Have I mentioned that I love chocolate? We use sweetened chocolate, but it’s generally very dark, and if we use semi-sweet chocolate, then we mix it half and half with unsweetened chocolate to bring down the carb count and bring up the cocoa count.
I used to (in the early 1990s) work in a restaurant in Vancouver that made a delicious mud pie, and I’ve recently been craving it. So I decided I’d try something similar, but without the sugary cookie crust and overly sweet filling. I’ve had a few goes, the first couple of times using Dana Carpender’s hazelnut crust from 500 Low Carb Recipes. That is a delicious crust, but I’ve always found it a bit too crumbly for my liking. Also, I don’t love having to buy specialty ingredients like Vanilla Whey Protein Isolate Powder. Not everyone has that stuff around.
So the last time I made it, I made a change and used vanilla extract, and it actually turned out better! It holds together much better.
Notes/updates are at the bottom about variations. It’s a pretty flexible recipe.
Note: A tart pan (shown below) is best for this recipe, as it’s not a very deep pie, but a pie pan or small springform will work fine if you don’t have one.
Lynn’s Mud Pie
- 200g / 1.5 cups hazelnuts
- 56 g / 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Pulse hazelnuts in food processor until they are ground to medium-fine texture. Add vanilla and melted butter, and pulse to combine.
- Grease a tart pan, pie plate, or springform pan, and press mixture firmly and evenly into pan. Build it up the sides a bit, and if you’re using a springform pan, be sure to cover the seam around the bottom. Take a fork and poke a few holes in the bottom.
- Place crust in preheated oven on bottom rack and bake 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove and let cool while you make filling.
Dark chocolate orange filling
I have two bowls ready, one that will sit inside the other. Prepare an ice bath by putting some ice and a little water into the bigger bowl. I use the smaller bowl on a pot for my double boiler. If you’re using a double boiler, make sure the inner pot fits in your ice bath, or you’ll just have to pour the melted chocolate into your smaller bowl before whisking.
- 260 g extra dark (85%) chocolate, broken in pieces
- 210 ml water
- peel of 1 orange, finely grated (this is approximately 1 tablespoon. Also,who knew? The USDA nutrient database lists orange peel here! I counted it as 20 g in my nutrition data below, just to be safe)
- Melt chocolate and water in a double boiler, stirring frequently, until smooth.
- Move the bowl of chocolate (or the top of double boiler) to your ice bath. Add the orange peel and vanilla and mix well.
- Whisk just until you start to see lines in your chocolate (2 minutes or so – see photo right). You can also do this with an electric mixer. It should thicken a bit but you should still be able to pour it.
- Pour into your crust.
- Refrigerate at least an hour or 2 before serving.
Why orange peel? Because when I serve this to folks who are used to really sweet desserts, they need something to distract them from the fact that this isn’t overly sweet. And the delicious orange zest does just that. This has been very well-received by my 13 year old nephew, as well as many friends and family, so non-low-carb folks take heart and give this rich low-sugar, gluten-free deliciousness a try!
Nutrition data for 1/10 of the pie:
Protein: 5.47 g
Fat: 28.1 g
Net Carbs: 7.69 g
UPDATE MAY 11, 2013:
I made the crust with coconut oil last night and it works just as well as with butter. Also, I ran out of hazelnuts and made the crust half hazelnuts and half almonds and it was great.