Diced! Dessert Challenge – Round 2
The Diced! Dessert Challenge continues…
Each participant in round 2 won their first round and is ready to battle for more.
I will post a pairing each week on Wednesday and Thursday and open the polls for voting. The polls will be open from Thursday until the following Wednesday (before the next pair posts). The winner of each matchup with the most votes will move on to the next round and the chef will produce another recipe for their new matchup. The overall winner will receive any prizes I can acquire. To date the winner will receive:
- Dodo Book for Cooks
- A beautiful Bamboo Cutting Board with a Butterfly Motif, graciously donated by competitor Lindy (The Kozy Nook)
This week’s pairing is:
Cookies with cheesecake (Chad) vs. Non-Fruit Pies (Stephanie) . Chad beat out pudding/mousse to advance and Stephanie beat out Ice Cream. Today we have Stephanie from The Haute Meal with a great pie for us…
Armande: Your cinnamon looks rancid
Vianne: Ah, well it’s not cinnamon. It’s a special kind of chile pepper.
Armande: Chile pepper in hot chocolate?!
Vianne: Mm hm. It’ll give you a lift.
*Armande sips and savors the drink*
Armande: It tastes like… I don’t know.
*Armande chuckles delightedly, smiles, drinks some more*
If you’ve ever had Mexican-style hot chocolate, then you probably already know what you’re in for with this recipe, and are likely licking your lips already. If you haven’t had it yet, then you’re in for a treat, and I’m so pleased to be able to introduce you to a new flavor combination!
Mexican hot chocolate is a deliciously spiced variation on the classic drink, with a variety of additions depending on whose making it. The basic recipe includes at least cinnamon, but chile peppers and even cayenne are sometimes added to provide further depth of flavor and leave some warmth at the back of your throat that’s only partially from the heat of the drink itself. For this recipe, I chose to use smoked jalapenos, otherwise known as chipotle chilies. This not only adds the warmth of which I previously spoke, but also imparts some wonderfully smoky notes under the chocolate.
If you’re worried about your pie tasting weird, don’t worry! We’re adding a very small amount in relation to the rest of the pie – it will be just enough to complement the chocolate, and warm your mouth just slightly. In fact, I think the amount of chipotle powder that I used is perfect for someone with a sensitive palate; children shouldn’t have a problem eating it. However, if you’re the kind of person who likes a little more kick, you can feel free to double the amount to a full teaspoon. In addition to the chipotle powder, a generous hit of cinnamon and nutmeg round out the selection of spices, and a combination of white and brown sugar sweetens the pie while providing a hint of molasses.
Now, I’ve made plenty of scratch crusts, and you’re totally free to use your favorite dough recipe for this pie. But for this round of the contest, I wanted to make the recipe that felt more accessible to those who find pastry crust to be difficult, or don’t have time to make their own. When you don’t have to worry about the total pain in the ass of rolling out pie dough from scratch, you’re free to focus on standing around feeling important while your mixer whips up that luscious chocolate filling. It does take a while to mix, but the machine does just about all the work, so really all you need to do is sip on a nice martini while it comes together, and occasionally crack an egg.
Chipotle Chocolate Cream Pie
This creamy, Mexican-spiced chocolate pie tastes heavenly topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Unless you’ve got arms like Terry Crews, you will need an electric mixer to make this, and preferably a standing mixer. You can do this with a handheld mixer, but you’ll be holding that mixer for a long time so make sure you’ve got something good queued up on Netflix to watch while you’re making the filling.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup butter, softened
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (or 1 full tsp if you like spice)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp shortening
1 recipe for pie crust (1 crust), or a pre-rolled refrigerated crust
- Blind bake the crust according to recipe or package instructions, and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.
- In a large mixing bowl (preferable a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), cream together the butter, sugars, cinnamon, chipotle powder, and nutmeg until fluffy in texture.
- Beat in the cooled chocolate until well incorporated, and then add the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl and then beat in an egg on low speed until just incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and beat in the egg for at least 5 minutes, but more like 8 to 10 minutes.
- Continue adding the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl AND the whipping attachment thoroughly (get all the gritty sugar down into the mousse now or it’ll come back to haunt you later), and beating for at least 5 minutes between additions. Here’s what’s going to happen: at some point your mixture will go from being grainy in texture to a silky smooth mousse that melts perfectly in your mouth without a hint of grit. I can’t give you an exact time, but do not stop beating until you’ve achieved silk smoothness. If there’s even a hint of graininess, keep beating.
- Scrape the creamy mixture into your cooled pie crust, and refrigerate while you whip the cream.
- In a clean bowl (I simply wash and dry the same bowl and beaters), beat together the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Top the chocolate cream pie with the whipped cream and chill thoroughly.
- While the pie chills, melt together the remaining 2oz of chocolate and the shortening. You can do this in the microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring between bursts. Spread the melted chocolate mixture across the back of a baking sheet, and chill thoroughly in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Take the sheet out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for a minute or two, then use an offset metal spatula to make curls from the chocolate. If the chocolate forms shavings instead of curls, it’s probably not warm enough yet. Just wait another 30 seconds or so, and try again. If the chocolate gets too warm, just slide it back into the freezer for a couple of minutes and try again. If the curls become a total disaster, just dump the shaved bits on top of the pie anyway. It’s still chocolate, amiright?
- Top the pie with the chocolate curls/shavings/bits, and serve.