When someone does me a favour, I like to repay them with food. Baked goodies presented still warm to their front door, frozen meals for an easy dinner on rushed nights ahead, or a meal in my home, at my table.
Last night my Dad dropped his previously made plans to come and help Shane and I out with some renovation discussions and that was reason enough for me to put together a delicious meal to say thanks (and to enjoy ourselves of course!)
I made our much loved Gyoza again (for the 4th time in a month I think). They are time consuming little things but I like to think that anything that takes time in the kitchen is truly a labour of love, and love in food equals happiness in bellies. That’s my theory anyway.
I had a box of the new Paneton Chocolate Ready-rolled pastry waiting in the freezer that I had been given and thought it was time to put it to good use. I love traditional American Pecan Pie but being that we’re not American and Pecans are not big in NZ, and the fact that I wanted to create something all my own, I came up with this delicious variation. I used half Pecans, half Walnuts just because I had some Pecans left over from our Monkey Bread Monday and to be honest, you can’t tell the difference in this pie.
This pie is incredibly rich, but a tiny sliver with a big dollop of softly whipped cream will go down perfectly as an after dinner treat for any guest – large or small, young or old. The chocolate filling is dense but gooey, reminiscent of caramel from the inclusion of rich and luxurious golden syrup. The toasted walnuts give it a beautiful crunch and the chocolate, well, that’s just intensely chocolatey.
Finish with coffee and your night is complete – except when you have to sit and talk budgets and figures and numbers and arrrgggghhhhh.
- 1 box of Paneton's Chocolate Ready-rolled Pastry
- 250g block of Whittakers Dark Ghana Chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 C Golden Syrup
- 2 t vegetable oil, or ricebran would do fine too
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/2 t instant coffee or coffee powder
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 C toasted walnut halves
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Grease a pie dish with a removable base and place ready-rolled Chocolate pastry in the base. Press into all the corners of the pie dish and trim the excess from the top.
- Using a fork, prick the pastry several times and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the freezer, cover loosely with tin foil to prevent browning, and bake for 8-10 minutes.
- While the base is cooking, make the filling.
- In a heatproof bowl, over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate with the Golden Syrup and oil.
- Once the chocolate has melted, stir in the brown sugar and mix well.
- Take the bowl from the heat and add the salt, coffee, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well with a wooden spoon until completely combined.
- As soon as the base is out of the oven, prick it again with a fork to deflate it if it has risen, and then scatter the walnuts evenly across it.
- Spoon the filling over the walnuts and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
- Return the pie to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. It will look firmish and dry if it's done, although it may still wobble slightly in the centre if you shake it gently.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve in small slices, warm or at room temperature with lashings of softly whipped cream. The cream really helps to cut through the richness of the pie.