Friday, January 21, 2011

Decadent

I just made the executive decision to take the two oldest kids to the Blackfriars Theater tonight to see The Malcontent. I am so excited that I can hardly focus on my writing for the few remaining minutes of rest time.

Or maybe it’s the piece-and-a-half of chocolate cream pie that I swoon-gested right at the start that’s giving me the jitters.


They’re happy jitters, though, so I’m not complaining. (Clarification: saying “the piece-and-a-half” of pie is just a more reserved way of saying “two pieces of pie—one small, one large.”)

Yeah, so I made a chocolate cream pie yesterday morning. It was the reason I got out of bed that day. The reason I got out of bed this morning was because I had to—Mr. Handsome was leaving for work. I was dreaming about baby mice being interchangeable with toothbrushes, and something about blue jeans and uniforms. It was time I got up.


The chocolate cream pie would have been made the day before yesterday if it weren’t for Mr. Handsome. He forgot to turn over the piece of paper upon which he had scrawled my dictated-via-the-phone grocery list and so he didn’t buy the Oreos that were needed for the crust, thus letting the whole family down with a thud. We were crushed.

He made things right the next day—the day we would’ve been making the pie if it weren’t for his poor list-reading skills—so finally, yesterday, I got to make that pie. You know, the one I got out of bed for. I wasn’t too thrilled with it, the first couple eats around, but by last night’s taste test (and-a-half, again), I was sold. Today I got even more sold. This pie does some serious rockage.


Chocolate Cream Pie
Adapted (not hardly at all) from the America’s Test Kitchen DVDs

Chris and Julia made a big deal about removing the chalaza—the stringy, white membrane—from the egg yolks. They say if you do that ahead of time, then there is no need to strain the custard for lumps afterwards, since it’s that membrane that causes lumpies. It sounded persnickety, but I did it anyway and it was a lot easier than I thought it’d be. The resulting custard is so blissfully creamy that I have nothing to say, except—get rid of that chalaza!

And one word about the crust: disregard any do-it-from-scratch notions and go for the Oreos. They make a lovely crust, one that softens just a little—by Day Two, it's almost creamy.

For the crust:
16 Oreo cookies
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Put the Oreos in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Dump the chocolate crumbs into a bowl and add the butter. Stir with a fork. Pour the crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate. Using the back of a spoon or the bottom of a measuring cup, press the crumbs evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Do not press any crumbs onto the lip of the pie plate (like Chris says to do—it just doesn’t work). Chill the crust in the fridge for an hour or two.

For the filling:
2 ½ cups half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in chunks
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut in chunks
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, cut in chunks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whipping cream, whipped and slightly sweetened, for topping

Remove the chalaza from the egg yolks (see above) and put them in a bowl. Add half of the third cup of sugar and the cornstarch and whisk well.

Put the half-and-half, the remaining sugar, and the bit of salt into a saucepan and heat it almost to the boiling point. Temper the egg yolks with ½ cup of the hot half-and-half. Add the tempered eggs to the saucepan, return it to medium-high heat, and whisk like crazy. As soon as the custard thickens and just starts to bubble, remove the pan from the heat. Add the cold butter, one chunk at a time, whisking hard after each addition. Add the chocolate and whisk till all the chocolate has melted. Whisk in the vanilla.

Pour the chocolate custard into the chilled pie crust, cover with plastic wrap (pressing it down flush on the custard so no skin will form), and chill for 6-12 hours. (The longer the better, in my opinion).

Top with whipped cream and serve.

Serves a lot—this pie is D.E.C.A.D.E.N.T.

Note: I linked up with Sweet As Sugar Cookies. If you need more sweet inspiration, check it out!

This same time, years previous: on thank-you notes

12 comments:

  1. I am so envious of your metabolism. It looks delicious. Have a wonderful time tonight!

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  2. mmmmmmmm. I'm going to bookmark this to make it for my dad's birthday next month. He adores Oreos and I sniff. Well, now I can serve Oreos with pride. It looks sooooo good.

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  3. Did you hear me groan when the picture of the pie popped up? We're still on our restricted eating program (first and foremost, NO desserts) and tonight's dinner just didn't do it for me. I was thinking of chocolate ice cream (which is the only thing remotely resembling dessert I have in the house) but feebly resisting . . . and then you do this post. Cruel. Mean. Nasty. Ugly. Unfair. Sob.

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  4. That's the best looking chocolate cream pie I've ever seen. Sadly, I've only made it with a box of Jello pudding which sounds quite pathetic all of a suddenly.

    Fabulous! I may make this as a wonderful treat for my family. They will be SO impressed.

    Thanks for the inspiration.
    -FringeGirl

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  5. Im going to be finding a converter site and get converting these 0z to grams. I think I'll have to half it, and make a mini one. I cant wait until my babies are teenagers (well thats not the truth - but it will be great to have young men wtih speedy metabolisms to help make sure there isnt too much left for me!)so I can make these recipes full size!

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  6. Decadent indeed and with that chocolate pie crust, your pie looks like chocolate heaven. I have a new linky on my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link this up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/01/sweets-for-saturday-1_21.html

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  7. This looks wonderful...I want a bite too! :P YUM!

    I'm having the very first GIVEAWAY on my blog. Please stop by to submit an entry. Good Luck.
    http://utry.it/2011/01/happy-birthday-to-meand-very-first.html

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  8. I made this yesterday. Very good! Definitely more decadent than other chocolate cream pies I've made. Rich like chocolate mousse. I also think its better the second day, good to know it can be made the day before, which isn't the case with all pies.

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  9. First: This is the most wonderful, decadent, delicious looking chocolate pie -- ever! Second: Tell me how you removed the white thready thing? With your hands? Or did you push the yolks through a sieve? Third: I like the crust to be a little crispy. I thought maybe putting it in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5 or 10 minutes might be helpful. What do you think?

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  10. Marie M., yes, I used my fingers. Sometimes the yolk sac broke, but other times it pulled off with no tearing. It is slippery, but not difficult.

    The crust was crispy, but not rock-hard. I don't know how it would stand up to a baking, what with the Oreo insides being part of the crust and all---might they undergo some weird chemical transformation? A bit of web research would be my next step if I were you... Good luck!

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  11. This pie looks so good. Thanks for the recipe! I really look forward to making this. I just hope mine turns out as pretty as yours!

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  12. Thank you so much for coming by and linking this up to Sweets for a Saturday. I truly appreciate your support. Hope that you'll be able to join in again next week. By then, I'll have a cute button that you can grab and add to your post.

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