Hello guys! No worries, I’m only here for a short while to introduce to you the main star of this post. Remember last post when I said I’ll be introducing guest posts and also when I posted a photo of Legs Who Will Be Introduced To You Soon? Well, Legs Who Will Be Introduced To You Soon is writing today’s post, which will be a weekly column known as The Weekly iLIAd–for her name, or at least the name you will know her by, is Lia. And guess what–you might have seen her before, at least in the form of these raspberry pancakes she made while she was over and these pancakes too (most things about Lia will remain ambiguous and “at least…” for now, as she is mysterious as the dark side of the moon). Together we are not a linear pair of friends at all (even though Lin+Lia=Linia…Linear…no? no. sorry).
So who is Lia? Well, she has been told before she looks like an Egyptian queen. She is also my “manager”–job description as such, according to her (uncensored): “If you put the manager bit please add that my main job scope involves screaming at you when your pictures are shit, screaming at you to goddamn take the money when it’s offered (you don’t) and screaming at you to goddamn post on the blog. Honest food tester.”
More about Lia: when I walk into the school first thing every morning, more often than not she will be sleeping on a bench curled up like a cat against the harsh cruel world (“it’s so EARLY”) with her beloved laptop as a cushion. She writes some of the very best I have ever read, and is both incredibly cunning and incredibly razor smart. She loves chocolate as much as I do (and if you have any information on cocoa plantations please send them to me because she is very interested in studying them). When she bakes, she goes for the hardest, HARDEST stuff and then fobs up the simpler, basic things (lemon curd cookies–lemon curd was perfect, butter cookies were a little wonky–and she wanted to pipe meringue on top of them). Plus, she is the reason why so many of my recipes are dairy free–as she’s chief recipe tester, I try to make sure a muffin or a cookie won’t make her dairy intolerance give her hell. She is a complex, lovely being and hopefully you’ll be getting to know more of her through the weekly iLIAd–I am very glad to call her my friend. Alright, I think this is enough of my babble; from now on, it is all Lia–on the topic of our shared love, chocolate.
When chocolate walks up to me it is 3a.m. in the morning and the streetlights are pinwheeling in yellow and white, their cores a bright blaze and fading into tired suns. Every corner and shopfront come alive in the murky pools of light. Dark windows reflect drunkards waltzing with their shadows, and the air smells of fresh rain and gasoline. Far into the distance the night sky is lit with yellow and white, yellow and white.
I lie down in the street slick with rainwater and watch the streetlight reflections shiver in the wind. The car comes towards me almost apologetically, quiet as a cat. I’ve heard it coming for miles away. My watch reads 2.58. The store opposite me’s an apothecary, shiny metal boxes and bottles laid out neatly on counters. If I squint through my tears, it looks almost like a candy shop. 2.59. Almost out of time.
When chocolate walks up to me it is 3a.m. in the morning and it has no shadow. The scent of ripe fruit and deep earth hits me first. From the corner of my eye, I notice the car has disappeared. It shoves its hands deep inside its pockets and looks at me. It’s begun to rain again.
I stare right back at it. ‘Yes?’
We stand in the middle of the street so close we could touch, its coat blowing in the wind. The rain is freezing. I shiver. The gaze that meets mine is dark and heavy, like tobacco smoke.
Then it smiles, and its voice is strangely comforting, the sound of church bells on a cold winter morning. ‘You’re freezing.’ It shrugs off the heavy wool coat and places it around my shoulders. The warmth melts into my bones like deep caramel and cinnamon, highlighted with the same earthy scent. When I close my eyes, I feel the hint of vanilla in my fingertips.
When chocolate leaves me it is 3.05 and I open my eyes to see the rain pouring down on the empty road. The coat is still draped around me, filling the air with scents of spices and smoke. I turn, heading down the street, and my footsteps are loud on the sidewalk as I dance in pools of electric light.
vegan chocolate peanut butter cup pie
this pie had a luxuriously chocolaty rich filling, smooth and silky mouthfeel absolutely velvet in your mouth–can you believe it has a base of sweet potato? drizzled with toasty dreamy peanut butter and scattered with melty indulgent raw chocolate peanut butter cups, this is an absolute chocoholic’s dream.
Raw Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups–
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-3 tbs coconut oil, melted
-2.5 tbs maple syrup/liquid sweetener
-Peanut butter, either microwaved till runny/let sit out at room temp till runny
Lay out 4 muffin cases/fluted paper cups in a muffin tin. Mix together the cocoa, coconut oil and sweetener till you get a thick glossy ganache. Divide slightly less than half of it evenly amongst the paper cases and let it set in the freezer for 5 minutes. Once done, spoon 1 tsp of peanut butter over the solid bases–don’t cover the whole base though, leave some space at the perimeter! Divide the remaining chocolate over the peanut butter and let it set in the freezer again for at least 20-25 minutes.
You can use your favourite pie crust; I used the recipe here with a tbsp of runny peanut butter replacing one of coconut oil. Pre-bake your crust and let it cool.
-1 sweet potato, baked and cooled (about 200g)
-1/4 cup coconut cream from the top of the can, or greek yogurt if you don’t mind a non-vegan pie
-2 tbsp maple syrup/agave/liquid sweetener of choice (or to taste)
-1/2 tsp coffee granules
-2 tbsp cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-2 tbsp melted dark chocolate
-3 tbs soy milk
Blend all ingredients in a food processor/high speed blender till thick and silky as a frosting consistency. Spread into your prepared tart crust and let it set in the fridge–I let mine set overnight. The next day, garnish with melted peanut butter, chopped toasted hazelnuts and raw chocolate peanut butter cups and serve!