Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

June 10, 2011

"almond joy" pie.

Hello, dear friends. I am not a fan of fibbing when it comes to food. If I'm minding my own business on tastespotting and see some tender vanilla cupcakes topped off with an orange-tinted frosting, I get excited and think, oh maybe it's mango frosting! what a novel idea! mango? in frosting form?! that sounds amazing! And the hype continues for the entire 1 second or so it takes for the page to load & for me to scroll down and see that my hopes & dreams have been shattered by reality. Because in reality, that frosting was neither mango nor papaya. It wasn't even orange. It was artificial coloring that allowed cream cheese frosting to masquerade as something so much more than it actually was.

I hate that.

And so I'm going to keep it real here & tell you from the beginning (I would say "get go," but I am entirely unsure of where that phrase originates/what it even means) that this pie is not some fabulous translation of a favorite candy bar into a delicious pie.

Let me rephrase that. This pie certainly IS fabulous. But it is very loosely based around the idea of an Almond Joy.

After making the crust and pouring the filling into the cooled crust, I decided the filling was not chocolate-y enough. So I quickly made a ganache with some chocolate, cream, and butter. I poured the gorgeously dark slightly viscous ganache over the paler filling. Once set, the ganache reflected light slightly and its sheen made the pie look that much more impressive. Yes, that was better. But then I remembered some of the coconut I had left over from the german chocolate cake a while ago, and decided I might as well toast some of that and add it on.

So on went some crispy, golden brown, toasted coconut on top of the silky ganache. Of course, there had to be whipped cream atop the pie, so I whipped up some cream in a mixer, giving my arms a break.

Actually, I tried these bicep and tricep curl machines at the gym recently. Now my biceps really hurt, but I guess that's good.

But anyway, I have added almond extract to whipped cream in the past, so, to play along with this vaguely forming theme based around Almond Joys, I added almond extract to the cream along with powdered sugar after it was whipped. The freshly whipped cream, which has a flavor unlike that of the canned or tub stuff, was gently spread across the ganache and coconut. The pie suddenly seemed heavenly, literally, with clouds over a splendid pool of goodness underneath.

On top went some toasted coconut I had reserved from before. Also, on half of the pie, I sprinkled some sliced almonds (with skins) that I had toasted. Why only on half? My brother, a major consumer of my baked goods and partly the reason I had made the pie, doesn't like nuts. He had just taken the SATs that morning, and he had been asking for pie for weeks, no lie. So it seemed a good time to make it.

The chocolate cream pie filling is from bakingbites. It is not as chocolate-y as I would have liked, as I said above, and so I recommend adding to it. However, I did enjoy the fact that it is not nearly as rich as chocolate cream pie fillings can get. Indeed, I would go so far as to deem it as not that bad for you. I mean, compare the ingredients to those you would normally use to make cake. Not bad at all, people! (Note: I added the ganache, coconut, whipped cream, and slices almonds of my own accord.)

Look at dem layers. You see the dark chocolate layer near the top? Underneath the stark white? Such contrasting colors- dark and light. Contrasting textures- chewy coconut with the crunch at the bottom from the crust and from the top with the nuts. A very creamy middle pervaded slightly by some more coconut between the cream and filling.

Indulge, my friends. Indulge in this (kind-of-but-doesn't-taste-like-one-at-all-but-I-don't-care-because-I-like-the-name) Almond Joy Pie with me! If you have leftovers, that is. And if you're willing to share after you eat it.

I would totally understand if you don't.

Use a frozen pie crust and blind bake it.

Make this Chocolate Cream Pie Filling and pour into cooled crust. Let set in the fridge for about an hour.

Make Ganache by melting 2 oz. chocolate chips, and then adding 3 Tb cream and 1/2 TB unsalted butter. Pour ganache over the pie, which is probably pretty set by now.

Toast some flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, both will be delicious) and sprinkle almost all of it over the ganache. Reserve some.

Whip some cream - however much you like. Once it is almost fully whipped, add a few spoonfuls confectioner's sugar and about 1/4-1/2 tspn almond extract. You want a lightly sweetened cream with subtle almond flavoring. Too much can definitely taste artificial and weird.

Spread whipped cream over the ganache after the ganache has set. Flick whatever you are using - knife, spoon, spatula - up in quick shallow motions to create beautiful tufts. Or just leave as is, all whipped cream is beautiful to me. I do not prejudice.

Toast some sliced almonds. Cool them. Sprinkle these and the reserved coconut over the cream. 

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