A chocolate-crusted brownie pie is flipped over and covered with a layer of milk chocolate ganache. How could that be anything but amazing? Use the best chocolate you can afford.
The 54 percent milk chocolate made by Spagnvola Chocolatier, with its molasses notes, makes a particularly lush ganache covering. Spagnvola oversees every aspect of chocolate making, from cultivating cacao beans on its farm in the Dominican Republic to roasting, conching, tempering and making bars, bonbons and truffles at its Gaithersburg factory and retail boutique (240-654-6972).
Make Ahead: The pie can be refrigerated for up to 2 days in advance, or frozen and refrigerated for up to a month.
Servings: 10 - 12
- 3 1/2 ounces (1 bar) best-quality bittersweet chocolate, preferably 80 percent cacao, broken into pieces
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 store-bought, 8-inch chocolate-crumb pie crust, preferably Oreo
- 7 ounces (2 bars) milk chocolate, preferably 54 percent cacao, broken into pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 1 cup chilled heavy cream to be whipped for an optional garnish
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the bittersweet chocolate and the butter in a microwave-safe glass bowl; microwave on HIGH for 1 minute or until the chocolate and butter have completely softened, then whisk until smooth. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl suspended over a saucepan of gently bubbling water, whisking until they are just melted.)
Combine the eggs, sugar, salt, espresso powder and vanilla extract in a medium bowl; use a whisk to beat for 2 minutes, until the sugar begins to dissolve. Stir in the flour until it is completely incorporated. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Add the pecans, if desired. Pour the batter into the prepared crust, smoothing the filling's surface. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a crumb or two on it. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the chocolate ganache: Place the milk chocolate pieces in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate, whisking until its smooth. The chocolate should be slightly warm and thick but pourable.
Place a large sheet of aluminum foil under a wire cooling rack. Carefully invert the cooled pie onto the rack; knock off any loose chocolate crumbs around the edges, letting them fall onto the foil below; this is okay. Move the rack so that you can remove any fallen crumbs from the foil. (That will keep the crumbs from getting in any ganache runoff you might want to reserve for another use.)
Reposition the rack (with the pie on it) over the foil. Pour the ganache over the center of the pie, letting the ganache drip onto the foil below. Use the back of a spoon to distribute it evenly so that the pie is completely covered. If desired, reserve any leftover ganache (that has dripped onto the foil) for another use.
Transfer the pie to a cake plate or platter. Refrigerate for several hours, so the chocolate sets.
Use a thin-bladed knife to cut the pie; for clean slices, dip the knife into very hot water, then wipe it dry, before each cut. Use paper towels to clean the knife between each cut.
If desired, combine the 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat with a whisk or hand-held electric mixer to form soft peaks. Serve a dollop of cream next to each slice of pie.
From Sourced columnist David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.