I know, it was crazy to make a make-ahead pie for a surprise birthday party the SAME DAY as the party! We were supposed to bring either a cake or a pie and I can tell you, all of them take a while to make so I turned to a tried and true recipe and gave it some Suzie the Foodie flare. I made Martha Stewart’s Mississippi Mud Pie for Thanksgiving for friends eons ago and it was so delicious. I decided to remove the pecans and replace them with some mocha awesomeness.
Warning! Seriously, bake this pie the day before if you can. Never rush and bake like I did. Mistakes happen!
If you can find a bag of cookie crumbs, make your life easier and use half a bag for this recipe. If not put 25 chocolate water cookies, 1 tsp instant espresso powder and 4 tbsp melted butter into a food processor. Blitz until turned into fine crumbs and put in your 9″ pie plate. I used a measuring cup to press cookie crumbs to create a crust along the bottom.
Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool and make filling.
For the filling you will need: 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/3 cup cornstarch, 2 tsp instant expresso powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 1/2 cups milk (I used 3%), 4 egg yolks, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsp cold butter.
Suzie Note: I would highly recommend dissolving the instant espresso powder in 1 tbsp of hot water before going further. It will work without doing so but I would do it anyway.
In a medium sauce pan off heat whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, espresso and salt. A little bit at a time, add the milk while whisking away. Then whisk in the egg yolks.
Put pan on medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until bubbles form. Reduce to low and whisk constantly for 1 minute until it gets nice and thick. Remove from heat.
Pour through a sieve which is over a medium sized bowl. Push through using a wooden spoon.
Add 1 tsp vanilla.
Then add cold butter and mix until melted and incorporated.
Cover filling directly with plastic wrap and put into fridge. Chill for at least 2 hours but longer if you can.
I am going to share a secret with you that I learned from Anna Olson. When you make a dessert that will be sitting for a while that is topped with whipped cream, add skim milk powder. This will help the whipped cream keeps its structure.
Beat 1 cup heavy cream until it starts to stiffen. Then add 1 tbsp of skim milk powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp of sugar. Beat until soft peaks form and then use a spatula to spread over the pudding filling.
Final Touches & Transporting
Get a square of chocolate and use a vegetable peeler to make chocolate shavings. Shave chocolate directly over the pie.
Add toothpicks and then cover with plastic wrap. I am glad I also brought my pie server because I think it was the only one there and there were a ton of desserts!
We got to LanaLou’s Rock n’ Roll Eatery before the birthday girl showed up… Phew!!! It was a surprise birthday party after all. Note to self: I must go back with my friend Cynthia and experience their infamous milkshakes and pulled pork poutine some day! I was going to last night but…
There was more than enough food and sweets to fill us up!!!
No problem. LanaLou’s was so awesome that I really do not need an excuse to go back!
People loved the pie and wow, even I swooned as I ate it. I think that boost of caffeine amongst all that sugar made us a little extra wired last night and we had an even better time for it.
This is a great pie for any time of the year but if you need one for the holidays that will be a hit with everyone, make this pie! Want to make it more adult? Add some Baileys or Amaretto to the whipped cream. Can you imagine? Oh I love baking. It is so very creative and fun.