Tag Archives: dessert

S’mores Pie

So I have this awesome chocolate cream pie recipe. I have been making it for my family every Thanksgiving over the past several years. I decided now was the time to take it to another level. This is when I changed it to the S’mores Pie and I’m giving you the recipe!
I grew up in front of camp fires every summer. Of course we had marshmallows on a stick. My favorite thing to do was stick the marshmallow right into the flame and charring the shit out of it. I look at it as my beginning of entertaining with food!
With this recipe, I pay homage to all those summer nights.

S’mores Pie
• 2 cups of milk warmed
• 11.5 oz. package of Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate baking chips
• 4 egg yolks
• ½ cup of sugar
• ¼ tsp. salt
• 1/3 cup corn starch
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 9” graham cracker crust (Keebler Ready Crust)
• 2 cups mini marshmallows
As you’re warming the milk in a medium sauce pan, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Just put the chocolate in a small metal bowl and place over a small pot of boiling water. You want to use good chocolate. Chocolate is the leading man in this recipe. All those summer nights of making s’mores in front of the camp fire, I was eating the extra pieces of chocolate that were sitting on the picnic table.
In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until they look a little pale. Not as pale as an open casket wake. When you pick up the whisk you should be able to write your name or favorite swear word with the mixture drizzling off.
Add the salt and the corn starch. Now add the warm milk. Please make sure it’s not too hot or cold. Bad things can happen! Place the entire mixture back into the sauce pan you used for the milk. Add your melted chocolate to the mixture.
Place over medium heat and stir. I mean stand there and only stir. Do not stop stirring; I don’t care if you have to go to the bathroom! And don’t stir too fast. A nice leisurely stir. It will take a little time. Cross your legs and stir! As the pudding cooks, it will come together and thicken. When it has become a boiling, molten, chocolate magma, take it off the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour the pudding into the crust. I’m a savory Chef so I don’t mind buying one of those Keebler Ready Crusts. The filling and topping are the stars in this story! Let’s face it we eat S’mores for the chocolate and marshmallow. We just use the graham cracker as a way to hold it and keep the gooey goodness together.
Add the marshmallows on top of the pudding. It takes about 2 cups of marshmallows. I love marshmallow, so feel free to add more then 2 cups. However, make sure each and every one is touching the chocolate.Leave on the counter to cool for about an hour before covering it with that plastic cover they give you with the ready crust. Put in the fridge and let it chill for at least 4 hours. If you make the pie in the morning it will be perfect by dinner.
Now take a blow torch or kitchen torch and brown the top of the marshmallows. If you want, burn a few. Now sit in front of the fire and enjoy!


Off Night

I had a very rare Saturday evening off.  So my wife, son and I took the opportunity to have dinner at Aquitaine at Legacy Place in Dedham MA. This is one of the three located in the Boston area.

The restaurant menu is my kind of “dinner out” menu. The food is French Bistro style. It’s the kind of food, where you want to order a bottle of wine for the table as soon as you sit, and we did. They gave us some warm bread to go with the wine. This immediately put me in a good mood.

For the first course, my son and I shared some Blue Point oysters. They were so fresh! This also made me happy! Nothing worse than having oysters that don’t taste like they were just plucked from the sea. My wife had the Tomato Fennel Bisque (not an oyster fan). What is the deal with calling any soup bisque? I thought only seafood based soup can be called a bisque? Were the tomatoes and fennel grown in the ocean?

I was glad that the wine and oysters put me in a good mood, because there were a few “off’s”. Our main course consisted of the Maple Brined Pork Tenderloin, Veal Schnitzel, and Crispy Brick Chicken.

I had the chicken. This would normally not be my first choice, but the name and the sides sounded great. Still not sure where the “brick” comes from? When I think “brick”, I think deboning a chicken, placing it flat on a grill, and placing a brick on top of it. This was a baked airline (statler) breast. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it! I especially liked the Pumpkin and Foie Gras Bread Pudding. The one “off” on this dish was the Rich Bourbon Chicken Jus. Not sure it was really there. If it was, it was less then a teaspoon and I could not taste it at all. That was disappointing because I love a good sauce. Chicken needs a sauce!

My wife had the pork tenderloin. She really enjoyed it! It was perfectly cooked. She had debated about getting the pumpkin ravioli but didn’t think it would go with her soup. She really wanted the soup!

My son had the veal schnitzel. I was thinking about ordering that too. When his dish arrived, I was really glad I hadn’t! The breading on the fried veal was really dark and the meat was tough. Not sure if the frying oil was old or it was cooked too long. My guess is a little of both. That was disappointing! A fried runny egg on top of the veal would have also made this dish better.

We all love bistro desserts so of course we each had to order one. We got the Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse, Crème Brûlée, and the Bread Pudding. The desserts were pretty good. My wife loved the bread pudding! She said it was the best she has had in a long time. I was really bummed about the chocolate mousse. While the flavor was good, it was not really cold or firm. They must have just made it that afternoon and it didn’t get a chance to sit and work its magic in the fridge. I wish I knew this in advance, I would have ordered something else. I really love chocolate mousse when it’s done correctly!

As with all cooking, it is the little things that make the difference. A little thing off here and off there can become memorable. You don’t want your customers to remember the “off”. Maybe they had a slightly off night? Oh well, I’m not giving up on Aquitaine. I do like their menu. Maybe I’ll try their flagship Boston location next time. That menu looks good too!

Have Lot’s of Leftover Halloween Candy? Make Cheesecake

LHC Cheesecake

Every year my wife and I argue about how much Halloween candy to buy. Our neighborhood feels like Halloween central. We literally get hundreds of kids! When she buys the candy, I claim she didn’t get enough. When I buy the candy she yells that I bought too much. She was right as usual!

So I’m looking at all this extra candy and thinking “what am I going to do? How about make a cheesecake”? So, trying not to go into a sugar coma, I proceeded into putting together this awesome, sweet dessert.

The crust was made from Kit Kat bars. The cheese filling mixed with ground Whoppers. I also inserted mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and MilkyWay Bars. The topping is a ganache made from Hershey Bars. This dessert is too good to keep to myself, so below please help yourself to my recipe.

LHC (Leftover Halloween Candy) Cheesecake

Pre-heat oven to 325°

About 2 cups of crushed Kit Kat bars (enough to fill the bottom of a 9” springform pan
1/3 cup melted butter

Mix the crushed Kit Kat’s with the butter and press into bottom of pan.

4 8oz packages of softened cream cheese
1 ½ cups of crushed to a powder Whooper’s malted milk balls
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Other Halloween candy pieces of your choice

Beat the cream cheese, Whoppers powder, and vanilla extract. Mix in eggs one at a time until well blended.

Pour half the cheese filling over the crust and spread evenly. Add the other Halloween candy pieces to the first layer of filling. Pour the remaining half of filling and spread evenly.

Bake for about 1 hour or until center is set. Chill overnight in fridge.

Ganache Topping
½ cup of heavy cream
1 cup of Hershey bars broken in to pieces

Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small sauce pot. Take pot off burner and add chocolate pieces. Wisk chocolate until melted and well blended with cream. Allow to cool.
Pour ganache over chilled cheesecake and spread evenly. Place cheesecake back in the fridge until ganache has fully cooled and set.