Healthier Happy Birthday cake-pie

Chocolate cream pie with figs

It’s Sharon’s birthday today, so Vinny brings you a rich, chocolatey tart with no  flour in the filling, that you can stick candles in and sing happy birthday around, merrily. With this dessert, you can enjoy a slice and know that along with your birthday calories, you are also getting a decent helping of nutrition.

If you are gluten intolerant, you must either not eat the crust, or make it without a crust, in which case it would be quite a different dessert, but just as chocolatey.

It’s easy and reasonably quick to make, so your partner or kids should be able to whip it up in a flash.

I served this for my gourmet dinner group last month without candles, but with more fresh figs on the side, on crystal plates dusted with cocoa. Sadly, I forgot to get a picture. But I include a picture below, taken without decoration. I admit, I can’t make a decent pie crust, so I buy my crusts in the frozen foods section of the grocery store (hang my head in shame).

The gluten-free filling is like a French silk pie, AKA, chocolate ganache. It’s often served with whipped cream and more chocolate on top, but I think that is overkill. So good just as it is.


French chocolate-and-figs tart
Makes one 9-inch pie

Prepare the figs

  • 6 fresh figs
  1. Wash the figs and cut each fruit into quarters.

Bake the pie shell

  • 1 frozen 9-inch (23-cm) deep-dish pie shell, pricked with a fork
  1. Bake the shell on a cookie sheet at 375F to a soft golden brown or according to the package directions, about 15 minutes.

Mix the chocolate custard

  • 115 grams dark chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 90 grams coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 grams coconut palm sugar
  • 20 grams cocoa powder
  • 50 grams white chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons Grande Marnier, optional
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a pot suspended over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Add the chopped chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is nearly melted. Turn off the heat and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the Grand Marnier to the chocolate when it is cool.
  4. Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl using a hand mixer, until the batter lightens in color, and gets thick and bubbly (about 5 minutes).
  5. Pour the cooled chocolate over the egg mixture slowly, and mix in gently with a plastic spatula.
  6. Add the cocoa and fold in with your spatula. Fold in the white chocolate chips.

Finish the pie

  1. Pour the chocolate custard into the shell and shake it a little it to even it out.
  2. Arrange the fig pieces on top of the tart.
  3. Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes, just until the filling is set. It should lose its shine and not wobble when shaken.
  4. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil and refrigerate until time to serve.


I use coconut palm sugar because it has a lower glycemic index than granulated sugar. The protein from the eggs helps retard the absorption of the sugar into the blood, as well. The coconut oil has special health-giving properties. And cocoa is the healthiest form of chocolate you can buy, as it has no added sugar or fat. Click the links for more discussion on these foods. Did I mention the filling is gluten free?

Will's cake begins to erupt!

Happy birthday, from Vinny!

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hapehorizontin
    Apr 14, 2016 @ 17:45:35

    im gonna follow you and never let u go … delicious :O


  2. Javy Dreamer
    Apr 12, 2016 @ 20:04:07

    Reblogged this on Recipe Dreams and commented:
    Looks amazing!


  3. Becky
    Apr 12, 2016 @ 17:47:39

    How is this gluten free? What pie crust have you found? I haven’t found any premade gluten free crusts?


    • Vinny Grette
      Apr 12, 2016 @ 18:15:43

      Oh my goodness. That just goes to show how unattuned I am to gluten-free. My sister is gluten intolerant and I am always screwing up! You are correct. The only way this is gluten-free is if you don’t eat the crust, or bake the filling without the crust, like a crustless quiche. I will correct this… somehow :(.


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