Some days I just really want something sweet. It doesn't happen often, so I honestly never keep 'dessert' in the house. So what that really means is when the craving happens, I get inventive and start hunting around my kitchen (on occasion with a little bit of a wild look about me- Stand back!). Chocolate and peanut butter is my dream team dessert combination (see how to make my previous recipe on how to make PB cups at home) so I got to work to figure out a way to make a creamy pie without whole milk, heavy cream or the like. And I was also out of yogurt which would have been an easy option. That's why this beautiful filling is made of skim milk turned rich and creamy with a secret ingredient: agar agar powder. AKA seaweed or vegan gelatin.
Let's check out these layers. The bottom is interchangeable depending on what you have in your kitchen. It can be ground nuts, graham cracker or even a leftover cookie! In this recipe version, I used a leftover sugar cookie my Dad sent over. The second layer is organic, natural peanut butter. Read the label and for goodness sake do NOT use Jif. You're going for something where the only ingredient is peanuts and maybe salt. The top layer is the sneaky stuff: skim milk, dark cocoa powder, a little maple syrup and agar agar to make it nice and creamy.
Skim Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Pie
makes 3 tarts, about 4 inch across, 1.5 inches deep
/// Ingredients ///
- 1 teaspoon agar agar powder
- 4 T water
- 1/4 teaspoon dark chocolate cocoa powder
- natural organic peanut butter
- 2/3 C minus 1 T skim milk
- 2 T maple syrup
- cookie, graham cracker or nuts for base
- chocolate chips for garnish (Enjoy Life are allergen free and my favorite but I was out!)
/// Directions /// Add agar agar powder to water in a small pan on the stove. Stir to combine. Brig to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in skim milk, maple syrup, chocolate powder and set aside while compiling tart. Create base cookie/nut/graham cracker layer buy pressing in to pack down. If you're using something other than a cookie, add a little butter to get it to stick together. Yield on the side of less. You can always add more! After creating the base, dollop on peanut butter and smooth to create a single layer. Top with chocolate agar agar mix and chocolate chips (if desired). Chill in the fridge for several hours.
Note: Agar agar powder is not the same as agar agar flakes or sheets. They're the same product but do not equate to direct measurements of each other! You only need a tiny bit of powder in comparison.
Agar agar is totally making a name for itself in the molecular gastronomy world, but it definitely has uses in your kitchen! If you're a little freaked out by animal based gelatin products but love the texture of pudding or gummy bears, you need to meet agar agar. This recipe took skim milk, packed with protein, not fat and made it creamy and delicious. It's also SUPER easy to make this recipe gluten free! Just choose a base layer that meets your dietary needs.
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.