Can you say chocolate??! Before I go any further, I would like to provide a breakdown of each layer in this decadent dessert because as you can see in the photo above, there are quite a few! We begin with a simple yet delicious Oreo cookie crust. On top of the crust is a gooey flourless chocolate cake. On top of the cake is a rich and creamy chocolate pudding. Lastly we have our final layer, our topping, which is a freshly made light and fluffy whipped cream. MmmMMmMmM! Ok, so welcome to my blog! I am hosting this week for Club Baked! Yay me!! I was thrilled when I was asked to host and specifically choose a pie because I had been eyeing this recipe since I first opened the Baked Explorations book! I knew immediately that this was the recipe I was going to pick! It's a variation of Mississippi Mud Pie although it's really very cake like and thus listed under the cake section of the book. I am a chocolate lover and if you are too then you have to make this pie at least once. That's right, you HAVE TO!!! Clearly, I have very strong feelings towards this pie and I have to admit I enjoy eating healthy! When I'm craving chocolate, I like to have few cocoa nibs to satisfy me. Or sometimes I'll buy one of those specialty chocolate bars, you know the ones that are carb free, sugar free, everything free basically and have a small piece of that. I try to get my chocolate fix without consuming too much sugar and bad stuff! So with that said, I have to share a quick little story. I was shopping at a new specialty grocery store that just opened up down the street from me called The Fresh Market and this is where I picked up all of my ingredients to make the pie. The Fresh Market is like a cross between Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, they say they are an upscale grocery store and I found them to sell a lot of fresh, organic, and natural foods. Anyway, when I was checking out, the cashier made a huge deal that I was buying a package of Oreos! She turned around to the cashier next to her to show him what I was buying and said she wasn't even aware they carried them in the store. She went on to tell me that she was sure I was the first person to buy Oreos there and that she didn't think their customers ate them! I was a little taken back, but to be honest, I was also surprised they carried Oreos and I think the last time I bought them was for the same reason, to make a pie crust! OK, I thought that was kind of funny and wanted to share! I wouldn't put Oreos up there on top of my list of odd foods I've purchased, haha! Anyway, back to the pie!!..…… I think that one really good thing about this Mississippi Mud Pie is that you can have a very small piece and be satisfied because there are so many layers of chocolate and depth of flavor in each bite. There's a brewed coffee and instant espresso powder requirement in the recipe and when you take a bite, I found that you can actually taste all of the components, which makes it so wonderful! Alright, enough of my rambling….check out the recipe and some photos below! Also, pleaseee check out all of the Club: Baked member's blogs for their rendition of this lovely pie! Enjoy!!!
FOR THE CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST
16 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies such as Oreos (35-40 cookies), crushed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces good-quality chocolate (60-70%), chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspon instant espresso powder
1/4 cup strong coffee, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
FOR THE CHOCOLATE PUDDING
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 ounces good-qality dark chocolate (60-70%)
SIMPLE WHIPPED CREAM
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 300 degrees
Lightly coat a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick spray then line the pan with parchment paper and coat that as well.
- The chocolate cookie crust is easy as pie to make! (hehee) Process the cookies in a food processor into fine crumbs. Melt the butter, pour over the crumbs and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined. Spread the crumb mixture out evenly into your prepared pan leaving about 1/2 inch between the top of the crust and the top of the pan. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes to let it set then bake in the oven for about 10 mins. Set aside and let cool on a wire rack.
Increase oven temp to 350 degrees
- The cake comes together in a small amount of time, and already is starting to smell delish! Using a double broiler, carefully melt butter and chocolate together then set aside to let cool.
- In a small bowl, mix together the espresso powder, coffee, salt and vanilla. Set aside, it will be used shortly.
- Beat egg yolks in the bowl of a standing mixer with 1/2 cup of the sugar until the mixture is light and has almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. (this step actually took a little longer for me, so I allowed the mixer to do it's thing until the amount doubled)
- Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on low for 5 seconds. Add the coffee mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on low for 5 seconds.
- Beat egg whites until foamy. To do this, either use a clean bowl with the whisk attachment on your standing mixer or it can be done by hand with a whisk, but you'll need some strength and it will take much longer..trust me I have done this many times in my pre-mixer days! If using the mixer, gradually increase the whisk speed to high and add in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until the soft peaks form.
- Now, fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture. You want to do this in two parts and ensure you are careful! Start with 1 cup of the mixture. Slow and steady wins the race here as you don't want the egg whites to break! Oh, and be sure not to over mix either! Once incorporated, pour the batter onto the cookie crust (which should be cooled by now) and cake for 38-42 minutes. The cake will be set however, it will still jiggle slightly and may not have the appearance of being completely cooked. As the cake cools, it will look sunken in the middle. (Mine also cracked a bit and I was worried, but the consistency was perfect and it was very gooey and moist! So don't be alarmed if yours looks this way too!)
- Tightly wrap and refrigerate the cake for a minimum of three hours or overnight.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt.
- Add the egg yolks and whisk until combined. The mixture will look like a thick paste
- Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent it from burning on the bottom of the pan. (I found this step to be long and tiring, haha. You really have to stand there and constantly whisk until it boils on medium heat, which for me took some time. I think it's worth it, because who want's burned pudding? Not me! So, make sure you do whisk the entire time!)
- Once the mixture reaches the boiling point, let it boil for 30 seconds then transfer to a medium bowl. Add the butter, vanilla, and chocolate and whisk until combined. Continue to whisk for a few minutes to allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Let the pudding stand for 15 mins at room temperature then cover with a piece of plastic wrap and press it directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least 3 hours. (I let mine chill overnight. I checked it after 3 hours, but it didn't seem like it was completely set yet, so I just waited until the next day)
ASSEMBLE THE PIE…FINALLY!
- Stir the pudding to loosen it, then pour it on top of the cake keeping it within the cookie-crust border. (Mine went over the border, whoopsss…but the whole thing still held together nicely…and there was some extra pudding left over too) Use an offset spatula to spread the pudding into an even layer. Put the pie back in the fridge while you prepare the whipped cream.
- Pour the heavy cream into a chilled metal bowl and beat with a chilled whisk until soft peaks form. Sprinkle the sugar onto the cream then continue to whisk vigorously until stiff peaks form.
- Take the pie out of the refrigerator and spread the fresh whipped cream on top.
*side note: The side note in the Baked cookbook suggests to break this recipe up over the course of two days due to all of the steps involved. I made everything the same day except the whipped cream. I let the pudding set overnight in the fridge then, the next day, made the whipped cream and assembled the pie. Although there are many steps, they aren't too difficult and if you do break it up, it makes the process that much easier. It is worth the effort!!*