Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spicy Mexican Chocolate Silk Pie with Vanilla Bean Pâte Brisée , Salty Cajeta + Cajeta Infused Whipped Cream

Although it’s St. Patrick’s Day… I’m going way out-of-bounds and heading to a completely different area of the world… Mexico. Well, and America, too. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Everyone does. And chocolate pie, well it takes the cake (or pie) for me. This is a traditional recipe turned up a notch by taking Chocolate Silk Pie and making it spicy. It might sound crazy and a little insane, but bare with me a little bit as I explain it. I don’t know if y’all have been to (or heard of) Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, but we sure have. She recently opened up a shop in Atlanta and we nearly go every week. Our favorite flavors are her salty caramel, queen city cayenne, and the buckeye state. So, I took inspiration from two of those to make a pie. Chocolate Silk Pie is great on its’ own, don’t get me wrong. It’s luscious, smooth, and so-wrong-its-right in every kinda way. But why not make it spicy? You truly haven’t lived if you haven’t experienced Mexican chocolate or any spiced chocolate for that matter. So instead of using unsweetened chocolate, I bought some Taza Spicy Mexican Chocolate Discs and added some spices into the pie filling. It warms you deep into your bones and your soul, and well heats your mouth up a bit, but we like that, a lot. The whole thing is put into a pre-baked pie crust, I use my own recipe, but you could easily just do a store-bought crust to save time and effort. But the secret ingredient to this blissful pie is the Cajeta component. Cajeta is a thick Mexican caramel made with goat’s milk, very similar to a can of caramelized, sweetened condensed milk. But wayyyyyy better. We found our Cajeta at Whole Foods; however, you surely can make your own at home. We spread the Cajeta into the bottom of the pre-baked pie crust, so that there was a luscious layer of caramel with every bite. And shhh, we sprinkled a tad bit of sea salt on top to make it a salty Cajeta (and it was so yummy). Then we took it another step forward and infused our whipped cream topping with more Cajeta because, well, why the hell not? It’s practically a Cajeta party, YAY. The pie is finished with just some more of that fabulous spicy chocolate grated over the top. And you, my friend, will be in paradise along with us. You won’t regret making this pie, y’all, you just won’t!! Enjoy :)

For the Vanilla Bean Pâte Brisée:
3 ¾C AP Flour (plus extra for rolling)
3 Sticks of butter, Cut into ½inch Cubes & Chilled
1 ½t Salt
1T + 1 ½t Sugar
12-18T Ice Water, Very Cold
3 Vanilla Beans, Sliced & Scraped for Beans
For the Cajeta-Infused Whipped Cream:
2C Heavy Cream
¼C Sugar
½C Cajeta (we purchased some at whole foods)
Pinch of Salt (or to taste)
1t Vanilla

For the Mexican Chocolate Silk Pie:
4oz Spicy Mexican Chocolate, Chopped (we used Taza Chocolate Discs)
1C Salted Butter, Softened
1 ½C Sugar
½t Chili Powder, Cinnamon & Paprika (and a pinch of a cayenne)
4 Whole Eggs
½C Cajeta (to spread in the base of the pie shell)
Pre-Baked Vanilla Bean Pâte Brisée, Cooled

1. For the Vanilla Bean Pâte Brisée: Start by cutting the sticks of butter into ½inch cubes and placing in the freezer bag, along with the flour, salt, and sugar. Place the bag of flour into the freezer and chill for at least 1-2 hours. In a food processor, pour the frozen flour bag in, as well as the scraped vanilla beans, and pulse 6-8 times until the mixture resembles a course meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1T at a time, pulsing until the mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch of some of the crumbly dough and it holds together then it’s ready. Remove the dough from the machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully split the dough into three equal pieces and shape into discs (save the other two rounds of pie dough in plastic wrap and freeze them for a rainy day). Do not over knead the dough. You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. Sprinkle the discs with a little flour on all sides and wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour. Remove one of the discs from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12inch circle (1/8inch thick). Place the rolled out disc on to a pie dish, lining up the fold with the center of the pan, trimming the excess. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
2. For the Cajeta-Infused Whipped Cream: The night before you make the pie, heat a small pot over medium-low heat. Add in the heavy cream, sugar, cajeta, & a pinch of salt to taste and whisk constantly until the cajeta has dissolved into the cream and has become smooth (it should be a light khaki color). Remove the heat from the pan and add vanilla extract. Pour cajeta-infused cream into and container and let it chill overnight. Firstly, make sure the cream is thoroughly chilled. Add it into the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip on high-speed until a fluffy, yet thick whipped cream. Season it with some sugar, vanilla extract, and salt if needed (really it’s up to your tastes).
3.  For the Mexican Chocolate Silk Pie: In small microwave safe bowl melt 4 ounces of the Mexican spicy chocolate until you can stir it (about 45 seconds on high). Set aside to cool. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat 1 cup (2 sticks) of regular (salted) butter, spices, and 1½C of white sugar until fluffy (about 1 to 2 minutes). When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it over the butter/sugar mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined (on a Kitchen Aid mixer, you will be using the whisk attachment). Turn your mixer to a medium speed and over a period of 15 to 20 minutes add in the four eggs, one at a time, leaving about 5 minutes between each egg addition. Prepare your pie by spreading some of the Cajeta into the base of the pie shell, so that you will have a nice, thick layer of Cajeta when you slice & bite into a slice (and sprinkle a little fleur de sel on top). Once the pie filling is well mixed, pour it into the baked & Cajeta-filled pie shell, scraping every last speck of it out of the bowl. Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours (preferably longer). Plop a heaping mound of Cajeta-infused whipped cream on top of the pie, smoothing it out so it completely covers the chocolate.
4.  Serving the Pie: Cut a slice of the pie and grate some more Mexican spicy chocolate on top and enjoy! 

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