Monday, July 1, 2013

Last minute chocolate pie

My sister and her boyfriend have been living in Canada for the past 18+ months and have recently come home for a whirlwind visit for a family wedding. Since they left, I have done a few fun things with my baking and created some pretty tasty treats for my family and friends. So, upon their recent return, there were a few demands. Unfortunately, my weekends have been pretty busy. The first weekend they were back in town I was making a big 30th birthday cake for a friend, then this weekend just past I was out and about too much to plan anything special. My sister organised dinner at my parent's last night. I had a small window of baking opportunity before dinner and decided to quickly whip something up. It's winter in Brisbane at the moment and I really wanted to make a pie. After a quick search online, I found a pretty quick and easy chocolate pie recipe. I fancied it up a little with a meringue topping, then wha-lah, my surprise dessert was ready! Phew!

I know I'm not off the hook for something else before they leave, but at least I've done something chocolate for them, might have to try something caramel or fruity for next weekend!

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Adapted from Southern Food

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
2 cups plain flour
125g butter, chilled and cubed
pinch of salt
1 tbs icing sugar
1 egg yolk
2 - 3 tbs iced water

Grease a pie tin and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
In a food processor, add the flour, butter, icing sugar and salt. Pulse until combined. Add the egg yolk and continue to pulse until combined. With the processor on a medium speed, add the water, slowly, until the dough forms a ball. Roll out between two sheets of baking paper until it is about 1 - 1.5cms thick. Roll the dough into the pie tin and gently push into sides and base, allowing the pastry to fall over the edges. Rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes, then top the dough with damp baking paper topped with pie weights (or uncooked rice if you don't have pie weights) and pop in the oven for about 20 - 25 minutes, or until the pastry is a lightly golden brown. Remove from oven when ready and allow to cool before adding the filling.

Chocolate filling
3 tbs cocoa
1/3 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup water2/3 cup milk
2 tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Over a double boiler (bowl over simmering water), combine the cocoa and flour then whisk in the water slowly, only using enough to make a smooth paste. Add the sugar, egg yolks and milk. Cook over low until the mixture is thick, whisking the whole time (should take about 20 minutes). Finally, add butter and vanilla and continue to whisk over the heat until they are combined and the chocolate is thick. Pour into baked pie crust, cover with cling wrap and allow for the chocolate to set in the fridge for a few hours.

Meringue topping
2 - 3 egg whites
1 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup water

In a bowl, start to beat the egg whites. While beating, make the sugar syrup. In a saucepan over a medium heat, add the sugar and water. Allow it to come to a bowl and simmer for a few minutes. When your egg whites have formed stiff peaks, turn the beater down to low and slowly pour in the sugar syrup. Turn the beater back to high and continue beating until the mixture comes back to room temperature (about 5 - 10 minutes). When ready, spoon into a piping bag and pie onto the top of the chocolate filling. Using a kitchen blow torch, lightly brown the top of the meringue (if you don't have a blow torch, pop under the grill for a few minutes until your meringue has some colour). Once the meringue is on the pie, best to eat immediately or within a few hours, as meringue isn't stored well in the fridge (it will "sweat"). ENJOY!

We couldn't quite wait for the chocolate to set, so it was a little sloppy, but delicious!!!

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