Hope everyone had a nice holiday. Back at work for me, already.
Rob and I returned to Canada, in all of its ice storm, power-deficient
stateprovince. Over half a million people lost power in the days leading up to Christmas and just before we scooted back to Houston, my brother lost his power, for the second time, on Boxing Day.
With a few short days in the GTA, we explored Toronto as tourists: fast and furious. We met up with many friends and family, reminding ourselves why we love Toronto so much. Despite the cold, the warmth comes from our social network. We cooked, we ate at both new and old (favourite) restaurants and relished in multiple Christmas feasts.
As I said, I didn’t have enough forethought to bring any treats with me from Houston. Nothing lost, as I was oftentimes filled to the brim with good food, and had no desire to cook. However, while in Woodstock, I spotted a few pantry staples that could easily be whipped into a shockingly simple dessert. I could not resist. I am shocked I am sharing another dessert with you all, but in case you are looking for a fun party dessert, this could be your treat.
I threw together almonds, coconut and dates for a simple raw pie crust. The salt and vanilla accentuate the sweet maple syrup and dates. You could replace the coconut with additional nuts, but I enjoyed the textural foil next to the rich smooth filling. The filling was super simple: a bag of melted chocolate chips mixed with canned coconut milk and lots of peanut butter. At first I thought the peanut butter was a bit odd, but when you consider that the majority of raw cheesecakes are made with an abundance of cashews whipped into a butter, the leguminous peanut butter made sense. Combined with chocolate, you have a winning treat. It is rich and filling without being cloyingly sweet. And I even used semi-sweet chocolate.
Are you back at work, too? This is my shortest Christmas holiday yet.
This is my submission to this month’s We Should Cocoa.
1 cup almonds (I used ground almonds)
1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut (I used finely shredded)
1/2 cup chopped (pitted) dates
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp water (optional, depends on the moisture from the dates)
2 cups chocolate chips
14 oz can coconut milk (I used lite)
1.5 cups peanut butter
1. In a food processor fitted with its S-blade, pulse almonds and coconut until coarsely ground. Add dates, maple syrup, vanilla and salt and pulse until combined. Add additional water until it sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Press dough uniformly into the bottom of a 8″-inch springform pan (I think I used a 9″ inch pan, but I sampled a bit too much dough for it to completely cover the bottom..)
2. Meanwhile, in a double boiler or in the microwave on medium heat in a medium-large bowl, melt the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally so they do not burn. Stir in the coconut milk and peanut butter. Mayim suggests this can be done in the bowl, but I had better results after adding it the food processor to blend until smooth and combined. Pour prepared batter on top of the crust and smooth the top. Place in fridge to set, at least 2 hours.