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    Entries in chocolaty goodness (28)

    Tuesday
    May032016

    Chocolate Cream Pie Done Right

    Recently, I was having a serious craving for chocolate cream pie. Easy enough, right? Just drop into the nearest diner and pick up a slice. Yeah, not so much. After much googling and wracking of my brain, I eventually decided I would have to make my own. I couldn’t find a place locally that I could be sure wouldn’t disappoint. Since I’d never made a chocolate cream pie before, I needed to do some research. Off to Pinterest and Google, then. For some reason, every recipe I looked at had either cocoa or chocolate. When given the opportunity to use both, why on earth would you pass it up?? I mean, we’re making CHOCOLATE cream pie, after all. Now chocolaty pudding pie, or chocolate-ish custard pie. Well, I went all in, and boy did it pay off.

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • 1 pie crust
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ¼ cup cornstarch
    • ¼ cup cocoa
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 4 ounces dark chocolate
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

    Before you get started on the filling, you’ll need a pie crust. I used a frozen one form Trader Joes, and it was fantastic. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making your own, I highly recommend theirs. Either way, the crust needs to be blind baked until it’s nicely golden and then cooled completely. Once that’s done, go ahead and chop your chocolate. Once again, I turned to Trader Joes for that. I love their pound plus bars.

    Put that aside, and into a medium sized saucepan, sift the cornstarch and cocoa.

    Stir that together with the sugar and salt.

    Separate 4 eggs, placing the yolks in bowl. Give them a quick whisk.

    Here’s another place where I parted company from all the recipes I found. Even my own recipes, in the past, have always said to heat the milk and then temper the yolks before adding them to the mixture. At some point, my brain said, “if you’re going to bring it to a boil once the eggs are in anyway, why not just add them in the beginning?” It seemed like sound enough logic to me, so I did it, and it worked beautifully. So, go ahead and add the egg yolks to the milk and whisk that thoroughly.

    Pour that mixture over the dry ingredients. Stir everything together and turn the heat to medium.

    At first, it’s going to be a bit messy, but don’t worry.

    As it warms up, it will sort itself out. Just keep whisking and stirring. I like to alternate between a whisk and a silicone spatula.

    Continue stirring until it reaches a boil and becomes nice and thick, then turn off the heat.

    Add the chopped chocolate and stir until it’s completely melted and incorporated.

    Next, add the butter and vanilla. And yes, more stirring.

    Now, just to be safe, pour the pudding through a mesh strainer. This will ensure that you have no lumps (cornstarch, cocoa, curdled egg, whatever). It’s quite thick, so you’ll have to stir it to get it through the strainer.

    And don’t forget to scrape everything off of the underside. There’s lots of deliciousness stuck there.

    Now, pour the finished pudding into the prepared pie crust and level it out on top.

    Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Allow it to cool, and then refrigerate it for at least 3 or 4 hours. Overnight would be even better.

    When the pie is nice and cold, whip some cream. 

    • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
    • ¼ cup powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla 

    Whip until it’s nice and stiff. Although, be careful not to go too far. I’ve never actually had it happen, but apparently it will turn to butter at some point.

    I piped the whipped cream onto my pie, but you can just spread it if you’d prefer.

    Now, to make it pretty, top it with some finely grated chocolate. Just warm the chocolate slightly between your hands, and grate it on the finest side of a box grater. How gorgeous is that?

    This pie is creamy, chocolaty, and delicious. Hubby said it was the best pie he’s ever tried. That’s a huge compliment, because he’s not a big fan of sweet things, and he’s also not shy about telling me what he really thinks of my cooking. I will definitely be making this pie again.

    What food do you have to make yourself if you want it done right? 

    Monday
    Feb012016

    Authors Kitchen is Turning 5!!

    That's right, Authors Kitchen is 5 years old today!  Surely that deserves some serious pomp and circumstance, right? A 6-layer cake with fillings and marzipan decorations or something? Actually, I decided to kind of go the opposite direction with it. I wanted to create a cake that people might actually make, something accessible and realistic. With that in mind, I was determined to create a recipe for a single serving, microwave cake, that is fantastic enough to celebrate our fifth birthday with. I know, you’re skeptical. We’ve tried a microwave cake before and it turned out, well…

    But trust me. This recipe creates a moist, chocolate studded, molten cake that is nothing short of fabulous. The cool (and dangerous) part is, it’s only 5 minutes from “I want chocolate cake” to taking a bite of warm, rich, chocolaty goodness.

    Here’s what you’ll need: 

    • 3 Tablespoons flour
    • 1 ½ Tablespoons cocoa
    • 2 Tablespoons sugar
    • Scant ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 3 Tablespoons milk
    • 1 ½ tablespoons oil
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 Tablespoons chocolate chips
    • 2 Tablespoons cocoa almond spread
    • (or Nutella, cookie butter, peanut butter, caramel, etc.) 

    First up, choose a microwave safe vessel. I’m using a 14 oz. ramekin. If you don’t have something like that, a mug that’s 12 oz. or more will work. Whatever you use, go ahead and spray it lightly with non-stick spray. I like to use Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray.

    Set that aside and measure all of the dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl.

    Whisk them so that they’re evenly distributed and there are no clumps of anything.

    Add the milk, oil, and vanilla.

    Whisk until everything is combined and there are no, or at least few, lumps.

    Add the chocolate chips. I like Ghirardelli semisweet, but you can really use whatever you like.

    Fold those in and pour the batter into your prepared vessel.

    Dollop on some of whatever you want to use for your filling. I LOVE Trader Joe’s cocoa almond spread, but if you don’t have that, don’t like it, or can’t have it because of allergies, use something else. I’m sure cookie butter would be delicious, nutella, or perhaps a couple squares of good salted caramel. If you like peanut butter, add some of that. Me, I’m going with the chocolate almond deliciousness.

    To prevent spills in your microwave and also make it easy to handle, I like to go plate, damp paper towel, then ramekin. That way it won’t slide around on the plate.

    Now, into the microwave for 70 seconds. I know, you still don’t believe this is going to turn into an actual cake… especially one that’s delicious, but there it is.

    Top it with powdered sugar or a scoop of good vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

    Amazing chocolaty goodness, so quick easy to make, it doesn’t have to be your birthday to enjoy it!

    The only thing that could make it any better would be to eat it by the ocean and be rid of this yucky snow.