Lately, I’ve been reflecting on lessons that I’ve learned since changing my career path and branching out on my own 4 and 1/2 years ago. Trying to pursue a new field in which I had no prior experience and grow a business feels like a rollercoaster most of the time. There are many ups and downs! Disappointments. Set backs. Progress. Self-Doubt. Excitement. Stress. Gratitude. Growth. Burn out. Deal Breakers. It’s been such a crazy ride, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Well, there is one thing I would do differently – I would’ve hired an accountant much sooner than I did. They are worth their weight in gold.
Other than that, I’m a firm believer that the mistakes and tough times are incredibly valuable. I’ve learned to believe in myself which was never something that came to me naturally. I’ve turned down opportunities and walked away from deals because they didn’t have my best interests at heart. While scary at the time, those are some of my proudest moments because I was true to myself and what I believe in.
Whatever path you happen to be on, believe in yourself. Stick to your guns if it’s important to you! When you have a bad feeling about something, listen to your gut. And most importantly, don’t let someone else convince you that you’re nothing without them. It just isn’t true. You might just be one person, but you are everything to your vision. Maybe your journey won’t look exactly as you thought it would, but sometimes that’s for the better anyway. If you have the passion and drive for something go after it and share it proudly with the world. We’re anxiously waiting to see it.
I’m happy to say that I’m getting into a good groove again with recipe development. Look at me posting on a Saturday of all days! Recipe ideas are starting to flow and most of my trials are turning out, almost effortlessly at times. It feels good after a long period of feeling drained on the creativity front. For the first time in a long while, I actually know the next recipe I’m posting on this blog which hasn’t happened in probably 6 months. hah. (Spoiler alert – you’ll never see Tabbouleh the same way again).
This pie. Finally, I get to this pie. Well, it didn’t last long! What else is there to say? I threw together a simple crust made with almonds, oats, coconut oil, and maple syrup. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I prefer this type of press-in crust over traditional flour pie crusts because the flavour is just incomparable. Plus, no rolling or kneading. It’s a no brainer.
The other day I was making my 2-Ingredient Chocolate Frosting and I realized it would make a fun, truffle-like pie filling because it hardens nicely when chilled. I paired it with a warm strawberry vanilla compote to serve on top. The compote is totally optional, but the cold and warm contrast was really nice! It’s also a great way to use up bruised berries that are on their last legs.
Chilled Dark Chocolate Pie with a Toasted Almond Crust and Strawberry Vanilla Compote
Yield: 12 servings
For the crust (adapted from pecan pie crust):
- 3/4 cup raw almonds
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
For the filling:
- 1 bag dark chocolate chips (about 340 grams)
- 1 (15-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, chilled in fridge overnight
- Liquid sweetener, to taste (optional – I used 2 tbsp maple syrup)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
for the strawberry compote (optional):
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and diced
- 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or other sweetener), to taste
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 350⁰F and lightly grease a 9-inch pie dish with coconut oil. Add almonds into a food processor and process until a fine crumb forms, the size of sand. Now add the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and oat flour and process again until the dough comes together. Finally, pulse in the rolled oats until the oats are finely chopped, but still have some texture to them. The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers. If it doesn’t, try processing for a bit longer.
2. With your fingers, crumble the dough evenly over the base of the pie dish. Starting from the middle, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the dish, moving outward and upward along the side of the pie dish. The harder you press the crumbs into the dish, the more it will hold together. Poke 5-6 fork holes into the bottom to let the air escape.
3. Bake pie crust, uncovered, at 350⁰F for 10-13 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside to cool on a rack for about 20 minutes.
4. For the filling: Chill can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight so the cream can solidify. When ready, open the can and carefully scoop out the solid white coconut cream into a pot, discarding the water. Add chocolate chips and stir until combined. Heat over low-medium heat until most of the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and stir in the optional sweetener, salt, and vanilla until smooth.
5. For the strawberry compote: Add diced strawberries into a pot and increase heat to medium. In a small bowl, whisk together the sweetener and arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) until no clumps remain. Add to strawberries and stir. Increase heat and bring mixture to a simmer and cook the strawberries for around 9-12 minutes or longer, until thickened and soft. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
6. Assembly: Pour chocolate filling into pie crust and smooth out. Place in the freezer, on an even surface, for a minimum of 2 hours, or until firm throughout. Allow pie to sit on the counter for 15-30 minutes before attempting to slice. Slicing the first piece of pie is quite tricky, but I promise the second slice comes out much easier! Serve the pie chilled with the optional compote on top. Wrap leftover pieces of pie in tin foil and store in the freezer for up to 1 week.
Hope your weekend squeezes in some chocolate, fun, sun, & relaxation!