If you’ve been following OE for a while, you know I have a thing for coconut milk ganache. And a thing for chocolate tarts or pies without lids. What can I say, everyone loves chocolate, and this chocolate coconut pie fits the bill.
Unlike some of the other gluten free tarts I’ve shared, this one doesn’t use any oat flour. It’s a date sweetened coconut macaroon base, with a little cocoa tossed in, and it’s very good. It’s also totally grain free and this recipe is ‘pegan’ i.e. vegan and paleo, which is a thing.
This is about as simple as you can get for a dessert, with a press in base and pour in filling – it would be possible not to bake the base but I think it tastes much better and holds together more effectively when baked. The date mixture is blended up in a food processor, or mashed with a fork if you have a strong arm and soft dates. Mix it with the coconut, press it into a springform, and bake. That’s it!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Topping: the easiest thing to change with this recipe is the topping. Prefer raspberries? Go for it. If you want a more classic chocolate coconut cream pie, then top with coconut whipped cream instead of fruit.
- Coconut: sweetened shredded coconut will make it much sweeter. Flaked coconut will change the texture pretty significantly and I don’t recommend it.
- Dates: this can be any type of soft date, and doesn’t need to be medjool.
- Filling: see this post about making vegan ganache, including troubleshooting.
To speed the process a bit, pop the base into the freezer before adding the ganache. This serves a couple of purposes. It’ll help your ganache set more quickly, and it’ll also prevent any of the liquid ganache seeping into the bottom of the pie. No one likes a soggy bottom.
If you want a different kind of base, there are several chocolate tart recipes on OE you can check out instead. This chocolate orange tart uses oats and seeds, for example, and my chocolate hazelnut tart is a grain-free hazelnut cookie crust. The macaroon base here is great, though.
If you’re looking at the ingredients and thinking, but a chocolate bar isn’t sugar free! You can certainly use sugar-free chocolate for this recipe (it’s easy to find in the baking section) and sweeten the filling as you prefer.
The tart is quite rich, so if you want to cut that a bit, serve it with some non-dairy yogurt. Small slices are best for this one.
How to Store
Storage: the pie will keep well for a couple of days in a sealed container in the refrigerator, without the berry topping.
Freezing: I haven’t tried freezing this and would be concerned about the ganache separating, but the coconut base can certainly be frozen without the filling. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months, then fill as usual.
- Soak the dates: if your dates are a bit dry or hard, soak them in very hot water for at least half an hour, or up to two hours, before draining and using as instructed.
- Make ahead: I recommend making the whole chocolate coconut pie the night before you plan on serving it so that it has plenty of time to set, and then top with be berries right before serving. If the fruit sits there too long the filling will soften.
- Use baking cocoa: don’t mix up cocoa powder and chocolate drink powder! I get a lot of questions about this – they’re not the same thing. If the ingredient list includes anything like sugar or milk powder, that’s hot chocolate powder, not cocoa powder for baking.
- Use full-fat coconut milk: look for a brand that is 60% coconut at the very least, preferably more. If you’re not sure, scoop out the cream only and use that for the ganache, keeping the water for smoothies or curries.
More Chocolate Ganache Recipes
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Chocolate Coconut Pie with Strawberries
- 130 grams soft dates
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons nondairy milk oat, almond
- 150 grams unsweetened shredded coconut
Coconut Chocolate Ganache
- 400 ml canned full-fat coconut milk*
- 100 grams dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 150 grams strawberries, halved
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- Pistachios and shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line the base of a 20cm (8 in.) springform pan and grease the sides with coconut oil.
- In the base of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, blend the dates, coconut oil, vanilla, cocoa, and salt until a smooth paste forms. Add the milk and pulse until combined.
- Place the shredded coconut into a large bowl, and use your hands to combine with the date mixture. Press this into the prepared pan, as evenly as possible, with 2cm (3/4 in.) high walls.
- Bake the macaroon base for 15-17 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing the sides and cooling fully on a rack.
- Pour the ganache filling into the cool base. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or until fully set. Top with the strawberries and serve immediately.
Chocolate Coconut Ganache
- Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat the milk (both cream and water) in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reaches a low simmer, then pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for about a minute, and then whisk until fully combined and very smooth.
- Place the strawberries in a bowl and mix with the maple syrup or honey to coat. Arrange over the set tart, and top with a small handful of pistachios and a sprinkle of coconut.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in April 2019. It has been updated with improvements to the text and recipe as of July 2020.