chocolate pudding pie from smittenkitchen.com

Pudding filling:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream

Bittersweet chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)

Prepare pie dough: Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into an 11-inch round, then fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp edge decoratively. Prick bottom and side of shell all over with a fork, then chill shell 30 minutes. While shell chills, preheat oven to 375°F with a baking sheet on middle rack. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights*.

Bake on baking sheet until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 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.

Make pudding filling: Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.

Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper (if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least two hours.

Just before serving, beat cream with remaining two tablespoons sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie and garnish with bittersweet chocolate shavings, if you’re feeling fancy.

Do ahead: Pie dough can be made and chilled up to two days. Pie, without whipped cream, can be chilled up to one day before serving. Whipped cream is best added at the last minute, however, I did find that ours held up surprisingly well for a day (so far), if you feel like winging it.

Chocolate Crème Brûlée from Ina

  • ​1 extra-large egg
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar, plus extra for topping
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon instantespresso granules
  • ¼ cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Place six (8-ounce) ramekins in a roasting pan large enough to hold them completely flat.

In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and sugar until just combined. Meanwhile, scald the cream in a medium saucepan. Off the heat, add the chocolate and espresso and whisk until the chocolate is melted. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the egg mixture, then whisk in the coffee liqueur and vanilla. Transfer to a large measuring cup and pour into the prepared ramekins until full.

Place the pan in the oven and carefully pour enough of the hottest tap water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the custards are set on the edges but still a little jiggly in the middle when gently shaken. Remove the custards from the water bath, cool to room temperature, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm.

To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly on each custard. With a kitchen blowtorch held one inch from the surface of the crème, heat the sugar until it caramelizes evenly. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and serve.

 

Cashew Chocolate Spread (Cashewtella)

  • 2014-0819_chocolate-cashew-spread-080cup raw cashews
  • tablespoons sugar
  • ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3/8 teaspoons kosher salt
    1. Heat the oven to 350° F. Spread the cashews in a medium baking dish, and toast in the oven until lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes, shaking the pan every few minutes. Let cool completely.
    2. In a blender or a food processor, combine the cashews and sugar and pulse to a powdery paste.
    3. Heat an inch of water to a gentle simmer in the base of a double boiler. Set the top pan on the double boiler base, and add the chocolate to the top pan. When it’s melted, turn off the heat. Whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time. Then beat in the cream. Remove the top pan from the base and set it on a counter. Stir in the cashew mixture and the salt. Divide among two 8-ounce jars. Let cool, then seal, and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.
    4. Makes about two 8-ounce jars

 

Valerie’s French Chocolate Cake from http://smittenkitchen.com/

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9 9 tablespoons (125 grams) unsalted butter
7 ounces (200 grams) bittersweet (70/72 percent) chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons water
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup (40 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (about 30 grams) dark cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy (Dutched or natural will work here; I use Dutched)
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Two pinches sea salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom of the baking pan with a round of parchment paper.

Melt butter in a large saucepan, 3 quarts is a good size. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Once melted, stir in 2 tablespoons water, then baking powder, flour and cocoa until just combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar, 1 tablespoon water and vanilla, if using, until pale and no longer lumpy. Stir into chocolate mixture until just combined.

In a larger, very clean bowl, beat egg whites and salt until stiff. Gently fold into chocolate mixture until most of the white streaks disappear. Be careful not to deflated cake.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out batter-free. Remove from oven and rest on rack for 5 minutes. Run knife along outside cake to make sure it isn’t sticking anywhere, then invert onto another rack, then back onto a cake plate. Eat warm or cold.

Cake keeps for several days at room temperature, lightly wrapped.

To make a layer cake: Several hours and up to a full day before you will fill the cake, make chocolate whipped cream. I used Alice Medrich’s recipe as a base. Heat 1 cup heavy or whipping cream to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat, whisk in 6 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate until fully melted and smooth. Stir in a second cup of cold heavy or whipping cream. Cover dish with plastic and let chill in the fridge for at least four hours and preferably overnight, or up to 24 hours.

To make the layer cake, make twice the recipe above, but divide it into 3 9-inch cake pans. Each layer will bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely. I find popping cake layers into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes stiffens them enough that they are easily lifted and stacked and highly recommend it.

Using electric beaters, whip fully chilled chocolate cream into whipped cream. It will whip very quickly; don’t let it overwhip (it will become rough-looking). If it does, a splash of still-liquid heavy cream whisked in will loosen the mixture a bit again. Set a spoonful of the chocolate whipped cream aside if you’d like to write on the top of the cake. Spread half of the chocolate whipped cream on the first cake layer, then top with the second. Spread second half of chocolate whipped cream on second cake layer, then top with the third. If writing on the cake, place chocolate whipped cream set aside in a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off, or in a piping bag with a small round tip and scribble away.

Keep cake in fridge until needed. Serves 8 generously, 16 if you, like us, prefer slim wedges of rich cake