Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Pie

A few months ago -- almost two months to be exact -- I saw this recipe on Love and Olive Oil. I knew immediately that I wanted to veganize it.

This recipe turned out much better than I expected. The gluten-free chocolate graham cracker crust is pretty amazing -- and would go great with my s'mores recipe! It's chewy and has just the right amount of sweetness and salt. I think that's the most important part of the graham cracker flavor.

I stumbled upon the recipe for vegan chocolate mousse and I knew that I had to try it. The original recipe didn't have much instruction, so I had to improvise a few things. The flavor of the mousse really depends on what type of chocolate you use.

And, although I used Grand Marnier, you can use any type of booze that goes well with chocolate!

Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Pie (Gluten-free, Nut-free)

For the Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 c. gluten-free baking mix (or regular flour)
1/2 c. coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder, aluminum-free
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. coconut oil, softened
1 T. vanilla-infused bourbon (learn more about infusing your own liquors!)
3 T. pure maple syrup
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder

For the Vegan Chocolate Mousse:
Adapted from Mouth Watering Vegan

1 (15 oz) can of chickpea brine; chickpeas saved for another use
5 oz vegan chocolate, melted (using a double-boiler) and cooled
1 T. vegan powdered sugar
pinch of sea salt*
1 T. Grand Marnier, or omit

*Some bean brands are saltier than others. I would start with just the tiniest of pinches, taste it, and go from there.

Other optional ingredients:
organic strawberries, chopped
1 T. coconut oil, melted
3 T. cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 325°. Grease a spring form pan with coconut oil or shortening.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the coconut oil and coconut sugar. Add in the bourbon and syrup and stir. Slowly incorporate all of the dry ingredients. Your dough should be coming together at this point.

With floured hands, gently press the dough into your greased pan. (This means you don't have to roll it out - yay!) Make sure you push the dough up the sides of the pan -- you'll need the height later. Place the pressed crust in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before baking.

When you're ready, bake the crust for 15-20 minutes. It should be decently firm on the surface, but still have a softer texture inside. Allow the crust to cool completely on a wire rack.

***TIP*** I used a small glass to press down on the crust as it was cooling (to make the well deeper). 

Once it's cooled, add in your chopped strawberries. (I halved mine, but some taste testers preferred the smaller pieces.)

Using your stand mixing bowl, combine your chickpea brine and your Grand Marnier. Beat these ingredients on a medium setting until the mixture is frothy. Add in the salt and powdered sugar. Beat the mixture on high until stiff peaks form. This can take up to 8-10 minutes. 

Remember to taste the mixture at this point. Add additional sugar or salt if needed.

When the peaks are stiff, pour in the cooled chocolate and fold it into the meringue. This will take some time -- you want to be sure to get all of the chocolate incorporated. I made this recipe twice and found a few ribbons of chocolate throughout mine the second time!

Pour the mousse into the cooled pie crust. Smooth it out as best you can.  Place it in the fridge for 4 hours. At that point, you can make a chocolate drizzle combining the cocoa powder and coconut oil and drizzle it on top.  I would allow the mousse to refrigerate for another 4 hours.

On a side note, I did not let my first pie refrigerate for 8 hours and it was a little loose in the center. It tasted fine, but had a weird consistency. It's worth the extra time -- I promise! Just be sure to start it in the morning if you're planning to serve it as an after-dinner dessert.

I hope you and your friends enjoy this fun and seemingly fancy dessert ;-)