A lot of the foods that I have lately started to make have been inspired by the restaurants I visit. And why not? Isn’t it the best when you recreate something you had at a restaurant at home and make it even better?
I have had chocolate cream pie quite a few times, but all were, for lack of a better word, forgettable. None have stood out until I indulged in this one at a gastropub in Pasadena. The flavors were so complex and not typical of a chocolate cream pie by any means. So when I sought out to replicate the dessert at home, I went with my own taste and gut feeling. And I am totally bragging here but this is every bit as delicious as the one I had, if not more. The chocolate custard is mildly sweet and rich and definitely the star of the pie that I make using a graham cracker crust. The whipped cream is not optional. It is a must! It adds a cool, sweet, fluffy touch to the whole affair, so definitely do not skip out or skimp on it. You will absolutely love this!
Best Ever Chocolate Cream Pie
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 20 graham crackers, crushed
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 3/4 tsp coffee granules
- 3 egg yolks
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped Cream Topping
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- 3 tbsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
- To make the graham cracker crust, pulse 20 graham crackers and add them directly to an 8x8 square baking pan along with the sugar and mix. (You don't need to grease it.)
- Into the crumbs, pour melted butter and mix until the crumbs are moist.
- Using the back of a spoon, press the crumbs into the pan really well.
- Bake for just 5 minutes, then set aside to cool.
- To make the chocolate custard, heat up milk, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, cinnamon and coffee granules in a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. DO NOT boil.
- While mixture is warming up, separate egg yolks from the whites in a bowl. (We're only using yolks. Make an egg white omelet with the leftover whites. I made it!)
- Into the yolks, add cornstarch and mix until it looks like a thick paste.
- Now very slowly pour the hot chocolate liquid into the egg mixture while whisking it. This method is called tempering. If you don't have someone to help you pour the liquid, use a spoon. Just make sure not to pour too much at one time because it will cook the eggs. We want to "introduce" the hot liquid and temper the eggs. Once you have added a good amount, then you can pour the liquid more quickly. Pour at least half the liquid into the eggs.
- Next pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and put the saucepan back onto the burner. (Watch how I make this in my video).
- Turn the flame on to low and whisk the custard until it thickens up and looks glossy. This may take about 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye out and don't leave because once custard starts to get thick, it will catch at the bottom if left unattended.
- Once the custard is really thick, remove the saucepan from the stove.
- Next add vanilla and continue whisking for at least a minute.
- Now pour the custard on the graham cracker crust. Cover with cling wrap and let it cool on the countertop before sticking it in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- While the pie is chilling, whip up your whipped cream along with sugar on high speed for about 6-7 minutes or until cream gets stiff peaks.
- Run a knife under hot water, wipe dry with a cloth and cut the pie into squares.
- Finally pipe/spoon the whipped cream on top, garnish with chocolate shavings and dig in!