Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie

A few years ago, my husband's cousin was left to spend her college's winter break all alone in Denver because her boyfriend went to India to see his family. Being the caring guy that he is, he decided to buy her a plane ticket to Detroit to spend the holidays with us! Hooray! Since we had a guest from out of town, my days of sitting at home watching the ball drop with Dick Clark were over (well, not so over, I did it again the next year)!

We didn't want to go to the annual New Year's Eve party with my relatives because they lived too far away and we wanted to enjoy food we actually liked and could eat instead of their usual ring bologna, stinky fish, and crackers and cheese. So we found that a local Vegetarian group was having a New Year's potluck and decided to take a risk - not knowing anyone who would be there! We had a fabulous time! Everyone was so welcoming and interesting - and the food! The food was out of this world - especially the chocolate pie. We thought we died and went to heaven as the chocolatey goodness melted in our mouths! We went back for seconds but there was none left. Word spreads fast!

After some investigation, we finally found the piemaker and told her how much we loved her creation. She laughed and told us that she is not a cook and that she'd have to tell her sister that people were complimenting something she made. She told us that the recipe was so easy that someone who doesn't cook can make it and we committed the recipe to memory on the spot. I have since made my ever so slight variation to the recipe. Don't worry, it's still simple and delicious!

I often make this when there is a potluck or party where I have to bring something and it's been a big hit. I have made the addition of the fresh fruit on top. It's certainly not necessary, but I find that strawberries or raspberries taste great with chocolate. People often ask for the recipe and I've searched for this recipe online so that I could send them a link, but I never found it exactly. The woman I met at the party did not know where it came from. It had been just passed around to her. So, I decided to put it up so that others could enjoy it and I can stop sending individual emails of the recipe! Enjoy!

Vegan Vegetarian Chocolate Mousse Pie

1 pack silken tofu (like Mori-Nu)
1 bag semi-sweet non-dairy chocolate chips (10 oz recommended)
1 tsp. almond extract
3 Tbsp. agave nectar and/or real maple syrup
store-bought (or home-made) graham cracker pie crust or gluten-free pie crust
 Note: If you substitute vanilla extract and it is not fresh and has a strong alcohol smell, it will give the pie a slight alcohol taste.

1. Drain excess water from the tofu. (This is not one of those recipes where you have to press the tofu or try to get rid of all the water in the tofu. Just dump out the excess before you plop it into the blender.)
2. Pour tofu into blender and gently blend until it is pretty well broken up & mixed up - and not in a chunk anymore. You could pulse it if you want. Leave it in here for now.
3. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stovetop OR in the microwave. If you do it in the microwave, just make sure you keep stopping & stirring (and watch your hands when you touch the container it's melting in)
4. Let melted chocolate chips cool a little.
5. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract & 3 Tbsp. agave and/or maple syrup to tofu in blender. Blend.
6. When melted chocolate chips are cool enough to add to the blender, add them in and blend everything together until it seems like it's mixed well enough.
7. Pour into your prepared pie crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Optional: Add sliced strawberries or other fresh fruit to top. Do this before you put it in the fridge! I tried vegan whipped cream before, but this pie is already so rich it seems to go much better with fruit.
For chocolate mousse: Omit the pie crust and pour into individual cups instead.

Note: For a gluten-free version, either use a gluten-free pie crust or just make chocolate mousse.