Chocolate pie is a great thing. It satisfies so many sweet tooth cravings all at once that it’s kind of a super-dessert: chocolate, pie, pudding, whipped cream. This particular pie recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, the recipes from which are from a very popular bakery in London. While I don’t really like Valentine’s Day, I have to admit that this is just the type of dessert that would be perfect for the big day. So while my boyfriend and I are enjoying take-out food and a goofy movie, I hope that at least one of you readers are trying to woo your special someone with this delicious pie!
This chocolate pie is extremely rich, so rich that you only need a small piece to feel full and satisfied. But I won’t judge you if you have more than one. Or if you eat the rest for breakfast, as a friend of mine who will remain unnamed did last week… just be prepared for an early morning sugar high if you do so!
I’ve been saving this recipe for a few days, in part because I was still questioning my sanity for having chosen to try this recipe again the same weekend as the Super Bowl. I really don’t know what I was thinking. And also because I decided it was well-suited for the weekend before Valentine’s Day. But I’ve been eying this recipe ever since I got the cookbook for Christmas (Thanks sis!), and when it turned out this time, I just couldn’t wait anymore.
If you have a special event coming up, a dinner party or a birthday party, I would definitely suggest this pie. One of the biggest perks of this pie is that you make 90 percent of it a day ahead of time, so all that you need to do the day of the event is make the whipped cream topping and add any chocolate shavings or cocoa powder you might like. And even that can be done in the morning, then put it back into the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it. That will help the whipped cream set as well, so that it doesn’t all slide off as you slice the pie.
Start with your pie crust. This pie needs a partially blind baked crust. If you’d like to make your own pie crust, I suggest following this tutorial from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, put together by a friend of hers named Pam who happens to be a pie crust genius. Personally I use all butter when I make pie, but if you can get a hold of all natural lard like she talks about then go for it. I used a store-bought crust this time (gasp!), in part because I was at the boyfriend’s house to make this pie, and didn’t have enough arms to carry everything that I needed up there. (We found out the hard way that this is one thing that just can’t be made in my dollhouse kitchen.) Even without a homemade crust it was delicious!
To partially blind bake the crust, I followed the directions from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (brilliant Christmas gift- thanks sis!), which is also where this pie recipe comes from. To blind bake the pie, heat the oven to 325. When you’ve rolled out your pie crust, place it in the pie plate and fit it in place, trimming any excess dough. Don’t worry if there’s small holes, just patch it with the trimmed pieces. Place a piece of parchment paper over the dough, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans, enough to at least cover the bottom of the pie, best if they are a little higher around the sides. This will keep the dough from puffing up significantly and from shrinking too much. I use dried beans because they are WAY cheaper and can be used over and over again. Just keep them separate from your other beans so that you don’t forget and try to eat them… The book called for baking for 10 minutes with the baking beans/weights, and 10 minutes without. The dough was still just barely undercooked when it was done, which is perfectly partially baked.
While the pie crust is baking, get all of your ingredients ready. The recipe called for chopped dark chocolate, but I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, and they were perfect. If you use those chips, 5 oz. is half a bag, or roughly 1 3/4 cups (I weighed them to be sure). If you chop your own chocolate or use a different brand make sure that you measure properly.
Next, you will need to melt the chocolate, butter and corn syrup together. To do this you will need a double boiler pot, or a glass bowl that fits over the top of a medium size pot. Heat water in the pot to a simmer, then place either the glass bowl or double boiler top so that it rests on the top of the pot. The bottom of the bowl should NOT touch the water.Stir the chocolate above the simmering water until the steam has melted all of the chocolate, butter and corn syrup. Mix to be sure that all three ingredients are fully incorporated, then set aside to cool slightly (if you pour it into the pudding base while hot it will scramble the eggs).
Once the eggs and sugar are well-mixed and the chocolate mixture has cooled slightly (you should be able to touch it without it burning your finger), mix the chocolate into the eggs and sugar as well. Mix them with the electric mixer or stand mixer on low, without over mixing. It shouldn’t take long to have it all combined.
When done, the top of the pie with be firm, with a crust of sorts, but the middle will still have a slight ‘wobble’ to it. The book suggests checking the pie at 30 minutes to make sure that the pudding filling or crust aren’t burning. Our pie took the full 40 minutes to cook (after 35 it was still extremely wobbly, at 40 it was a very slight wobble). Let the pie cool completely, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
The following day, preferably at least an hour before you want to serve the pie, make the whipped cream to top the pie. The first time I made this pie, I made the whipped cream plain, just like the recipe called for. It was good, but I felt like it was missing something. So the second time I added a tiny bit of vanilla and powdered sugar. Both were good, but I like the second version a little bit better.
To make the whipped cream, all that you need to do is beat 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks. That means that when you turn off the electric mixer and pull it out of the bowl, the whipped cream will stand up on its own and lightly curl over at the top. If you aren’t sure if it’s done keep mixing… it will only become stiffer, which won’t mess up the whipped cream, just give the pie a different texture.
When the whipped cream is done, spoon or pour the whipped cream over the pie, and smooth it across the top. Then you can decorate the top with dark chocolate shavings or cocoa powder. Or both… totally up to you! To easily shave chocolate without it chipping off, run your finger over the edge of the chocolate bar a couple of times to warm it up, the run the bar across a vegetable peeler or cheese grater. Then sprinkle them over the top of the pie.
Mississippi Mud Pie
Recipe Adapted from the HummingBird Bakery cookbook
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (1 3/4 cups or 1/2 bag of Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)
3 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pie crust, partially blind baked
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
shaved bittersweet chocolate or cocoa powder for decorating
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Partially blind bake pie crust (10 minutes with baking beans/weights, 10 minutes without). Set crust aside.
2. Place chocolate, butter, and corn syrup into a glass bowl, or the top of a double boiler. Place over a pot of simmering water, being sure not to let the bowl touch the water. Leave until the chocolate is completely melted, stirring occasionally until smooth. When done, remove from the heat until it cools slightly.
3. While the chocolate is cooling, mix the eggs, vanilla and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in a stand mixer. Beat thoroughly until completely combined.
4. When the chocolate has cooled slightly, mix into the egg mixture slowly with the electric mixer on low. Mix thoroughly until combined, but don’t over mix.
5. Pour the pudding mixture into the partially baked pie crust, and bake at 325 for 35-40 minutes. Check occasionally in the last 10 minutes to be sure that it isn’t burning. When the pie is done, the top will be firm (a crust will have formed), but the center will wobble slightly. Let pie cool completely, then cool in the refrigerator overnight.
6. The next day, pour the whipping cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar into a large bowl, and beat until soft peaks form. When done, spoon and spread over the pie and top with chocolate shavings or cocoa powder. Chill until ready to serve.