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September 9, 2011 / Kate

Death by Chocolate Pie

Y2, Week Fifteen: A Festivus for the Rest of Us Pie

We have reached the end of another fun-filled and caloric Summer of Pie. And, unlike last year, I’m sad. What started as a personal project to help me work through grief and loss, has become a lot more. It was an exciting summer! I made the local paper, got Fresh Pressed, had a couple of contests (results from the second contest will be posted next week), and had a massive “last pie” party to send it all off. It was all too much fun to stop. So I’m not going to, stop that is.

I’m not completely sure what I’m going to do next, because I like the idea of keeping the weekly pies confined to the summer (mostly, because after all, there are things like “Pi Day” in March that any good pie aficionado can’t ignore), but I’ve got a lot of ideas. If you’d like to weigh in (please do), you can fill out this anonymous survey. Based on results so far, it’s looking like there may be cookbooks, t-shirts and possibly instructional videos to come. Pie road trips are looking highly popular as well (gee, I wonder why… ) And I’m sure there’ll be more contests. Fall officially starts in a couple of weeks… who knows? At the very least I still have my ongoing quest to reproduce peanut butter cups in every dessert medium — next up, peanut butter cup layer cake with, I’m hoping, vertical layers!

In offline news: For those in the Madison, WI area, my good friends at Cupcakes-A-Go-Go are opening their first shop this October and, with any luck, along with some of the best cupcakes in the city, you might be able to purchase some of my filled bars and brownies. Woohoo!

So it looks like there will be many goings on in the Summer of Pie kitchens this fall, I’m excited. As for the business at hand, here, my pie people, is the last pie of the summer. It’s based on the first dessert that I ever made up, the Chocolate Festivus cake, and judging by how fast it was demolished by my friends, it’s pretty tasty. Warning, you must like chocolate for this! It’s dark and intense and I’m sure this warning has totally dissuaded you by now…

Thanks for the great summer and “Forward Ho” on fall!


Note: Because the mousse needs time to set, this pie is best made the day before you need it.

Brownie Crust

(From King Arthur Flour’s “The Best Fudge Brownies Ever.”)

8 oz (one stick) butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla
2 large eggs
3/4 cups flour
6 oz mini chocolate chips

Butter and flour a 9″ deep dish (2 – 2 1/2″ deep) pie pan.

In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl melt the butter. Add sugar and stir until combined. Stir in cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add the flour and chips, and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, being care to bring it up the sides and over the top slightly. Make as thin a layer as you can as the batter with puff in the oven. Place in the refrigerator for 30 min – 1 hour to set.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line chilled crust with greased parchment paper, pressing it firmly but gently against the sides; fill with weights. Bake for 20 minutes or until sides are set. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Chocolate Pudding

Adapted from “Recipe of the week: Blackout Cake: Brooklyn’s long-lost dessert”

3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup whole milk
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tsp cocoa liqueur or vanilla extract

Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, half-and-half in medium saucepan, slowly whisk in milk over medium heat. Switch to a heat-proof spatula and stir constantly until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately stir in chocolate, continue stirring until all chocolate is melted (place on low heat if pudding is too cold to fully melt the chocolate). Stir in liqueur or vanilla, and pour into prepared crust. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Chocolate Mousse

12 oz heavy whipping cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Heat 6 oz of cream in a small saucepan over medium/low heat until steaming, but not boiling. While cream heats, chop chocolate into small pieces (fine) and place in heat-proof mixing bowl. When cream is steaming, pour onto the chocolate. Mix until thoroughly combined and allow to cool to room temperature. You want the ganache to set up a little so it’s no longer liquid, but not so set up as it would be difficult to fold into the whipped cream.

In a separate bowl, whip the remaining cream until it holds stiff peaks. Fold into chocolate mixture, then gently spoon into chilled crust. Wrap in plastic and chill overnight or for at least 3 hours.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

12 oz heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp rum
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Pour cold cream into a large bowl. Add vanilla and rum. Sift in cocoa powder and sugar. Blend with a hand mixer on low until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated; whip on high until cream has the consistency of a soft frosting. Spread gently on top of pie.

Decorate with a handful of mini chocolate chips, grated chocolate, or dusted cocoa powder. Chill until ready to serve.



Leave a Comment
  1. Michael / Sep 9 2011 2:04 pm

    OMG. Thanks. This one’s going on my list.

  2. frugalfeeding / Sep 9 2011 5:18 pm

    This looks incredibly decadent and awesome! I welcome death by chocolate if this is the murderer…

  3. pieofthebeholder / Oct 2 2011 11:01 am

    Hi Beth:


    I’m going to give this recipe a whirl today.

    The capownie is intimidating although the plan is to do a single layer version before this whole exercise is over. 7 to go…


  4. Michael Braden / Feb 19 2016 12:28 pm

    In the brownie directions/ingredients, it states “8 oz (one stick) butter.” Sorry, but one stick of butter is 4 oz. So does it means one stick of butter or two?

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