My dad’s birthday has come and gone, and let me tell you… it was a GREAT one! My sister drove in from out of town to surprise my dad, and four of the five members of our family went out and painted the town red! There was an abundance of eating, drinking, and be merrying (Not a word, but who cares?).
The one thing missing from his actual day was a birthday baked good from the Pint-Size Baker. You see, dad has been on a diet for a little over a month now and I have been forbidden to leave ANY baked goods in the house. In fact, I pretty much had to time my baking for when he wasn’t home or had already gone to bed. HOWEVER, let me let you in on a little secret…
Diets go on vacation on birthdays and the days surrounding them! [Yea, calories don't count either. So make sure to remember this for your next big day!]
Given the above fact and the fact that my dad has a larger sweet tooth than myself, it was only fitting that the Pint-Size Baker bake him something scrumptious to celebrate this momentous occasion! What better to bake than something he has been requesting for MONTHS…
If you recall, I first took a stab at making a French Silk Pie (in the Chocolate Pie family) about a month ago for another person’s birthday. While the pie was absolutely delicious, it never quite set properly. This Chocolate Pie, on the other hand, set PERFECTLY. As a matter of fact, I’m quite excited to fill ya’ll in on the details proving it should’ve turned out otherwise because… well you’ll see why as you read.
First things first… PREPPY PREPPY PREP!
[Not pictured: Cookies, butter, and sugar used to make the Chocolate Pie crust]
This recipe was given to me by a friend from the office. She is an AMAZING baker. I’ve been trying to get her to give me her carrot cake recipe (in which she uses her own homemade pumpkin pie spice) since November last year… unfortunately, I fear, I will never obtain it, but believe you me, it is the best Carrot Cake your taste buds will experience… and I digress… per usual.
Anyways, the recipe she gave me was only for the filling, so I decided to venture into making my own crust out of chocolate wafers, butter, and sugar. I scraped the creme out of the center of about 30 chocolate creme-filled cookies.
Crushed the cookies themselves up and combined with 6 tbsp of melted butter and 2.5 tbsp of sugar.
Then patted the chocolate cookie crumbs into a pie pan and baked at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes and let cool.
Now this is where things started to get a little hairy… [yes, I realize I'm pretty much JUST beginning and you're probably asking "How are things ALREADY getting hairy?"] The hairiness began at the grocery.
The ganache recipe calls for INSTANT Espresso Powder, which I found a can of an Italian kind for about $7. I thought surely there would be a smaller amount for less money since I only needed about a teaspoon. As I continued to look, I found another can of the same brand on a bottom shelf that was $5 and slightly fewer ounces. PERFECT! (or so I thought…)
Upon arriving home and beginning the Chocolate Pie baking process, I first discovered that there was no pull tab to open the can nor was there a place to lift the top off… I was perplexed (putting it mildly).
I’ve got it! The espresso is in a can… let’s use the CAN OPENER!
…AND we are back in business! I combined heavy cream and the espresso “powder” in a saucepan on medium-high until just under a boil.
- While stirring the milk and espresso together, it hit me like a ton of bricks… the espresso “powder” I thought I had bought was NOT instant, and thus, I would have espresso grounds in my final product… *sigh* Oh well, I wasn’t about to run back to the grocery, so I decided to just go with it.
- It was suggested to me to only place half of the called-for cream in the saucepan in order to reduce the cool-down time of the ganache. WELL, my absent-mind put all of the cream in and thus had to compensate (which you will see in a later step) for the longer cool down time later.
- While the milk was coming to just under a boil, I decided it would be a good idea to check Facebook. Then, when turning around, the cream was boiling up and almost flowing up over the sides of the saucepan… *sigh* yet again. I could very well have started over, but then I would’ve had to go back to the grocery for more cream, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN AS WE ESTABLISHED EARLIER. So I decided to keep trucking along as if nothing went awry.
After the cream was almost ruined, I turned the heat off and added the chocolate chips (Ghiradelli, sprung for the good stuff for dad’s birthday).
Then place in the fridge to set for about an hour or overnight. Serve with more homemade whipped cream and enjoy!