CEiMB: Double Chocolate Pudding Pie
After a couple of hectic weeks and missing CEiMB for the second week in a row, I was determined to make this recipe; not to mention, who doesn’t love chocolate pie?! I was skeptical about I’ll Eat You‘s choice of White Gazpacho with Grapes and Toasted Almonds and opted not to participate last week but have been excited about this Double Chocolate Pudding Pie chosen by Handle the Heat for a few weeks now.
Since Ryan is both the true chocolate lover of the house and also the one most interested in baking, I enlisted his help on this one. I love when Ryan helps me in the kitchen because it inevitably turns into a good time. We spend most of the time laughing and goofing off. Today’s recipe ended with chocolate smeared on Ryan’s face and a wrestling match on the kitchen floor as he tried to get some on mine. Those are the moments Saturday afternoons are made for.
For the most part, wrestling aside, this recipe was really simple to prepare. I was most worried about the crust because I can’t remember the last time I made my own pie crust, and I am obviously not a professional since it was quite jagged looking. I did like being able to lighten the recipe by using light butter and reduced-fat graham crackers though. Even though the crust didn’t look very pretty, it was easy to make. My only complaint about the crust is that we barely tasted it in the finished product; the pudding filling is so flavorful that it overwhelms the crust, making it almost unnecessary.
As for the pudding part itself, it was the part I was most excited about at the beginning but also the part I became most worried about as we made our way through the process. We used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder because it’s what we had on hand, and it gave the filling a really strange color. It was almost a shade of purplish gray which isn’t all that appetizing looking nor reminiscent of chocolate. This is also the point where the whisking began. This task had been delegated to Ryan who said, “Well, this sucks ass. I love chocolate, but ten minutes of whisking?!” I ended up taking over after a couple minutes because his back was hurting, or so he said. It seemed like the mixture would never thicken up! Finally it did, and then it was time to add the gelatin which nearly made me throw up. First of all, it smelled funny, and I wasn’t expecting that. As I went to pour it into the chocolate mixture, I realized it had started to set already, and it was globby. Watching it plop down into the chocolate made us both reconsider the whole pie.
The real fun began when I went to pour the mixture into the crust. My crust was a little uneven, so one side had a part that was lower than the rest. The filling quickly reached that level and then some. I wasn’t sure it was all going to fit and ended up leaving about a quarter cup of the filling in the saucepan for fear of it all overflowing my pan. When I realized I had to somehow get this extremely full pie into the fridge, my eyes widened with fear. I have never worked as a waitress and never will; I have enough anxiety when it comes to walking across a room with a tray of my own food at places like Moe’s. You can imagine how worried I was about carrying this pie of near-boiling chocolate across the kitchen, especially considering our one cat, Oskar, has a knack for always picking the most inopportune moments to get under my feet. (Perhaps you remember the Minestrone incident from last year? My laptop still isn’t quite right.) Here’s where I admit one of my most annoying habits: I laugh. A lot. Especially when I shouldn’t. I got about two steps away from the stove with the hot pie in my hands when the overwhelming urge to laugh started. I tried to fight it back, but the giggles were coming strong. I started to chuckle lightly and the pie filling, still in its liquid state, started swaying back and forth in the pan. I was almost positive that it was going to end up all over the floor, but, luckily, I was able to place it in the fridge safely before busting out in hysterical laughter.
With the prep work all done, we just had to wait three hours before sampling our oddly colored chocolate pie. I cannot lie, we were both apprehensive. When we finally pulled it out to try a piece, the apprehension was worsened as I sliced into the pie. The texture was unlike anything I had ever seen. The only way I can describe it is to say that it’s like chocolate Jell-O, and, no, not chocolate Jell-O pudding. It was like the jiggly kind of Jell-O, only chocolate instead of red or blue or whatever your favorite color might have been. When I pushed my fork into the side of my piece, the filling sprung back. Where you would expect pudding to be more creamy, this was more solid. It took a little getting used to, but it was really nice and chocolatey. It’s probably not something I’ll make often, but I do think it would be an easy to put together dessert for a potluck or picnic. Ryan liked it a lot, and true chocolate lovers will probably get over the odd consistency easier than I did. I will also say that this is a really rich, satisfying dish for what I consider to be a pretty conservative POINTS total.
Double Chocolate Pudding Pie
7 sheets reduced-fat graham crackers
2 tablespoons light butter, softened
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
⅓ cup boiling water
⅔ cup sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ cup cornstarch
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 cups fat free milk
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
In a food processor, process the graham crackers until finely ground. Add butter and water and process until the crumbs clump together. Press the crumb mixture into bottom of pie plate and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool.
In the meantime, make the pudding. Put the gelatin in a small bowl, add the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
In a medium saucean mix the 2/3 cup of sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add half of the milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the rest of the milk. Turn the heat on to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the vanilla and reserved gelatin. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and let set for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
Whip the cream and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Before serving, garnish the pie with the whipped cream.
Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”, p. 280
8 servings | 5 POINTS