“Do you want to make dessert?” I asked my grandson Daniel last week in Austin.
“YES.” The kid is definitely a good branch on the family tree.
“What should we make?” I’m thinking cookies, brownies, cake, …
“Pie,” Daniel said with confidence.
“Uh, sure. What kind?” I was a bit stunned.
“Chocolate.” Ah, he’s very, very much my grandson.
“I’ll look at the recipes on my computer,” I told him.
“Don’t bother. I’ll get one.” He sat at the computer in the kitchen.
Okay, the kid wants a race? No contest. I go to my directory of recipes and start the search for “chocolate” and “pie” and …
“Found it!” Daniel exclaimed. Apparently, if you eleven years old and facile, you can beat the crap out of your grandfather.
Oh, well. Daniel found this decadent recipe on myrecipes.com and we duly made it. The pie is a delight. Easy to create, very easy to eat. It’s a true treat. For the crust, we used the Great Graham Cracker Crust I posted here yesterday. One pie lasted one hour with five pie lovers.
This is just the rich, end-the-meal-with-a-bang dessert you want for your weekend barbeque or picnic. If you have a budding chef in your family, there is plenty for them to do and learn from here.
Chocolate Icebox Pie
Yield: one 9-inch pie
- ⅔ cup milk
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate morsels
- ¼ cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- 1 cup whipping cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup chopped pecans, optionally toasted
- 1 2-ounce chunk of milk chocolate, finely grated
Heat the milk until it just begins to bubble around the edge in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat (do not oil). Remove from the heat. Whisk in the chocolate morsels until melted. Cool slightly.
Stir together the cold water and cornstarch until dissolved.
Whisk the cornstarch mixture, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute or until the mixture thickens and is smooth. Do not overcook.
Removed from the heat, and whisk in the butter. Spoon in the mixture, which will be thick now, into the piecrust. Smooth the top, cover lightly with foil, and refrigerate for 8 hours.
Beat the whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar beating until stiff peaks are achieved. Add the vanilla and fold in by hand.
Spread the whipped cream evenly over the pie filling. Sprinkle the nuts and grated chocolate over the whipped cream top.
Source: Adapted from myrecipes.com
Chef and author Ed Engoron has written a very beautiful book Choclatique: 150 Simply Elegant Desserts with a very intriguing concept: make chocolate desserts using different chocolate ganaches instead of chocolate or cocoa directly. His reason, chocolate can be temperamental and in certain recipes, like fudge, a temper tantrum can lead to disappointment.
So, Ed proposes that you have on hand these ganaches:
- Dark Chocolate
- Hot Fudge
- Milk Chocolate
- Spiced Azteca
- White Chocolate
Then you can open Choclatique, find something devilishly tempting and create it, with far greater ease and more certain success. His 150 desserts are, by the way, quite elegant. These are just the stunning goodies you’ll want to roll out for a party or family celebration. You will draw compliments, between bites. And, best of all, you probably won’t have any leftovers to concern you.
Does this ganache concept work? Yes. Now, I have only made the Dark Chocolate Ganache and I have only made his Fabulous Fudge recipe, but I can report wonderful success. I’m ready to make all the other ganaches. I can’t wait for the look of surprise and admiration on Suzen’s face when she opens the refrigerator door and see that all that bread flour of hers – taking up so much shelf space – has been replaced by gleaming containers of much more practical ganache. I’m sure I’ll be showered in compliments.
Well, I’m sure to be showered.
Here is the recipe for the ganache. The Fabulous Fudge recipe will be the next post on this blog. Please look for it tomorrow.
One note: I did not use the chocolate extract and I find my ganache to be lovely. With over a pound of chocolate already involved, I’m not sure if a teaspoon or so of flavor extract can make a strong difference. I’ll be experimenting.
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Yield: about 2 pounds
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ⅔ cup light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened
- Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate [at least 64%], coarsely chopped
- 1 ¼ teaspoons chocolate extract
In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the water, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk until blended. Remove the pan from the heat.
Immediately add the chocolate and chocolate extract to the pan and whisk until smooth. Set aside for about 1 hour to cool completely, whisking every 15 minutes or so to keep the ganache emulsified.
When cool, transfer the ganache to a rigid plastic or glass container, cover, date, and refrigerate for up to three months.
Source: Choclatique by Ed Engoron