Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Dessert is such a loaded word. It is a vessel for all our expectations and desires. I always start out with an idea of texture in mind: crunchy, creamy or crumbly. The sweetness needs to be balanced and not so overpowering that it takes away from all the other flavors involved. I dream of the possibilities and try to bring them to life in my kitchen.
I made this delectable mocha pie on Friday and the silence that followed the first bite we each took spoke loudly of how incredible it was. My husband was out of town. It took great self-control to save him a nicely-sized slice of this heavenly pie. I was really proud of myself--there are not a lot people I would sacrifice like that for.
Dreamy Mocha Pie (serves 8)
Feel free to use 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup whole-wheat white flour instead of the gluten-free flours and omit the xantham gum if you are not concerned about gluten or wheat.
Agar agar is a seaweed. It mimics gelatin. It's available in health/natural food stores.
1 cup GF baking flour mix (1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 cup garbanzo flour, 1/4 cup sorghum flour or a store bought GF mix)
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1/3 cup egg whites
1 tablespoon ice water (or more as needed)
12.3 oz carton silken firm tofu
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon agar agar flakes, diluted in 1/4 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon GF vanilla extract
1/4 cup half and half
1 cup light sour cream
4 teaspoon instant expresso powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
cocoa powder to sprinkle on, optional
Preheat oven 375F.
In the bowl of a food processor mix the flours, xantham, salt and sugar. Add the butter and process until crumbly. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times if necessary. Add the egg whites and ice water and pulse until a dough forms (add more ice water, if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time ). If the dough is too soft to roll, leave it in the fridge for an hour. If not, roll it on a floured board. Place the pie crust in a ceramic pie dish, adjust the edges to your esthetic taste. Prebake the pie crust until slightly golden (about 15-20 minutes).
While the crust is baking. Clean the food processor and put all the ingredients for the filling in it. Blend completely, scraping the sides as needed, until perfectly combined. Pour the filling in the crust.
Prepare the topping by mixing the half and half, sour cream, expresso powder and granulated sugar (I used my mixer for this step). Spread the topping on top of chocolate filling and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on top before serving.
This bite is for all the veterans out there... Happy Veteran's Day!
This crust is wonderful because it keeps its structure even after a few days. It doesn't get soggy. You can use it for savory pies: just omit the sugar, increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon and add some chopped fresh herbs as well. It rolls out nicely and transfers to the pie dish without much fuss--a big plus for gluten-free bakers.