This dessert is definitely one for chocolate orange lovers (like me!), it is also dairy free and vegan. The biscuit base is super chocolatey and the filling is creamy, sweet and tart. I use Bourbon Cream biscuits because they are my favourite chocolate biscuit, and they are dairy free too. They have a creamy filling which helps bind the pie shell, but if you can’t find these biscuits a similar one such as Oreo cookies will also do the job. I like to use the concept of condensed milk thickening when it reacts with an acid, and in this case I use soya milk to provide the same reaction and keep it dairy free and vegan.
Unfortunately I have never seen condensed soya milk where I live so I provide the method to do it yourself which is quite easy. I would recommend using a brand of soya milk that is just hulled soya beans, with no sweeteners (such as apple concentrate) or thickeners (such as guar gum) because these can make it harder to have a completely smooth texture, which is not a major problem as this can be stirred back in but requires a bit of extra work.
Most of the flavour comes from the orange zest and you can’t really taste the soya milk, just the sweetness and creaminess it provides. Also if you cannot find Bourbon Creams biscuits, which are a chocolate biscuit and chocolate cream sandwich, you can always use Oreo cookies.There may seem to be quite a few steps, but the key is to multitask and do the pie shell and prepare the oranges while the soya milk is condensing. It is well worth the effort, and you’l be in chocolate orange heaven!
- 300 g Bourbon Cream biscuits, or Oreo cookies
- 75 g dairy free butter
- 25 g cocoa powder
- 1 litre unsweetened soya milk
- 200 g sugar
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 4 orange zest
- 1 orange, juice (100 ml)
- ½ lemon, juice (1½ tbsp)
- 2 g sachet agar agar powder
- 10½ oz Bourbon Cream biscuits, or Oreo Cookies
- 3 oz dairy free butter
- 1 oz cocoa powder
- 4 cups unsweetened soya milk
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 4 orange zest
- 1 orange, juice (6 ½ tbsp)
- ½ lemon, juice (1 ½ tbsp)
- ½ tsp sachet agar agar powder
- Start by pouring the soya milk into a large wide pan. This will make it reduce easier and quicker. Put it on a high heat and allow it to warm up quickly. When it starts to simmer add the sugar and salt and allow it to simmer on a high heat so that it reduces to about 400-450ml (just under 2 cups). This should take about 30-40 minutes.
- While the soya milk is simmering preheat the oven to 150C (300F) fan.
- Melt two thirds (about 50 grams, or 2 oz) of the non dairy butter in the microwave.
- Blitz the Bourbon Creams (or Oreo cookies) and cocoa powder in a food processor until it is of a sandy consistency. Add the melted dairy free butter and combine or pulse in the food processor.
- Add this to a 22 cm (9 inch) pie dish, pressing down, working the biscuit mix to the sides and pressing so that it forms a wall.
- Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile grate the zest of 4 oranges. I prefer to use a grater with outward protruding holes with spiky edges on all sides that you find on a 4 sided grater rather than a microplane. This is because it grates and releases the oils in the orange skin therefore releasing more flavour. One tip is to line this with greaseproof paper and press down so that the paper stays in place and grate the oranges. This way the zest will be on the paper and you won’t find it difficult to get the zest from all the nooks and crannies on the grater.
- Once the oranges are grated run the skin with a spoon to collect even more oils and zest, you will be surprised how much gets left on the surface of the orange!
- Juice half a lemon and 1 orange (about 100 ml, or almost half a cup) and pour into a small pan, set to one side.
- When the soya milk has reduced, add about 25 g (1 oz) of margarine and stir well. If you see that a skin starts forming at any time that the soya milk is simmering just stir it back in with a whisk. Once that is done remove from the heat.
- Add the orange zest and stir well. This will release a creamy orangey aroma.
- Add the agar powder to the orange juice that is in small pan and whisk until dissolved. Place on a medium to high heat and stir, preferably with a whisk until it starts to simmer. This activates the agar and you should see it starts to thicken.
- Simmer for about 2 minutes and then pour this slowly into the condensed soya milk, stirring the milk while you are pouring the juice. The milk starts to thicken immediately due to a reaction with the acid in the juice and the agar will set it further as it cools. The soya milk should be hot when you pour the juice in (which it will be if you have removed it from the heat shortly before), otherwise the agar will seize up as it reacts with the cold and it will be ruined.
- Pour this mix immediately into the chocolate biscuit pie shell and cool in a refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight, until the agar sets. Then it will be ready to serve.