Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie

When I feel like indulging myself in chocolate, I tend to rely on this recipe. It’s fast, it’s simple and it’s extremely tasty.

What you’ll need:

2 cups of Whole Milk

2/3 cup of Sugar

1 egg

3 tablespoons of cornstarch

pinch of salt

1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

2.5 ounces of Ghirardelli Chocolate (60%)

Whipped cream

shaved chocolate

1 deep dish pie crust (the frozen kind is what I use, there’s no shame in doing so)

Our misenplace today will involve baking our premade pie shells. First preheat the oven to 325*. Next fill the empty pie shells with dry beans to stop the pie shells from puffing up. Were going to bake the pie shells for about 15 minutes, being careful not to over bake the pie shells.

After the 15 minutes are up, check the pies, you should notice browning on the crust, that’s a good indicator to tell if the pie crusts are finished or not. Next remove the pies from the oven and pour off the beans, some beans may require some coercing to come out of the crust, but they should come out easy.

For the filling:

In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup of milk, 2/3 sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt and egg.

Mix the ingredients until combined with a whisk.

set the mixture aside.

In a saucepan, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk.

Gently heat the milk on low temperature until you see bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan.

Pour the heated milk into the milk/cocoa mixture very slowly and gradually, making sure to whisk the mixture constantly.

Pour this mixture back into the saucepan that we used to heat the milk earlier. Cook on medium until the mixture becomes very thick. Again, making sure to constantly stir the mixture to prevent it from burning. When the mixture thickens, turn the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the prebaked pie shell and smooth the mixture evenly.

 Press plastic wrap directly onto the chocolate pudding mixture, making sure every inch of covered with plastic wrap.

Allow this to cool completely, You can refrigerate overnight like I chose to do and continue this the next day.

The next day, remove the pie from the fridge and take off the plastic wrap.

the first thing you’ll notice is that the filling has thickened. This is what we are looking for.

Now top the pie with your whipped cream.

You don’t have to smooth it out perfectly, leave it messy, it’s rustic looking. Top this with the shaved chocolate.

Now you can of course place this back into the fridge and wait for dinner to come around or…

You can cut yourself a big slice and dust it with the same cocoa powder you used in the recipe and indulge in a chocolate induced coma.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I’m a strong, strong believer in romance and being romantic. However, if you’ve waited until the second week in February, on one specific day to show any sort of romance at all, then sadly, as the Internet Meme goes:

Okay, fine, you are not romantic, you show no signs of an attempt at romance all year-long, you are totally inept at being romantic. What do you do? You go out and you BUY something PRE-made. You don’t take the extra time to make something personal and shows that your significant other that you care.

Let me offer something to you that’s quick, easy, and fun to do.

What you need:

20 long stem Strawberries (usually available at this time of year)

60% Ghirardelli Chocolate chips

White Chocolate Chips

For our Mise En Place:

Carefully wash the Strawberries, making sure not to bruise them. In other words; show them some love.

Take your Chocolate chips and divide them into thirds. The easy way to do this is to weigh them, then divide mathematically by 3. Then to weigh out that amount. I unfortunately am not rich, I cannot afford a digital scale and have to measure by eyeball.

Add into a double broiler 2/3’s of the chocolate.

Turn on the heat, and allow the water to slowly come to a slight simmer. The lower the temperature the better. Cook the Chocolate until it’s melted fully.

Now remove the top half of the double broiler from the heat. Add in the last 1/3 of chips and stir until they are melted completely.

Now, were going to dip our strawberries into the chocolate. To do so, gather the leaves around the stem up, so none of them are hanging down. Dip the strawberry into the chocolate and give it a quick twist to make sure you have the maximum ratio of chocolate to strawberry. Remove the strawberry from the chocolate and shake off the excess, as you shake, you’ll see the stream of chocolate dripping of become less, and less.

Next, move the chocolate covered strawberry to a baking tray, covered with a silicon mat. (please try to use silicon, chocolate sticks to wax paper, believe it or not)

And

Repeat the process again with the white chocolate. Now heed this warning, white chocolate is extremely volatile. You must make sure no excess water is left after cleaning the double boiler, and you must make sure no steam from the  double boiler enters the compound. It will render your white chocolate into a big steaming pile of..well you get the idea.

Once the white chocolate is melted, you are going to drizzle the white chocolate over the chocolate covered strawberries. There are many ways to achieve this, but I really like the messy, rustic look of using a fork and waving it over the chocolate strawberries like you have lost your mind.  (you can imagine you are a wizard, casting a spell, if you’d like)

And

Just a quick note about the chocolate melting, The reason you are adding only 2/3rd’s of the chocolate, melting it, then adding another 1/3rd off the heat is because you are doing a sort of “quick temper” with the chocolate. Doing this will cause your chocolate to harden properly and give it a decent “snap” when bitten into. If you were to just chuck the chocolate into the pan and melt it, when you attempted to dry it, the chocolate would take days to become hard. and even then, you would not get a “snap” from the chocolate. Instead you’ll end up with a sort of glaze or topping that doesn’t really harden unless refrigerated or frozen.

Hopefully I helped someone out who is looking for a quick and easy way to say that they care about their loved ones, without involving too much of your time, and bankroll.

Rum Balls

Rum Balls

It is was Christmas time, which usually for means for me a barrage of baking and preparing foods. However, this Christmas I was lucky enough to spend my Christmas in the Philippines. Most Filipinos receive money as a gift, so naturally the malls and stores are open on Christmas day. (Unlike in the US where you are lucky to find a small grocery store open Christmas day.) Of course, me and my wife witnessed this first hand, as we had to go to Mall of Asia on Christmas day to buy Qui, our (Lhasa Apso) some things. We quickly regretted doing so, as the place was elbow to elbow packed.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on, for the recipe:

Take vanilla wafers and crush them, you can use a food processor, but I just used my hands, it’s more fun! You should have about 3 cups of crushed wafers.

In a separate bowl, Sift 1 1/3 cup of powdered sugar and  tablespoons of Ghirardelli Cocoa.

Add the sifted ingredients to the crushed vanilla wafers, and stir until well combined.

The mixture should look similar to this. Don’t worry if it’s not finely crumbled, it’s not important.

Next, add 4 tablespoons of dark corn syrup (or dark karo syrup) and 1/2 of any dark rum of your choice. I actually chose to use a spiced run called “Sailor Jerry’s”

If this mixture is too wet add more powdered sugar, if it is too dry, add more rum.

You’re going to have to get your hands dirty here, I found that if I used my fingertips to pinch off a rollable size, I was able to roll it in my palms without too much hassle. Also, I actually rolled the entire batch into balls, before I rolled them into sugar. It just worked easier for me this way.

You can roll the balls into cocoa, or powdered sugar, but I prefer granulated sugar.

This is the hard part, you have to let the balls sit. You could eat them right away, but you’d be cheating yourself. They need to rest for at least 3 days, however a full week would be best. This gives them time to dry out, and for the alcohol to mellow from strong, to mild.