After doing a bit of research, I was delighted to discover you can get vegan malt powder - and indeed, malt powder per se is vegan. It is the added milk powder that renders commercial malt drinks (like Horlicks and Milo) non-vegan. I was less delighted by the difficulties I had sourcing any malt powder, even in London with Whole Foods as an option. You can order it online but I opted to skip that and use malt syrup for my recipe instead. This was also fun to discover and reminds me a bit of molasses...but is maltier. It's quite readily available in health food stores in the UK.
And as for the recipe? I entertained a few different ideas but my mind settled fairly quickly on a chocolate malt pie. This also gave me an opportunity to try silken tofu in a dessert, which, somewhat incredibly, I hadn't done at home before. The result was beautifully smooth, with a texture less dense than cheesecake but still firm enough to eat with a fork. The malt flavour isn't strong, but it does give a nice edge to the chocolate.
Whilst I liked this in pie form, the filling is really the star of the show and you could make a simpler dessert by skipping the base and serving the filling as a dense pudding / mousse instead. You are certainly likely to eat a fair dose of it straight from the food processor, at least if you are anything like me!
I drew inspiration for this recipe from lots of existing online recipes for tofu-based chocolate desserts. I don't acknowledge one in particular because I didn't adapt one in particular. I also chose to move away from the tendency to use melted chocolate in the filling, which in other recipes provides the cocoa, fat and sugar all in one. Instead, I made separate use of cocoa powder, coconut oil, and the all-important malt syrup. I also used lucuma powder but you could easily use more cocoa or, if you do have malt powder, make this even maltier by using that.
A final note - I decorated this with vegan marshmallows, for no particular reason except I had them and it seemed a fun way to make this even more decadent. Obviously they are optional, and other decoration options include berries or grated chocolate, although it would be just as enjoyable plain.
Chocolate malt pie
A delicious, silky smooth pie that blends chocolate malt flavours
Vegan and no bake
Serves 10 - 12
Food processor required
Author: Bite-sized thoughts
For the base
1-1/2 cups raw almonds
1/3 cup cocoa or cacao powder
1 cup pitted dates, soaked for 10 or so minutes in warm water and then drained
1 tbsp malt syrup
For the filling
350g pack silken tofu
1/3 cup cocoa or cacao powder
1/3 cup lucuma powder (or use more cocoa, or malt powder)
1/3 cup malt syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil (mine was measured at room temperature in solid form)
1 tbsp vanilla essence
Vegan marshmallows or other toppings, optional
To make the base, combine all base ingredients in your food processor and process until crumbly and well combined (a few minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then process again until the mixture is starting to come together. It will not form a solid ball but should be of a texture that you can press to form a base.
Transfer the base ingredients into a pie dish. Press firmly into the bottom and sides.
Wipe out your food processor and then add all filling ingredients and process until well combined (this shouldn't take long). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then process again briefly to ensure everything is well mixed.
Transfer the filling to your pie dish and distribute evenly across the base. Decorate with vegan marshmallows or other toppings, if using.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight, and store in the refrigerator.
If you would like to participate in the chocolate malt We Should Cocoa challenge, see details at Green Gourmet Giraffe and the central page at Tin and Thyme.