I recently took a vegan and gluten-free baking class at Thai Fresh with Kaylee. What a wonderful way to spend a cold evening: in the Thai Fresh kitchen with a handful of folks standing around an island heated by the surrounding ovens. One of the great take-aways was an amazingly rich ganache. Ganache is usually heavy on the cream and I have never really tried a comparable substitute. Until now. This is an incredibly simple recipe (raw, vegan, gluten free) and I just adjusted the measurements and then added a couple of embellishments as desired.
I had an impromptu Christmas gathering at my house and decided on a “pie” party. I wanted something extra chocolatey since it would be the only chocolate item on the table. I made this tasty cocoa crust up on the spot, added Kaylee’s ganache, and then topped it off with toasted hazelnuts. Delicious, vegan, gluten free. And of course, simple.
1 1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup cashews
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter (earthspread)
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350. In a food processor, blend the nuts until fine. Add the remaining ingredients and blend just until completely mixed. Press crust into a 9-in pie dish. The dough will be very sticky, you can wet your hands if necessary.
Bake for 14-15 minutes. The crust will puff up slightly and fall down the sides slightly. While still hot, use the back of a spoon to press the crust gently back up the sides. Chill until ready to use.
Chocolate Ganache with Hazelnuts
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso + 2 teaspoons hot water
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Combine all ingredients (minus the nuts) in a blender or use hand-held immersion blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into the pie crust. Immediately sprinkle the hazelnuts on top.
Chill completely until ready to serve.