I've always enjoyed a challenge, and you know what? I just took on a super, super big challenge.
Okay, so maybe this challenge wasn't all that big. Maybe this challenge can't be classified as big at all, or even a challenge for that matter. Maybe you should completely disregard the second sentence of this post, as it will probably hurt my brain a little less.
I call it a challenge in the sense that this little baking project of mine was fairly time-consuming. Yes, it was pretty lengthy, but a very, very excellent investment of my time indeed.
|Mississippi Mud Pie|
I made a mud pie-- Mississippi Mud Pie, that is. The dessert is also known as Mississippi Mud Cake, but this version is like a cross between the two. I'm not about to call it a Pie-Cake because, well... that would just be weird.
Due to the different layers, it's a long recipe with many steps. Even so, it isn't hard to follow in the least and believe me, the time you put into it really pays off in the end. If you do choose to make it, you may want to do what I did and split the different layers between two days. It will make it easier on yourself, plus the mud pie needs its chill time before serving, so why not kill two birds with one stone?
I was extremely pleased with this recipe and so too was my forever taste-testing family. The Oreo crust was to-die-for, the flourless cake layer was moist and chocolatey, the pudding was wonderfully rich and delicious, and the little whipped cream flowers I piped on with a pastry tip topped it off and completed the pretty picture.
With a messy-sounding name like "mud pie", I wouldn't have dreamed this dessert cuts so beautifully. It really does--each slice was picture-perfect and had me snapping photos non-stop. For this reason, and of course for its unexpectedly luxurious taste, I'm certain this Mississippi Mud Pie would make the perfect celebration dessert if you're looking to impress a crowd. A birthday party, perhaps? My chocolate-loving brother would most definitely go for that for his next party. I certainly wouldn't mind a nice Mississippi Mud Pie in front of me for my Sweet 16, either.
On the other hand, I don't think I'll be able to wait until the next big event to make it again. Pfft, no way! It was way too fun to make, way too delicious to eat, and way too rewarding overall for that.
Also, I couldn't help but feel super sophisticated eating it.
About as sophisticated as you can feel eating something called a Mud Pie.
Mississippi Mud Pie
(Adapted from Baked Explorations)
Yield: 1 9-inch round cake
Crust:16 ounces whole (cream included) chocolate sandwich cookies (35-40 cookies) such as Oreos, crushed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Flourless Chocolate Cake:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-70%), chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/4 cup strong coffee, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-70%)
To Make Crust:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a food processor, grind cookies to a very fine crumb; you should have about 3 1/2 cups. Put crumbs in a small bowl. Pour melted butter over crumbs and mix with a spatula until well combined.
- Press crumb mixture into bottom and sides of prepared pan, leaving about 1/2 inch between top of crust and top of pan. Smooth evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Let crust set in freezer for 10 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Cool.
To Make Flourless Chocolate Cake:
- Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Using a double boiler or microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together espresso powder, coffee, salt, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the sugar until mixture is light and almost doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add chocolate mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl; mix on low for 5 seconds. Add coffee mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl; mix on low for 5 seconds.
- In a clean bowl with a whisk attachment or electric mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually increase speed to high and add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
- Scoop 1 cup of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in egg whites. After about 30 seconds of folding, add remaining egg whites and continue folding until almost completely combined; work gently and do not overmix.
- Pour batter onto cooled cookie crust and bake for 38 to 42 minutes or until cake is set but still jiggles slightly; it may not appear to be completely cooked. Allow to cool completely. Cake will deflate in center and look sunken as it cools. Tightly wrap and refrigerate cake for at least 3 hours or overnight.
To Make Chocolate Pudding:
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Add egg yolks and whisk until combined. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in milk.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent burning. Boil for 30 seconds; transfer mixture to a medium bowl.
- Add butter, vanilla, and chocolate; whisk until combined. Continue whisking for a few more minutes to slightly cool mixture. Let pudding stand for 15 minutes at room temperature. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto pudding's surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least 3 hours.
To Assemble Pie
- Stir pudding to loosen it, then pour it on top of cake, staying inside crust border. Use a spatula to spread pudding into an even layer. Return mud pie to refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Decorate with whipped cream if desired.