Literally turning the concept of pies upside-down! To take its shape, this pie in the guise of a chocolate bar is baked in 8 holes of a shallow 12-hole square muffin/brownie pan (each square 2-1/4” x 2-1/4” x 1” deep), the pie crust is also baked on the pan’s rims. Then when it’s ready to eat, it’s turned upside-down.
This chocolate pie sets the bar, packed with three delicious layers. For this, I worked and reworked (and reworked) my own chocolate pastry crust and dark chocolate custard recipes topped with ganache and baked several pies to get the ingredient measurements just the right amount to produce a bar of chocolate with 2 x 4 squares, and to master a technique that would produce the best squares of chocolate pie. And if you’re like me who believes everyone deserves a good recipe without a scale, this is flexible enough to go without.
I’ve made this many times over in the past week and included a Do’s and Don’t’s of Chocolate Bar Pies to help you get the perfect bar of chocolate pie with your first try.
Step 1: Quick Tips, Ingredients, and Supplies
Some quick Do’s and Don’t’s to make your first chocolate bar pie a success:
-Use good quality chocolate
-Cover and refrigerate any remaining dough while working in small areas of the pie
-Use parchment paper
-Use pie weights
-Lightly press the crust out of the oven while still hot to release air bubbles that have formed
-Grease and flour the pan. The flour makes a very visible baked mess.
-Leave wrinkles on the parchment. They will show in the final product.
-Be tempted to skip the pie weights, otherwise the crust rises and then appears sunken once turned upside-down.
Ingredients and Supplies:
CHOCOLATE CRUST INGREDIENTS:
1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup cold butter, chopped
3 tbsp cold milk
¼ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
DARK CHOCOLATE CUSTARD INGREDIENTS:
1 cup whole milk
3 egg yolks
½ cup chopped dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup corn starch
MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE INGREDIENTS:
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
½ cup heavy cream
YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
12-hole square muffin pan, each hole 2-1/4” x 2-1/4” x 1”
Rice or beans
Step 2: Making the Crust
1. Place all dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt) in a food processor and pulse until combined. Steps 1-3 can also be done by hand.
2. Add chopped butter and pulse until the mixture is the texture of sand.
3. Add milk and vanilla and pulse until mixture comes together in clumps.
4. Place dough on plastic wrap and roll into a log. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.
5. Remove dough from plastic wrap and place between 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Roll dough into a large rectangle, 1/8” in thickness. Make sure that your dough is smooth and the parchment has not wrinkled, otherwise these wrinkles will show after the crust is baked. Refrigerate the rolled dough while working on the next step.
Step 3: Laying the Crust
Now this is where I made several experiments (i.e. made origami-like pieces of parchment for no reason other than to make the process more complex than it actually was!) and found this method to be so easy and simple and one of my moments of “Why didn’t I do this in the first place?”.
1. Measure and Cut:
a. Measure your pan square from the bottom. Even though it's square, the bottom is still slightly smaller than the opening. The measurement taken from the bottom ensures your parchment lays flat and does not crumple up. Also measure your pan’s depth. You will need to cut a cross-shaped template using the measurements of the bottom (center of the cross) and 4 sides .
b. Take the dough from the fridge and make sure it is firm. Trace the template 8 times directly on the parchment, making sure the crosses are as close as possible to each other and the dough’s edges to ensure you are maximizing the use of your dough.
c. Use kitchen shears to cut each cross. If your dough is starting to warm up and sag, cut one or two crosses at a time and cover and refrigerate the rest while you cut.
d. Save all of your dough remnants.
2. Fill each square:
a. Peel one side of the parchment. This is the time to check if there are wrinkles on your parchment. Peel off the side that is wrinkled and make sure the side that gets baked has smooth parchment. Lay each cross in a square, making a 2 x 4 configuration in the pan.
b. Use your remnants to fill in corners. Use the round handle of a wooden spoon to shape and press the corners down. Use the back of the spoon to press the edges firmly. Also press your dough in the center to make sure it is flat (I used my rolling pin). Once all 8 squares are lined with dough, place in fridge while working on the trim.
3. Make the trim:
a. Fold your remaining dough twice over (so that the folded dough is 3x the thickness – you want the trim crust to be sturdy).
b. Measure the top of the pan surrounding each square.
c. Draw guidelines directly on parchment. Use kitchen shears to cut each strip.
d. Lay the strips on the top of the pan surrounding the squares. Use remaining dough to cover any edges. Work on the dough so that there are no visible gaps and everything is smooth. Smooth the dough out with a very light roll of your rolling pin. Use a spatula to push in and straighten the edges.
e. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until firm.
Step 4: Pie Weights and Baking
1. Cut 8 squares of parchment and slit at each corner. When the dough is firm, remove from fridge. Lightly press a fork in the center of each square, making sure not to go through the dough completely. Place cut parchment carefully in each square. Fill parchment with rice.
2. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for 15 minutes.
3. Carefully remove pie weights. Press crust in any areas that have risen (again I used my rolling pin). Place dough back in oven for another 15 minutes.
4. Place pan on a cooling rack. If there are still pockets that have risen, press them down once again while the crust is still hot and malleable. Let crust cool completely.
Step 5: Making the Custard
While the crust is cooling:
1. Whisk half the milk, 3 egg yolks, sugar, and chopped chocolate in a sauce pan over medium heat.
2. Add the corn starch to the remaining milk and stir to dissolve. Combine the starch/milk mixture in the pan.
3. Whisk until mixture thickens.
4. Spoon custard over the crust, leaving a little bit of space (1/8”) for the ganache. Smooth over the surface of the custard with a spatula.
Step 6: Making the Ganache
While the custard is cooling:
1. Place cream in a bowl over a double boiler. When the cream is warm, add chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts and the mixture is homogenous.
4. Spoon over the custard.
3. Refrigerate uncovered until ganache sets then cover. Continue to refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Step 7: Turning It Upside-down!
1. Place your serving tray on top of the pie. I used gold/silver cellophane as lining for that authentic chocolate bar look. With a strong grip on the serving tray and the pan, turn the pan over.
2. Remove pan and remove any remaining parchment.
Share and enjoy!