Chocolate and Marshmallow Pie
It seems unlikely that I need say more, but as you might have guessed, I’m going to.
Back in the mists of time when I was but a young student at York University, I spent many a happy afternoon/evening in a place called El Piano. It’s an excellent Spanish, sort-of-vegetarian cafe in the old quarter of York and it brews big jugs of some of the best coffee I have ever had. Back in the day they used to open really late and let you play on an old piano and other random instruments lying around. They even encouraged you to carve your name in their big communal dining table.
Nowadays it’s got a little more savvy and operates a more restaurant-like business. Sadly I’ve not been able to get back to check it out for a good few years, but if you are ever in York please do go. They also happen to do lots of gluten free and vegan food, but don’t worry, there’s no compromise on flavours.
This recipe is from “Hand to Mouth” – the first ever cookbook which El Piano published. I bought it mainly because I liked the little metal hand-shaped bookmark which comes attached to it, but also because it looked so good. There’s no photos of the recipes, which at first seems daunting, but is actually quite liberating as the focus is on enjoying making and eating the food rather than picture-perfect products of so many cookbooks around today. Instead of photos of the food, there’s collages and anecdotes filling each page and the book is split into colours. It makes you feel like you have someone’s family recipe binder and looks quite unlike any other cookbook I have. It’s quite hard to get hold of, but you can still buy it here. There’s a massive range of recipes in the book, from how to make coffee and brownies (vegan option) to an excellent lentil dahl, a sweet potato mousse and even some big roast meat dishes. Personally, the Pacific Poké (a banana and coconut tart) is next on my list.
El Piano have kindly allowed me to reproduce the recipe in full, and have even offered to send me a sneak preview of their new cookbook which will be published soon. I might even have some to give away<claps hand with glee>, so watch this space. In the meantime though, get your sticky mits around this super simple and very delicious recipe.
Chocolate & Marshmallow (vegan &wheat free) Pie
4 teacups of oats
1 teacup margarine (soya if vegan)
2 teacups sugar (I used light brown)
4 tbsp cocoa
5 tbsp cornflour (recipe says 4 but I added another tbsp as I didn’t think it was thick enough)
3/4 litre soya milk (I would think you could use normal but I liked the taste with soya)
2 capfuls of vanilla essence (or better still, some vanilla paste if you have it)
optional dark chocolate chips for sprinkling
a couple of pinches of salt
For the base (basically flapjack):
Melt the margarine with 1 teacup of the sugar until liquid and not granular.
Stir in the oats and a pinch of salt.
Press into the base and sides of a flan/pie dish
For the filling:
Heat up the soya milk, cocoa powder, pinch of salt and other teacup of sugar, whisking together if necessary.
Put 4 tbsp of cornflour in a mug and pour a small amount of the hot milk onto it, stirring until a loose paste and not lumpy.
Now add back into the rest of the milk and heat until thick, stirring all the time (or you’ll have lumps)
Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Fold in 20 marshmallows until they just start to melt.
Pour into the base, sprinkle with dark chocolate/orange zest/ anything that takes your fancy, and leave to cool