Sunday, September 18, 2011

a Time for Chocolate ... Chocolate Indulgence Sour Cream Pie




It's sort of been one of those weeks.  I had three paragraphs all typed up, venting about work, my skin, my commute...  but I'm trying to complain less.  One of the first things I noticed about Jamie when he and I started spending more and more time together after we started dating was that he never says anything bad about anyone else.  Really, never.  Not about his family, not about his friends, not about his coworkers, not about me.  If he has a complaint, he keeps it to himself.  About the only people who really tick him off are the guys at the car dealer maintenance shop - not too long ago he dropped his car off for some routine maintenance, and when he picked it up, there was a two-foot crack in his windshield (which was not there before) that they feigned complete ignorance about.  Needless to say, they ended up replacing it.






Being with Jamie these two-plus years, seeing how kind and patient he is and how he treats others, continues to inspire me to be a better person myself.  And, it makes me want to make him chocolate pie.  Because every guy deserves a pie now and then.  :)






I seem to be "cupcake challenged" for some reason, but when it comes to pastries like pies and tarts, I hit the mark far more often.  Case in point, these S'mores Brownie Cupcakes.





Yes, they sure do look pretty, and although they were soft and gooey when they came out of the oven, they became strangely dry and hard very quickly.  I hate wasting ingredients, so I was able to repurpose these by crushing the brownies into crumbs and using them for the chocolate crust of my pie.





I'm especially proud of this pie since I made it just from ingredients I had on hand, and the creamy, rich chocolate filling turned out so much better, so much more decadent than I had dared to hope.  It's very thick and fudgey, almost like a flour-less chocolate cake, and you would never know it wasn't made with butter and cream.  Chocolate is the star here, and if you have any berries on hand, they would be fantastic served on the side.  I found a jar of cherries in red wine from the red wine cherry sauce I made a while back to serve with rack of lamb, and tonight we spooned a few of those on the pie.  Delicious!






Jamie was out for a while on Saturday when the idea for the pie came to me, and I was happy to present this to him for after dinner Saturday night.  There are other possibilities for this recipe, too.  After you've cooked the pudding, instead of chilling it in a pie, you can spoon it into bowls and eat it warm.  Or pour it into individual ramekins and chill, to serve as chocolate pots de creme.  This recipe makes 8 servings.






Chocolate Indulgence Sour Cream Pie
  • 1 no-bake chocolate cookie crust
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • extra cocoa powder and powdered sugar for dusting, and whipped cream for garnish

Place a pan of water on the stove and bring it to a simmer.  Prepare the chocolate crust and set aside.

In a heat-proof bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar.  Add the sour cream, vanilla,  and cocoa powder and whisk until well combined.  Add the chopped chocolate.

Place the bowl on top of the pan of water (the bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water and the water should not be boiling too rapidly).  Hold the end of an instant read thermometer in the mixture and whisk constantly as the chocolate melts and the mixture becomes smooth.  Continue whisking constantly and cook the pudding until it becomes thick and has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  (Why 165?  Because that's when it looked right to me.)  The total cooking time for me took 10 minutes exactly, but may take more or less time for you, which is why the thermometer will be your friend to judge when it's done.

Remove from the heat.  Pour immediately into the prepared crust and smooth out the top.  Take a piece of plastic wrap and cover the pie, so that the plastic is resting against the pudding (to prevent a "skin" from forming as it cools).  Chill in the fridge until firm, about 3-4 hours.

Just before serving, use a sifter or a small mesh strainer to dust the top of the pie with cocoa powder (which will also help to cover up any indentations left in the pudding by the plastic wrap).  Dust individual slices with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream and berries.

Makes 8 servings.