Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I was at university for a long time – not because I was bad at it – because I did a long degree.
There are many things that are synonymous with being a uni student; 2 minute noodles, the 20 pack of ‘beef’ (errr… or some kind of meat-ish substance) burgers for $2 from Woolworths, cheap Vodka and even cheaper pub squash (to this day I cannot even smell it without getting queasy) and day time TV (‘Passions’ anyone?).
It was all about getting by on the cheap. Our motto was never pass up a free meal. Even if it meant having to endure painful dinner conversation and eating at a dining table. Free is cheap, and for a uni student that means everything!
Celebrating, and commiserating, is something we did often at university (any excuse for a party!). Woo-hoo we passed an exam! A boy called! We paid the rent on time! Boo-hoo that exam was hard! Why hasn’t he called? Still why hasn’t he called? Why is my bank balance red?
There was only one dessert worthy of the joy of not having to go to another chemistry lecture, or that could heal a broken heart. The Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie. The humble frozen dessert (according to Sara Lee) “combines fresh cream, dark chocolate, natural vanilla flavour and a high sided chocolate biscuit base”. Alas, at uni we could only ever manage the home brand no name version but it was still delicious.
My aim was to recreate the Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie, this time gluten, dairy and processed sugar free, keeping it as paleo/clean as possible ensuring it retained its creamy texture. How’d it go?
This is by far the tastiest and prettiest dessert I have made since embarking on this new style of cooking.
Why? Because it doesn’t taste like you’re missing out on anything. It still has the ability to mend a broken heart and bring a smile to your dial – but without all the nasties! Per slice (my pie had 12) it contains approximately 185 calories; which isn’t too bad for such a decadent treat.
Now, before you embark on creating the best dessert ever (a bold statement!) – I have a few pieces of advice.
Tins: I used an 18cm (7inch) spring form cake tin to create the lovely edges, but a pie tin would also work. The spring form means the edge of the tin can be removed without fear of cracking and breaking. A slightly bigger tin would mean a thinner pie, but that would still work.
Mousse: I have used the winning mousse from the Great Chocolate Mousse-Off but it definitely needs to be whipped with the additional milk for the right creamy texture.
Cream: Arrghhhhhh!… Whipped coconut cream has been my nemesis for some time. I have wasted many cans of coconut cream and milk trying to get it to work but I could never achieve the right consistency – until now! I have read many people saying that it works best when the cream is free of additives and thickeners and I now agree. I used a can of organic coconut cream (from Aldi) that had been opened and in the fridge for a few hours. To re-create the vanilla flavour of the original Bavarian I added splashes of maple syrup and vanilla essence until I was happy with the taste (approx. 1-2 tsps. of each). This cream is quite tasty as an alternative for dairy whipped cream.
Chocolate: I make my own chocolate using this recipe. I keep it in the freezer and use it as required.
- 1/4 cup Almond Flour
- 1/2 cup Coconut Flour (available from health food and speciality stores)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened Cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, softened
- 1/4 cup Maple Syrup (you could substitute honey etc)
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 large ripe Avocados
- 1/2- 2/3 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
- 1/2 - 2/3 cup Maple Syrup (you could also use honey, etc.)
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Milk (coconut, almond etc) or Coconut Whipped Cream
- 1-2 Tbspn milk (coconut, almond etc) extra for whipping
- 1 can organic Coconut cream (see above notes on types of coconut creams), opened and in fridge overnight
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).
- Grease/Spray an 18cm (7inch) spring form cake tin or pie dish (a 20cm/8inch tin would also work)
- Mix the dry ingredients in a blender.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until combined.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. This makes the dough easier to handle.
- Using your fingers, press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of your tin of choice.
- Pierce the bottom of the pie crust several times before placing it in the oven.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
- If using a spring form tin, remove the crust and place on a serving tray. This may be more difficult if using a pie tin and you may choose to construct and serve the pie from the tin.
- Remove the pips and scoop the avocado pulp into the food processor/blender.
- Add the cocoa, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and milk.
- Blend and blend until all the lumps and bumps are gone... then blend some more.
- Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Add the milk/cream and whisk for 2-3 minutes or until fluffy.
- Scoop the thickened cream from the tin, discarding the watery liquid at the bottom.
- Place cream in mixing bowl and beat using whisk attachment.
- Add maple syrup and vanilla to taste and continue whisking until thick.
- Spoon the mousse into the pie crust, smoothing off the surface.
- Pile the whipped coconut cream onto the pie and spread over mousse.
- Grate chocolate on top to decorate.
- Keep refrigerated after serving (if there's any left!)