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.
Debra She Who Seeks says
Among all those spectacular desserts on that table, yours stands out as EXTRA spectacular!
Suzie the Foodie says
Wow, thank you Debra!!! And most of those were store-bought so that means even more. 🙂