Category Archives: Chocolate

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie

Hey there! I put all my Thanksgiving recipes on their own page for maximum convenience. Just click the menu at the top of the page and then go to “Thanksgiving Recipes.”

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie​

It’s funny how recipes sometimes just hit me out of nowhere. Like this past September I was in Maine making Vegan Chocolate Pudding for dessert, and I accidentally made it just a little too stiff. While it worked for a no-frills vacation treat, I knew that I needed to make adjustments for a better pudding consistency, but I also knew I had just made a perfect Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie filling.

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie​

And I do mean perfect. Sliceable, but not bouncy. Rich and chocolaty, but completely devoid of dairy and eggs. I had a vision of it sitting in a chocolate cookie crust with a whisper of vegan whipped cream on top, and two months later, here we are.

As with my traditional Chocolate Cream Pie, this vegan version is nearly no-bake and very simple to make. The crust is just crushed Oreos (I used gluten-free) and vegan butter that are mixed together and baked just to set. The filling is made by whisking things together in a certain order, as all pudding is. No need to sieve this one though—no eggs means no worrying about solids! To assemble, just pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate until very, very cold.

Oh yes, this cold, creamy crowd pleaser of a pie is an all-out winner. I mean, who doesn’t love delicious Chocolate Cream Pie and food everyone can eat and enjoy? Dessert and inclusivity are two of my favorite things!

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie​

Before serving, top the pie with some vegan whipped cream! I went with an easy coconut cream-based recipe by Minimalist Baker, and it’s outrageously good. If you’re not up to making your own vegan whipped cream, Reddi Wip makes a good coconut whipped cream in a can that you can find in most grocery stores. Just put a little on each slice immediately before serving (and then spray the rest in your mouth because you’re a grown-up and you can).

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie​

Speaking of slices, can we discuss how beautiful this is? Defined layers! Gorgeous chocolaty filling! And it’s gluten-free and vegan? I think it’s safe to say we have a Thanksgiving showstopper on our hands.

Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie​
Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie
makes 1 pie

Crust:
24 regular or gluten-free Oreos (original or Double Stuf)
5 tablespoons vegan butter, melted

Filling:
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vegan butter

Topping:
Vegan Whipped Cream (I made it with Thai Kitchen Coconut Cream)
finely chopped dark chocolate

Make the crust. Place Oreos in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until they are crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until the mixture can be pinched together. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate (I find that a 1/4 cup measuring cup works for this). Bake the crust for 10 minutes and then let it cool for 20 (or until you can handle the pie plate).

Make the filling. In a medium pot, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in half the non-dairy milk, followed by the remainder.

Place pot over medium heat. Whisking continuously throughout cooking, cook pudding until it has boiled for 1 minute. This process should take 8-10 minutes from start to finish.

Pour filling into the crust. Tap the full pan on the counter a few times to release large bubbles. Press plastic wrap to the surface. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, until cold.

When ready to serve pudding, peel off and discard plastic wrap. Top with vegan whipped cream of choice and finish with chopped dark chocolate. Refrigerate until ready to slice and serve.

Leftover pie will keep covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Black Bottom Caramel Oatmeal Pie

Black Bottom Caramel Oatmeal ​Pie

Just before I started my blog, Brooklyn’s favorite pie shop, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, released a recipe for their Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie and everyone in the food world lost their minds over it. And for good reason. That pie is an old fashioned favorite: essentially a pecan pie with toasted oats instead of nuts, all suspended over a puddle of dark chocolate ganache—a triumph, if you ask me.

Black Bottom Caramel Oatmeal ​Pie

But, as you have probably noticed, I cannot leave well enough alone. I can’t just leave a recipe the way it is. I can’t! I’ve been looking at this perfect pie for six Thanksgivings thinking “but what if you made it with caramel?”

Well, I finally got myself together and did just that. I made the pie with luxurious homemade caramel instead of the usual invert sugars, adjusting for time and texture, and it came out magnificently. Now I just wish I hadn’t waited six whole freaking years to experience this rich, buttery, oat-studded caramel & dark chocolate masterpiece. I mean, I know I’ve made lots of other delicious things, but my goodness, I need to make up for lost time with this one.

As with so many pies, this one isn’t complicated, but it has a bunch of steps and does take time. You’ve got to partially blind bake the crust, and then there’s the whole making a caramel oatmeal filling and layering it over chocolate bit, but I promise you these are all simple steps, and if you follow them one by one and give yourself some grace and time, you will be rewarded. Oh, will you ever.

The balance of chocolate and caramel and chewy oats and flaky crust? It’s a triumph, if you ask me.

Black Bottom Caramel Oatmeal Pie
adapted from Four & Twenty Blackbirds
makes 1 pie

Crust:
1/2 batch All-Butter Pie Dough (or other good single crust recipe)

Caramel Oatmeal Filling:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (toast)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, divided
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (or maple syrup or mild honey)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature

Dark Chocolate Ganache (Black Bottom):
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
5 tablespoons heavy cream

For Garnish:
confectioner’s sugar, if desired

Place oven racks in the upper and lower positions. Preheat oven to 375F.

Partially blind bake the pie crust. On a floured surface, roll out pie dough to a 12" diameter. Fit into a deep 9-inch pie plate and trim the overhang to 1/2-inch. Crimp the edges and freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for an hour.

Remove pie crust from the freezer. Line frozen crust with a big piece of parchment. Fill the center with pie weights (or dried beans or rice).

Place the prepared pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until pie crust has “set” and is starting to turn golden in places, but is far from done. Use parchment to lift out pie weights. Prick the bottom several times with the tines of a fork. Return crust to the oven for 10 minutes.

Make the caramel oatmeal filling. Place oats on a dry rimmed sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant. Remove and let cool.

Make the caramel. Place a medium heavy-bottomed pot on the stove. Add sugar, salt, butter, 1/2 cup cream, and corn syrup to the pot. Do not stir or jostle in any way! Bring to a boil over medium heat and let cook for 10 minutes, until dark all over but not burnt. Remove from heat and *carefully* whisk in remaining 1/2 cup cream, followed by vanilla and vinegar. Let caramel cool 20 minutes.

Add oats to a mixing bowl and pour caramel over the top. Stir together. Whisk in eggs. Set aside.

Make the dark chocolate ganache (black bottom). Place bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl. Pour heavy cream into a small saucepan over medium heat. When it just barely starts to boil, remove it from the heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Once the chocolate looks soft, stir it together with a fork until you have a smooth chocolate sauce.

Spread ganache into the bottom of the pie crust. Top with caramel oatmeal filling. Bake pie on the bottom rack for 25 minutes, then move to the top rack for another 20-25 minutes, until puffed and slightly jiggly in the center. If crust is darkening too quickly at any point, tent with foil.

Let pie cool completely before serving, with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, if desired.

Leftover pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for three.

Chocolate Cupcakes {Six Year Anniversary!}

Chocolate Cupcakes

E2 Bakes turned six years old yesterday. While some things have stayed consistent over the last 634 posts—namely that I keep on posting—one of bigger changes in the last year is that I have finally started to appreciate the art of the cupcake.

Oh, I had cupcake recipes before this year—of course I did—but not many. Making cupcakes takes more time than making layer cakes (the dividing of batter alone…) and, contrary to popular belief, they’re not as simple as divvying up a layer cake recipe into a lot of little bits. Really great cupcakes are a bit more nuanced than that. But nuance doesn’t equal difficulty, and my best ever Chocolate Cupcakes are proof positive of that.

One surefire way to have great cupcakes every time? Don’t overfill the pans. Just don’t. Bigger is not better here—if you want bigger cake, make a layer cake. Lest I need to say it again: cupcakes are their own thing. Once your batter is prepared, fill each well 1/2-2/3 full and absolutely no more. You’ll think “this isn’t enough batter,” but it absolutely is. You can thank me when you pull 20+ soft, tender, perfectly domed little cakes from the oven. None with flat, spread-out tops for me, thanks!

The batter is a simple whisking situation, but there is a secret to getting the most chocolate flavor out of your ingredients: blooming the cocoa powder! Blooming is simply combining cocoa with a warm liquid ingredient to bring out its natural depth. I have bloomed cocoa many times on this blog, including my first post ever, wherein I melted butter, cocoa and sugar together for perfect chewy Cocoa Brownies. I’ve also done it by adding hot coffee to layer cakes and warming the butter and cocoa in my chocolate cookies. Here, the cocoa is stirred into warmed (not hot!) oil before being combined with dry ingredients and buttermilk.

Chocolate Cupcakes

While the recipe will still produce cupcakes if you skip the blooming, they will be oddly unremarkable. Not bad—nothing with a giant plume of chocolate buttercream on top could ever be bad. They just won’t be great. And I don’t know about you, but after six years of baking on here, I think we all deserve great cupcakes.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes 
makes 20-22 cupcakes

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon espresso granules (optional)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

For decorating:
Chocolate Buttercream (recipe below)
chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 20-22 cups in muffin/cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.

Bloom the cocoa. Pour oil into a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave 20-25 seconds or until warm (but not hot). This step may also be done in a pot on the stove.

Add cocoa to oil and whisk with a fork to combine. Let sit while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, espresso granules, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and brown sugar. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together vanilla and buttermilk.

Whisk half the bloomed cocoa into the dry ingredients, followed by half the buttermilk. Add the remaining bloomed cocoa followed by the remaining buttermilk.

Divide batter among the liners, ensuring that they are only 1/2-2/3 full. Tap full pans on the counter 5 times to release large air bubbles, then bake cupcakes 18-19 minutes, or until slightly domed. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.

Let cupcakes cool in their pans for 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.

Spread or pipe chocolate buttercream on cooled cupcakes. Finish with sprinkles. Serve.

Leftover cupcakes will keep covered at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.


Chocolate Buttercream
makes enough for 1 batch of cupcakes

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons heavy cream

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Beat in confectioner's sugar, followed by cocoa powder and salt, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add in vanilla and heavy cream. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, until very fluffy.

Load into a piping bag fitted with a tip (I used a star tip here), or spread with an offset icing knife.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Last week, while preparing vegan red beans & rice on a vacation Wednesday morning, it occurred to me that I haven’t made a straight-up chocolate dessert in a while. Like, maybe since June? I don’t even know. I was in a summer produce fugue state.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Once I realized this, I knew I had to rectify it immediately—a chocolate craving cannot be remedied with anything else. Thinking through our island pantry, I realized I had everything for a quick vegan chocolate pudding. Ten minutes of measuring and whisking later, I was dividing warm pudding into ancient Corelle teacups and setting them in the refrigerator for that night—a perfect make-ahead dessert to go with our make-ahead dinner.

Flash forward a week and I have made Vegan Chocolate Pudding twice in my NYC kitchen since I’ve returned. Its ingredients are things I always have on hand—cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, almond milk, dark chocolate, vanilla, salt, and (optional) vegan butter. It takes just minutes to put together and doesn’t require sieving as it doesn’t contain eggs. Score!

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

This Vegan Chocolate Pudding is SO good, y’all. Each spoonful is deeply chocolaty, ice cold, silky smooth, and delicious. I may or may not have eaten it for breakfast this week. Twice.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding
Vegan Chocolate Pudding
makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vegan butter (optional, but recommended)
grated chocolate, for serving (optional)

In a medium pot, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in half the almond milk, followed by the remainder.

Place pot over medium heat. Whisking continuously throughout cooking, cook pudding until it has boiled for 1 minute. This process should take 6-8 minutes from start to finish.

Remove pot from heat and whisk in vanilla, followed by dark chocolate and vegan butter (if using).

Divide pudding into four small heatproof serving dishes (I used 4-ounce mason jars). Press plastic wrap to the surfaces. Refrigerate for a few hours, until cold.

When ready to serve pudding, peel off and discard plastic wrap. Lightly stir pudding, top with grated chocolate (if desired), and serve.

Leftover pudding will keep covered in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are a million way to make a chocolate chip cookie. Soft, chewy, crispy, thin, thick, as a cake, with nuts, whole grain, vegan, gluten-free, or some combination in between—there’s a recipe out there for everyone.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Today’s recipe, made with an almond flour base, is for the soft & chewy, gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookie people. And also, everyone (except the people with nut allergies; sorry y’all).

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

These chocolate chip cookies are so delicious, and not in a “delicious for being vegan and gluten-free” sort of way. They’re great, period. They’re pillow-soft, thick & chewy, have a perfect vanilla-brown sugar balance, and are loaded with chocolate chips. In short, they’re magnificent. A triumph, even.

But that’s just the final product—we haven’t even discussed ease of preparation! And I do mean “ease.” Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies are a no-mixer, no-chill recipe, and with the possible exception of almond flour, you likely have all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now!

The dough comes together in just a few minutes, then gets separated into two-tablespoon increments and flattened into disks before baking. Because this dough doesn’t contain gluten or a particularly high volume of sugar, it doesn’t really spread like a traditional chocolate chip cookie, though it does puff in the most satisfying way.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies bake up in ten minutes, and then it’s just a matter of what you consider too-hot-to-handle when it comes to dessert. I’m a “room temperature, but the chips are still soft” lady myself, but just as there is a chocolate chip cookie recipe for everyone, I’m sure there’s an ideal temperature, too.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}
makes about 1 dozen cookies

2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons vegan butter,* melted & cooled slightly
1 tablespoon lukewarm water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Set oven racks in central positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together melted vegan butter, water and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry, then use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Mixture may be crumbly but should hold together when pinched. Fold in chocolate chips with the silicone spatula or your hand.

Scoop dough in 2 tablespoons increments, roll into balls, and set 2 1/2-inches apart on prepared pans. Use the heel of your hand to press each ball into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Smooth edges with your fingers as desired.

Bake cookies 10 minutes, until puffed and starting to turn light golden. Let cool on pans for 7-10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Serve cookies. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for a few days.

Note:

I use Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter (and occasionally Earth Balance) in vegan baked goods. You may use an equal volume of refined coconut oil in its place, or even regular dairy butter (though your cookies will not be vegan).
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies {Vegan & Gluten-Free}​