Friday, June 4, 2010

PieDay Friday-Mocha Caramel Toffee Pie

As I mentioned last week I came up with the idea for this pie for my brother-in-law, Kevin's birthday. I eventually ended up making 2 of these pies. One for Kevin to take home and one for me to sample. Unfortunately Kevin got the first pie, the "Test" pie as it were. The first thing I did wrong was not tempering the eggs enough before adding them to the hot filling. I tempered them, just not enough. The filling wasn't as smooth as I imagined it would be, but figured it would smooth out once it cooled.

I continued with the process and just when I was ready to pour the filling into the pie crust I noticed several crumbs on the bottom of the crust. I decided I would get them out first and tilted the pan over the sink to tap the loose crumbs out. Of course I tilted too much and the entire crust goes tumbling into my wet sink.
I began to panic, and did a quick inventory of my pantry trying to determine if I had the ingredients to make another chocolate cookie crust. I didn't. I had some Graham cracker crumbs and could make a Graham cracker crust, but that just wouldn't work. I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to go out and either buy a new crust or the ingredients to make my own.
During this entire time by the way, my pie filling is still sitting in a very warm saucepan, continuing to cook. Once I realized that fact, I poured the hot filling into a bowl and stuck in the refrigerator. I ran to the nearest store as quickly as I could, which isn't that quick since I live in a "new-ish" development on the outskirts of town. 

I returned home ready to finish preparing the pie. I pulled the filling out of the refrigerator and went to pour it into my newly purchased chocolate cookie crust. Nothing happened. The pudding/custard like filling had firmed rather swiftly while I was away, thanks to my under-tempering the eggs, and had conformed to the shape of the bowl. I used a spatula to release it from the bowl and it landed in the center of the crust, making a nice "plopping" sound. I spread it out in the crust, still concerned about the texture but being that it was now 11:30 at night, there wasn't much more I could do.

I brought Keving the pie and he took it home. I have assumed the worst and imagine the filling was a gelatinous glob that couldn't have been too good. I'm sure it tasted fine, but the texture was just unappealing.

A few days later I made a second pie, for myself to try out. I made sure I had 2 extra crusts, just in case and that my eggs were well tempered. The filling turned out silky smooth and the pie was amazing. My husband said it was like a dessert you would find at Disney World, the highest compliment he can give! Someday when the spirits of Harpo Marx and Lucy Ricardo aren't inhabiting my body, I hope to make Kevin another pie. As a spoon goes flying out of my hand and hits me in the forehead, the bottom of the salt shaker pops out right over tonight's dinner and I slip in puddle of water I spilled a few minutes ago, I  realize it might be a little while.

  • Make your own caramel sauce or use store bought. After all my troubles I used Harry and David's Caramel Cream Sauce. It was perfection (thanks Kim!)
  • I bought my espresso powder at William's Sonoma, though other stores carry it as well.
  • Don't let the long list of ingredients and multitude of directions fool you. This pie is easy to make (if you're not me on a bad night) and only takes about 20-30 minutes of actual work, the rest of the time it's chilling in the refrigerator.
  • Temper your eggs thoroughly!
  • Anything less than whole milk won't work. The pudding just won't set up firm enough.

Mocha Caramel Toffee Pie

1 chocolate cookie crust
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon espresso powder
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups whole milk or half and half
4 egg yolks
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1/4 cup Kahlua
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup caramel sauce (click link for recipe or use store bought)
1 recipe for Toffee Whipped Cream, recipe below

Pie Filling:
In a medium saucepan stir together cornstarch, sugar, espresso powder, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk in milk and cook over medium-high heat. Once mixture begins to boil and thicken, remove from heat. In a small bowl, lightly beat egg yolks and temper by slowly adding 4 tablespoons of hot mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously. Whisk egg mixture into saucepan and return to heat. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Remove from heat Slowly pour melted chocolate, Kahlua and vanilla into saucepan. Stirring to combine. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each tablespoon to melt before adding the next.  Allow mixture to cool for 3-5 minutes and pour into prepared crust. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.  Once filling is set, pour caramel sauce over top of pie and spread to edges (it's easier to spread if slightly warm). Return to refrigerator for 2-3 hours to let caramel firm up. Top with Toffee Whipped Cream and serve chilled.

Toffee Whipped Cream

1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup marshmallow cream, optional
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup toffee pieces

In a large, chilled mixing bowl beat/whip the cream until thick and peaks stand on their own. Beat in marshmallow cream, sugar and vanilla (add more sugar if desired). Once combined, gently fold in toffee pieces.


alissa4illustration said...

This sounds yummy! I'll have to try it. You might enjoy my blog:
I'm following from the Fun Follow Friday.

NancyCreative said...

This sounds yummt! I love toffee and caramel!

Lucy's Soup Can said...

Hello. Just in from Friday Follow Me. This looks terrific! Glad I found your blog. Follow me too?

Kristen said...

Your story reminds me of my cooking! :) The pie looks wonderful though!

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Oh, yummmmm. Can I have some express mailed to me today? I could sure use a slice!

Stopping by from FF!

Mhel said...

Oh i just love the richness and creaminess of that pie. That is just so decadent...

Hi! Glad to find a fellow foodie thru FFF. Following you now thru Friday Friendly Follow! Hope you could follow through, drop by and and say hi!!

Fab Find Foodie said...

This really looks fabulous!!!!

I'm your newest follower from Friday Follow!

Shelby said...

Just stopping by from Friday Follow, wanted to say I am your newest follower!

cheri said...

ooh, i love reading about food! i'm a new follower :)

Melinda said...

Oh my! This looks heavenly! I think I could just eat the toffee whipped cream by the spoonful!

The Answer Is Chocolate said...

You had me at mocha. Saw you on Friday Follow Me and had to follow the mocha! Then I saw two of my favorite women Lucy and Ethel and had to follow! Come visit me at mostly crafts and diy but some recipes too!

Blackberry Cottage said...

I love the visual referrence of Lucy Ricardo! I've had my own Lucy and Ethel moments so I can relate. Too funny - but - this sounds absolutely delicious!

I didn't realize you are so close to me until you asked me about Baily's Berries. We'll have to meet for coffee one day!

Jerri said...

How yummy! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites!

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