Monday, 1 April 2013

Chocolate Pudding Pie

"Chocolate is the first luxury. It has so many things wrapped up in it: Deliciusness in the moment, childhood memories, and that grin-inducing feeling of getting a reward for being good."
– Mariska Hargitay
After months of being away from the kitchen – partly due to work, partly due to knowing I wasn’t doing myself any favours by baking so much – I decided I needed to make something for a friend’s birthday. Now in my mind, birthday means chocolate, and while we may be older (definitely not wiser) and fancy, a birthday still means chocolate. I decided to make a chocolate pie I had done before and loved before.

It’s ever so satisfying, the chocolate is light and wobbly and jiggles temptingly on your spoon, the crust is flaky and a little bit crispy which gives it the bite it needs. Im ridiculously tempted by all things chocolate and this was no exception. Am I too modest to say I love my own desserts? No! I love this pie!

As always with a pie, you will need to do this in two parts – making the pie base and making the filling. Take a little bit of the morning (or early afternoon to make the base), the filling is so easy it takes ten minutes to do. With the amount of dough this recipe produces, you may need to make more filling for the second pie. If you do, make sure to halve the recipe rather than make the same amount again it's not needed. 

Chocolate Pudding Pie

Adapted from the ever so clever SmittenKitchen 
You will need

Pie Dough
2½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar (I prefer to use castor sugar sometimes the large bits in my regular sugar don’t dissolve entirely)
1 teaspoon table salt
225 grams unsalted butter, very cold
½ cup ice-cold water
I love my spoons
Chocolate Filling
¼ cup cornstarch (also known as cornflour)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt

3 cups whole milk
120 gms bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60%) chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the dough
Step 1
Put flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and make sure they have combined.
Step 2
Cube the butter and add it to the mix. You can use a pastry fork to blend but I think what works best is using your hands. Break up larger pieces of butter with your fingers and continue doing this till everything feels uniform and looks like large yellow peas.
Crumbly pea mixture
Step 3
Once you have done that, start adding cold water to the mixture. This is the point where I turn the bowl over onto my countertop and start kneading with my hands. I don’t have the patience to use a spatula or spoon. I managed to bring the dough together using only ½ a cup of cold water, but it is possible you will need another ¼ cup.
It will come together and look like this
Step 4
Divide the dough into two, cling wrap it and chill for an hour.
I like taking pictures! This is half the quantity
Step 5
When you’re ready, roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. The amount of dough here is enough to make 2 9-inch pies (you know, so you can have MORE). Roll the dough into an 11-inch round, then fit into a 9-inch pie plate (make sure it has a removable bottom).
Trim the edge – here you can either leave a little bit as an overhang which you can then style, or cut away all the excess pastry. I’ve done both and I can tell you it makes no difference to the taste.
Step 6
Prick bottom and side of your pastry all over with a fork and then chill it for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 190°C
(Now I’m sure you’ve heard that you need to line a pastry before blind baking it to make sure it doesn’t bubble up from its base or sides. In the absence of pie weights use a piece of waxed paper weighed down with either rice or dal. It does the trick perfectly.)
Step 7
Bake until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil, then bake shell on baking sheet until pale golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool shell.
Now you can start with your pudding!

Step 1
Add the cornflour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt into a large-ish saucepan and put onto medium heat. Stir it for a few minutes to allow the flour time to cook slightly.
Forgive the mess all around
Step 2
Gradually add the milk and allow it to boil. The edges of the liquid will begin thickening first, at which point you must make sure they don’t burn.
Gloopy, goopy and ever so loopy
Step 3
Boil, whisk, boil, whick until the mixture is evenly thickened.
I love bright kitchen utensils
Step 4
Remove from heat.
Step 5
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla essence and all the chocolate and whisk till smooth.
This is what 60 grams of chocolate looks like
Step 6
Pour the mixture into the cool tart shell (for maximum smoothness, pass the chocolate through a sieve to take out any and all lumps) and refridgerate.
Serve with cream, ice cream, or more chocolate if you’d like!
(The original recipe asks for whipped cream to be added to this pie, however I think cream detracts from the essential awesomeness that chocolate is, and of course I am right!)

I couldn't decide about the crust and left it on - it fell to bits when unmolding!
This pie can stay out and grace your dinner or lunch table for hours without losing its shape, however I can’t promise anything about your shape if you eat too much!
I spie with my little eye... mmm... chocolate.