my favorite dessert, ever: a rich and decadent baked chocolate pie topped with whipped cream

cooking minette's chocolate piei love this pie so much i allow myself to indulge in it only once a year at thanksgiving-which makes it one of the many reasons i look forward to the holiday all year long! i typically make two pies, one for myself, and one for everyone else…okay, i’m kidding,  but it’s not easy keeping this pie around once you bring it out-it disappears pretty quickly and barely leaves a crumb behind. sometimes i wake up early the day after and practically run (not an easy task the day after so much food/drink consumption) to the refrigerator for another bite, but my kids have often beat me to it (can you believe this?) and i go back to bed disappointed and empty handed (or mouthed). next year i might consider making a third pie. or better not. the secret to making this amazing pie is using really good quality chocolate and making a perfect pie crust (which, full disclosure-i didn’t do-i bought a really good quality organic frozen pie crust, which was fine)

it took me a long while to find and fine-tune a good *recipe-typically recipes for chocolate pie involve making a pudding or custard that is poured into a baked shell, and not baked again. this one (THE-one) is almost a pie/flour-less chocolate cake combo in one. what can i say? it is beyond delicious if you’re a chocolate (and real whipped cream) loving sort of person (me). i have 360 more days to go before i bite into another lovely and creamy slice. really?

ingredients for one decadent chocolate pie:

cooking minette's chocolate pie

  • one pie crust (store bought or homemade)
  • for filling:
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate (this time i combined really good quality dark chocolate with semi sweet chocolate-slightly less sweet, but so good)
  • 1/2 cup butter (sweet unsalted)
  • slightly less than 1/2 cup sugar
  • three (3) organic eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • for topping:
  • 1 cup (or slightly more if you prefer) heavy organic whipping cream
  • a small piece of good chocolate of choice, shaved with a microplane grater
  • 1-2 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp good vanilla

method (keeping in mind i ‘m not a baker…so keeping it as simple as possible):

 

chocolate pie-cooking minette

 

  1. for baking the crust: place rolled out crust in a pie dish, and fold over/decorate the sides with your fingers or a fork. make a few holes in the bottom with a fork, then cover with foil (completely) and weigh the foil down with baking weights (or beans or something similar). bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, then remove foil and weights, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake a few more minutes (5-7) until  golden. remove from the oven. REDUCE OVEN HEAT TO 325 degrees.
  2. start by melting the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler (or make one by placing a smaller sauce pan/pot in a bigger one which contains the boiling water). bring the water in the lower pan to a simmer, then add chocolate and butter to the top pan and stir with a whisk until melted.
  3. beat eggs and sugar together on high until you have a fluffy creamy mixture, about 5 minutes (give or take).
  4. blend (fold) the chocolate and egg mixture together until fully incorporated and combined well.
  5. pour mixture into pre baked shell. bake in 325 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. remove from oven, allow it to cool. refrigerate overnight for best results.
  6. whip the cream with sugar & vanilla until stiff and fluffy. cover the top of the refrigerated pie with a layer of whipped cream…almost there… sprinkle carefully with chocolate shavings (try not to touch flakes with your hand as they melt easily). INDULGE!!!

cooking minette's chocolate pie

*original recipe (tweaked and adapted) from: http://www.instructables.com/id/Chocolate-Pie/

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easy & delicious banana bread: yes, i baked!

how to bake a moist & delicious loaf of banana bread when you can’t bake:

banana chocolate chip bread

something about bananas. you either buy too many or not enough. sometimes they don’t seem  to meet the household demand (such as in the smoothie craze that was going on at our house recently), while others (the smoothie phase seems to have come to an abrupt end and i have not heard the blender even once in weeks), they sit in the fruit bowl looking lost, lonely and gray (more like black). if i’m staying on top of things, i peel and cut them to store in the freezer for use in acai bowls (while being mildly aware they’d be perfect for banana bread).  having very little confidence in my own baking skills, i’m not sure why this time the recurring (bananabread) thought stuck around long enough for me to dig up an old recipe my aunt had shared with me several years ago. the new baker in me decided the recipe had too much (white) sugar, not enough bananas, and was badly in need of cinnamon, dark chocolate chips, and walnuts to make the loaf just that much better (for you). by the look of things (the resulting moist and rather good looking loaf of deliciousness), a new baker may have been born! okay, i won’t go that far, but hey-maybe she can bake a good little loaf of (banana) bread. yes she can.

ingredients for one loaf of cooking minette’s {chocolatey} banana bread:

low sugar banana bread

  • 2 organic eggs, beaten
  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled and mushed
  • 1/2 cup raw brown sugar
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup *vegetable oil (i use avocado or grape seed oil)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp good vanilla
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (or half all purpose and half ww)
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) dark chocolate chips
  • a handful of walnuts, roughly chopped (or keep them whole for topping)
  • *applesauce may be substituted for a lighter, yet less fluffy and moist version

preheat oven to 350 degrees. beat the eggs in a bowl, then add sugar, crushed (mushed up) bananas, vanilla, and oil, mix well. combine mixture with the dry ingredients (you can either add the walnuts inside the batter or keep them for the top only-add to the top after pouring into loaf pan). mix well making sure everything is evenly and thoroughly combined, then pour into a lightly greased loaf pan. sprinkle a teaspoon or two of brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon over the top (along with walnuts) before baking for about 50-60 minutes. allow the loaf to cool before removing from pan and slicing. yumyum. *for muffins: use same recipe-reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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