessary. When you taste the mix, it should not feel gritty or grainy.
I’m using a nut crust for my pie that I made previously. Click on the link for that recipe. You could actually make this with no crust, if you wanted. I prefer having the nuts with it and I like having the crunchy contrast.
Pour the mixture into the pie plate.
Smooth carefully, from the center towards the edge. You may have to clean the spatula if the ganache is too thick and picks up pieces of the crust while smoothing.
Freeze over night, or at least 4 hours.
A while later…
Remove the pie from the freezer 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving. You want to serve this very cold, but not frozen.
Probably the easiest way to cut the pie, which is very dense, is with a thin blade. Dip the blade in warm or hot water, wipe dry and cut. Repeat for each cut. Keep in mind that this is very rich, and it is not calorie free! Cut small wedges, much smaller that you would of a regular fruit pie!
The pie should look dense, creamy and smooth. Mine is a little bit gritty, as you can see below, but the mouth feel is very creamy, so I know it’s ok.
I served this with sweet cashew creme (cashews, silken tofu, vanilla, and stevia) and a blackberry coulis. It was fabulous, and got rave reviews from DH and his Mom!
If you are using a Vitamix, you can put all of the ingredients in the 64 oz container. Using the tamper, blend using variable speed until it is smooth, creamy and glossy. If too thick, add more juice. Pour into pie plate and follow regular instructions to complete.
You can use raw agave nectar instead of coconut syrup. It is a bit thinner, so your mixture will be a little less thick. Do not use dry sweeteners in this recipe. They don’t work, and you will end up with gritty frosting, not a ganache!
Any flavor of juice will work. And, it’s actually better to use fresh, instead of the bottled stuff. I just happened to have that on hand, although the flavor of it with the chocolate was great! Good ones to try are orange juice, lime juice (you may need to increase sweetener for this), or grapefruit!
You can also change the vanilla to a different flavor, for example orange extract to go with orange juice. Almond extract is good with peach, apricot or plum. Mint is good with pineapple. You decide what suits your taste! Adjust the amount as necessary. Taste the cashew creme before adding the chocolate and adjust as necessary.
If you are going to serve the rest of the pie within a day or so, you can cover it with plastic wrap and store in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Otherwise, you may want to store it, covered, in the freezer for up to a week or more. For us, it is easier to store it pre-cut into servings in individual containers.
This is soooo good! It is also really filling, which is why small pieces are best. We will definitely make it again! And again… and again, LOL!