Ok, so it’s #junkfreejune and I’m clearly not participating. This pie is full of alllll kinds of overindulgent ingredients which is why I dished up very small portions for my kids for dessert last night when their grandparents came for dinner. When they were begging for seconds and I refused, they kept asking why and was it because ‘it has lots of bad things in it?’. So that they knew was they were eating and so they could figure it out a little for themselves, I ran through the ingredients list for them. When I was done my 4 year put his hand in the air and exclaimed with glee “But eggs, those are good for you!”
My philosophy is simple – eat everything in moderation. The definition of moderation really is the key here because your version and mine may be entirely different. But even so, when something is made from scratch, I feel pretty fine about consuming it because I know exactly what’s gone into it, I know for certain there are no additives, preservatives or artificial ingredients so I can feed it to my kids, and myself with a sense of confidence. This is not an every day dessert. It isn’t even an every week dessert. This bad boy is a once a yearer – kinda like that Monkey Bread I posted recently. I can forgive you if you feel we are overdoing things a little at the moment. My jeans may be feeling the same way. Perhaps I should have participated in #junkfreejune after all!?
Anyway, you all went crazy for this last night when I posted it to Instagram (please tell me you’re following me there because Insta is honestly my favourite and if you’re not on board yet – do it!)
To make this beautiful creation, I used the Paneton Sweet Ready to Bake Pastry which was blind baked to a golden crisp and filled it with an undeniably sinful combination of Whittakers 72% Ghana Dark Chocolate, fresh free-range eggs, caster sugar and Heilala Vanilla which was whipped together for more than twenty minutes. Twenty+ minutes of whipping leaves you with a silky smooth, melt in your mouth mousse like filling. Set overnight in the fridge and then topped with Lewis Road Creamery Cream, also lightly whipped to perfection and sprinkled with even more roughly chopped Whittakers chocolate: this sum of all these parts is perfect.
It is a fairly easy dessert to create and it is perfect for dinner parties as you can make-ahead and it will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. There really is no excuse for not trying it – at least once!
Someone asked me on Facebook if it is similar to a pie from a fast food chain and I can not comment because I don’t buy those kinds of things myself. When you can make something at home that is as good as this, I don’t know why I would? Besides, who knows what numbers and unrecognisable ingredients that version contains?
Here is one with perfectly decipherable contents – what are you afraid of?
- 1 package of Paneton Bakery Sweet Ready to Bake Pastry, defrosted
- 170 grams Whittakers 72% Dark Ghana Chocolate melted
- 225 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 1 C caster sugar
- 1 t Heilala vanilla extract
- 1/2 t instant coffee or espresso ground coffee, optional but recommended to enhance the chocolate flavour
- pinch salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups freshly whipped cream
- 85 grams Whittakers Dark Ghana 72% Chocolate, roughly chopped, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- Place defrosted, unrolled sheet of Paneton Sweet Pastry into the pie dish and spread gently up the sides. Cut around the top of the pie dish and line with baking paper. Fill with pie weights or beans/rice and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights and then return to the oven for an extra 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place pie dish on a wire rack to cool.
- In a small heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate (you could also do this in short bursts in the microwave). Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, ensuring the chocolate has not begun to set at all.
- Into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the softened butter and sugar, and beat on high power until very light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The mixture should be very pale, almost white. The lighter and fluffier your mixture, the better your final result will be as this ensures the sugar is well on it's way to being dissolved and the end result will not be grainy.
- Add the vanilla, coffee, salt and cooled chocolate and beat on high power until everything is well mixed and very fluffy - about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, remove the paddle attachment, and switch to the whisk. Add 1 egg, and beat for 5 minutes on high (Setting 6 on a KitchenAid)
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the second egg, beat for a further 5 minutes on Setting 6. Repeat this same process with the two remaining eggs making a total of 20 minutes whipping time. After the 20 minutes, make sure your mixture is smooth, silky, fluffy and with zero trace of graininess (to test, rub a small piece of the mixture between your fingers as you would to test meringue). Continue beating until you're satisfied with the smoothness because the silkiness of your mixture will be a direct reflection of the silkiness of your finished pie.
- Pour the mixture into the cooked pastry base and smooth the top lightly with a spatula. Cover with gladwrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (overnight if possible) to ensure the pie is completely set.
- Whip 2 C of cream and spoon delicately over the pie. Spread to the edges and sprinkle chopped chocolate over the pie.
- Slice (thin slices are adequate as it is so rich!).
- Pie will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.