Date Night Dessert!

Chocolate Cream Pie and Why Food Means Love
Mike walks through an excellent recipe for Chocolate Cream Pie - just in time for Valentines Day Date Night! While he whisks he explains why he insists on cooking constantly.

Over my time with the Navigator I have brought you various recipes from the delicious to the… well… let’s just say stuff I wouldn’t actually recommend cooking or serving. Last year I was lucky enough to team up to cook a delicious meal to serve on date night, and since it’s the season – or at least issue – of love, I thought I would bring you the most romantic of ingredients: chocolate. And as I have said before, I have a rep of being “the pie guy” so, without further adieu, I give you: Chocolate Cream Pie, and Why Food Means Love.

I have included the recipe below, but like all annoying recipe sites, I have decided to first wax poetic about why, to me, food means love.

Food is a universally sacred thing in pretty much any culture. The concept of the feast, or eating communally is deeply embedded wherever you look. Think about any major holiday or occasion – always food. In reflecting on Jack’s podcast this month – which is excellent and you should check it out – I got thinking about “Love Languages” and the way that, even if you disagree with Covey’s theory of it, we all communicate and expect to receive love in different ways. For me, I love doing things for others. Especially making things. It makes me feel whole to know I crafted something delicious and that my loved ones are enjoying it. Many of the best things in my life have come from preparing and giving food to others, from meeting new friends, to growing friendships, or helping my family. The love and care that is demonstrated by giving a physical representation of your best effort and intention will always go a long way. Why do you think the most romantic date nights are often the home cooked variety? It’s easy, although sometimes impressive, to go to a fancy restaurant – the ambiance is premade, the food is usually good. But when you take the effort to create a moment, with amazing food, and the perfect individualized ambiance – it means that much more.

Date Night Chocolate Cream Pie

Originally from Lauren Allen at Tastes Better From Scratch (fantastic site for your foody inspirations). The original can be found here.

Ingredients

For the Oreo crust:*

  • 24 Oreo cookies
  • 5 Tablespoons butter

For the chocolate pudding filling:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter , chopped into pieces
  • 8 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate , chopped (I like Ghirardelli’s)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar , or granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 pack fresh berry of your choice (optional)
  • other toppings of your choice (optional)

Instructions

For the crust: (Can be made 1-2 days in advance)*

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Add the whole Oreo cookies to a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and stir in melted butter.
  3. Press mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9in pie dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the chocolate pudding filling:

  1. To a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the sugar, and milk and whisk well to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking frequently.
  2. Meanwhile, add the egg yolks and cornstarch to a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Once the saucepan mixture is simmering, add a few spoonfuls of the hot liquid into the egg yolks and whisk to temper the eggs. Add a few more spoonfuls of the hot liquid into the egg yolks. Then slowly whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and comes to a very gently boil (big bubbles begin to break the surface).
  4. Remove pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, chopped chocolate, and vanilla extract. Stir until completely smooth.
  5. Pour filling into the cooled cookie crust and smooth into an even layer. Place a piece of plastic wrap gently on top and refrigerate until filling is set, about 4–6 hours or overnight, if desired.

For the topping:

  1. Once pudding has set, make the topping by adding the cream to a mixing bowl. Mix with electric mixers on high speed for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Continue mixing until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Spread whipped cream over pie and top with chocolate curls or shavings.

Notes

Make ahead, storing and freezing: You can make this pie 1-2 days ahead of time. Store it gently covered in the refrigerator. The pie can be frozen for up to 3 months (although at a cost to the taste and texture). Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

Oreo Crust: this recipe will fit in a standard 9” pie pan (you may have a little extra filling). For a deep dish pie pan, use 30 Oreo cookies and 6 tablespoons of melted butter. You could also use a traditional pie crust (Tastes Better From Scratch) (be sure to blind bake it first), or a graham cracker crust (Tastes Better From Scratch).

Chocolate Curls: For a fancier topping add chocolate curls (Tastes Better From Scratch).  Chocolate sprinkles, Oreo crumbs or fresh raspberries or strawberries would also make a beautiful topping.

 

Associate Managing Media Editor

Mike is a web designer, writer, and videographer who has lived and experienced stories from all over Western Canada. He is on his third journey through VIU pursuing his degree in Digital Media Studies. In his non-VIU life, Mike spends his time hanging out with his wife and kids, exploring Vancouver Island, and learning how to be a better global citizen.

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