Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Whew! What A Weekend It has Been!

This last Saturday and Sunday, has been a very long and somewhat productive for me. I managed to come up with a fantastic dessert and an Asian-style marinade for a beef roast(I promise to write about the marinade later). But I want to share this dessert with everyone first. This dessert is almost guaranteed to bring friends (old and new) to your doorstep.
Strawberry Chocolate Creme Pie. Or should I call it Chocolate Covered Strawberry Creme Pie? Or Chocolate Strawberry Creme Pie? The latter two implies that the creme part is strawberry but the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Creme Pie sounds the best. I think.

It didn't take long before I just dumped the bowl of strawberries into the shell. Alright, you got me. I might have dumped them in--but I took the next few minutes turning them all right side up so they looked pretty in the picture.

The whipped cream isn't real whipped cream!!!!! Can you believe it? Now, normally, I'm a big fan of homemade whipped cream. I whip it up quite often for a multitude of reasons. To top pudding parfaits. To sink a generous dollop in hot coffee. To drop a huge scoop on to of a piping hot fruit pie or fruit crisp. But not when I make creme pies.

When I make creme pies, I must confess I turn to Cool Whip. It's one of the very few times I will turn to something pre-made. Why do you ask? Stability. Simply stability. Fresh whipped cream doesn't do well on top of a pie for very long. There's been too many times when I've went into the fridge the next day to cut a slice of pie to find my whipped cream well on it's way to deflated defeat. Since then, anytime I require the whipped cream beyond immediate consumption (or within a few hours) I turn to Cool Whip. This type of topping will be pretty from the time the first slice is cut until the time the last slice is eaten from the pie plate a few days later.
Let's not spread this dark confession around too much, okay? Let's move quickly to the recipe and forget all about this little secret.

Chocolate Cream with Strawberries Pie

Crust: 1 ½ c. finely crushed chocolate graham crackers
¼ c. sugar
6 tbsp. melted butter
1/3 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
Dash of salt
2 c. whole milk
2 egg yolks
6 oz. semisweet chopped chocolate (I use chocolate chips)
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Additional ingredients:
16 oz. strawberries, hulled and quartered
8 oz. Chocolate Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter until evenly coated. Firmly press mixture up the sides and on the bottom of a pie plate. Bake for 4-5 minutes in the oven. Set aside to cool. Place egg yolks in a bowl and set aside. In a heavy-bottomed saucepot, combine the sugar, cornstarch and the dash of salt. Add the milk and whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Allow the mixture to boil for one minute while you continue whisking. Remove the milk from the heat and slowly pour half the hot mixture into the eggs yolks while continuously whisking. Make sure you whisk constantly and pour very slowly or else you'll have scrambled eggs! Then put the pot back on the stove and whisk the egg/milk mixture back into the pot. Whisk constantly until the mixture boils again for one minute. Remove from heat.
Stir in the chocolate until it is completely incorporated. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until the butter is thoroughly mixed. Set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the top doesn't set. Fill the pie shell with the strawberries. Top the strawberries with the pudding and place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes or until the top is slightly set. Carefully spread the whipped topping on top of the pie and garnish with additional strawberries if desired. Refrigerate 2-4 hours before serving.

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