Sunday, June 19, 2016

We Should Cocoa chocolate malt challenge: Vegan chocolate malt pie

This month, Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe is hosting the We Should Cocoa challenge. This is a long running link-up (70 months to date!) centrally organised by Choclette of Tin and Thyme. I haven't participated before but was drawn in by Johanna's theme: chocolate recipes that also feature malt. Reading the theme made me realise that I'd not had malty products since turning vegan - clearly something to be rectified.

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.


  1. Brilliant Kari - it must be frustrating finding malt powder that is vegan when it is already vegan but just usually commercially mixed with dairy powder. Glad the syrup worked for you. I really love the sound of this pie with the malty flavours and the photo of the slice makes me want to dig a fork in myself

    1. Thanks Johanna :-) It is odd that plain malt powder is so hard to source but I suppose we are all conditioned to expect it with the milk/sugar add ins! If I ever see it I will certainly pick up a pack.

  2. I really want to try making a chocolate pudding with tofu, but must admit that I am a little sceptical.

    1. There's definitely no need to be skeptical :-) You can't taste it at all (when combined with other ingredients) and the texture is amazing.

  3. After reading this I feel like I need to eat more pie :) I rarely make them at home but this has me wanting a piece. Also, I want some marshmallows now. I find it very difficult to source vegan ones and haven't spotted any recently

    1. I don't think I ever found vegan mallows in Australia :( The pie is still good without them though!

  4. What a gorgeous looking dessert! The marshmallows top it off perfectly.

  5. This pie sounds decadently delicious. I love that you topped it with marshmallows! The filling does sound like the star of the show =)

  6. Ooh I love the idea of making chocolate mousse into a pie and adding malt can only make it better. I've made chocolate tofu mousse and really enjoyed it, but I think you're version is heaps better. I didn't know you could get malt powder (other than Horlicks etc), so I'm going to look into that now. Having said that I love malt extract. I used to have to take a tsp a day when I was young for the health benefits and that gave me a real taste for it. Thanks for joining in with We Should Cocoa.


I genuinely appreciate all comments and the time taken to post them. Occasionally, I may need to restrict commenting to registered users in order to halt large volumes of spam. If that happens, I will lift the restriction within a week.

Want other ways to interact? Bite-sized thoughts is on Facebook ( and Twitter (