With the holidays fast approaching, many of us are thinking about holiday baking. One of my favorite holiday pies is a chocolate cream pie with homemade whip cream. There is something so special when your taste buds savor a flaky butter crust with a perfectly cooked creamy chocolate filling and finished off with a vanilla infused whip cream. Oh my goodness- my mouth is watering, and I just decided that pie will be on our Thanksgiving dessert table. The picture below is of a brownie pie we made this summer from the new Magnolia cookbook– it definitely motivates me to find my mom’s old recipe for chocolate pie that I will post at the end of this blog.
A reader recently asked which chocolate we use at the inn- both semi and un-sweetened. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share our experiences with purchasing chocolate in bulk on line and also what we purchase at our local grocery store. Simply put- we like Ghirardelli, which is easy to find, medium price and the flavor very chocolaty. However, the very best chocolate by far is Lindt. Their chocolate is well balanced and intensely chocolaty. We stay away from Nestles as we feel the quality of their chocolate is just not what it use to be. That said- we still love their Original Nestles Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Sorry Nestles but we use Ghirardelli chocolate chips and your cookie recipe:(
You can find both brands easily on Amazon and at your local grocery store. Just remember to clarify whether your recipe is calling for unsweetened chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder.
Just to motivate you to book a stay at our Cape Cod boutique bed and breakfast, I decided to go down memory lane and show some pictures of some of our favorite chocolaty recipes:
We have mini chocolate pies with strawberries-
and chocolate biscotti-
and chocolate dipped strawberries for special occasions-
and gluten free chocolate macaroons with coconut-
and for the kiddos, chocolate dipped Oreos-
and April’s Chocolate Mocha Bundt Cake (check out a previous blog for the recipe)
a delicious Chocolate Tart-
our favorite Pistachio Mini Cakes-
You get the picture- we love our chocolate at the Captain Freeman Inn and serve it frequently for our afternoon tea- always homemade using our favorite chocolate (either Ghirardelli Or Lindt)
And because the most favorite chocolate recipe for many is brownies we are including a really basic, good recipe that we like to make at the inn. It’s easy and always makes perfect, chocolaty brownies when you use good chocolate.
- 3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, roughly chopped (we love Lindt chocolate for this recipe)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1⅛ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving at least a 1-inch overhang around the edges of the pan, and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat the chocolate and the butter in a heatproof bowl over a double-boiler until all of the chocolate is melted, stirring to combine. Let the chocolate and butter mixture cool slightly. Whisk the sugar into the chocolate. Then whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, and follow with the vanilla and salt.
- Gently stir in the flour. Once all of the flour is incorporated, pour into the prepared baking pan and bake the brownies for approximately 25-30 minutes, or just until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the brownies cool in the pan, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment overhang. Remove them from the parchment onto a cutting board, and cut into desired sizes.
- 3 cups whole milk
- ½ cup Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
- Heat the milk in a saucepan until hot but not scalded.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, cornstarch and salt.
- Add to the milk and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking over medium heat until it starts to boil. As soon as you see bubbles, whisk for 3 more minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in the butter and extracts.
- Pour into a previously baked and cooled pie crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap, letting it touch and cover the top of the pie. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
- Add you favorite whip cream on top.
Happy November everyone!