I Love You a ChocoLOTe Pie
I Love You a ChocoLOTe Pie
Inspiration for this silky, rich chocolate pie came from the traditional French dessert "tarte au chocolat." But we've simplified the process with a few modern twists! Also, instead of a pie pan, you'll use a muffin pan to make 12 (or more!) mini pies, so this is a great recipe for stocking the freezer, having a party, or having extras to sweeten someone else's day!
Happy & Healthy Cooking,
Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills
- bake :
to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.
- cut in :
to mix a cold, solid fat, like butter or shortening, into a dry ingredient, like flour, until there are particles of fat covered with the dry ingredient. The recipe might call for "pea size" particles or a mixture that looks like "coarse meal." You can use a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers to cut in the fat.
- measure :
to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).
- mix :
to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.
- pour :
to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.
- roll :
to use your hands to form a food into a roll or ball shape (as in sushi or a meatball); or to move a round food, like a grape or a meatball, through another food, like sugar or breadcrumbs, to coat it.
- shape :
to form food into a specific shape—examples are dough formed into a roll or crescent shape and ground meat formed into a meatball.
- whisk :
to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.
- Muffin pan
- Dry measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Large mixing bowls (2)
- Wooden spoon
- Liquid measuring cup
I Love You a ChocoLOTe Pie
- For pie crust:
- 1 C all-purpose flour + extra for dusting **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free flour)**
- 1/4 C cold butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub coconut oil or vegan butter)**
- 2 T cold water + more if needed
- 1 T granulated or brown sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- For filling:
- 3/4 C whole milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub 1 C dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
- 1/3 C granulated or brown sugar
- 1 T all-purpose flour + 1 T more if needed to thicken filling **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free flour)**
- 1/3 C cocoa powder (regular or dark) **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY sub carob powder)**
- 1 pinch salt
- cupcake liners (optional)
Food Allergen Substitutions
I Love You a ChocoLOTe Pie
- Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour in Pie.
- Dairy: Substitute coconut oil or vegan butter for butter in Pie. Substitute 3/4 C dairy-free/nut-free milk for 3/4 C whole milk in Pie.
- Chocolate: Substitute carob powder for cocoa powder in Pie.
I Love You a ChocoLOTe Pie
"Bonjour!" ("Hello" in French.) Love is in the air for Valentine’s day, so what could be more perfect than a silky, rich chocolate pie. This recipe originates from France with a few modern twists. Instead of using a pie pan, we will use a muffin pan and make 12 (or more!) mini pies. Practice some French counting while you bake: 1 un (uhn), 2 deux (deuh), 3 trois (twah), 4 quatre (KAH-truh), 5 cinq (sank), 6 six (sees), 7 sept (set), 8 huit (wheet), 9 neuf (neuhf), 10 dix (dees).
measure + mix + reserve
Let’s start by making the pie crust. Measure 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup cold butter, 2 tablespoons cold water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 pinch of salt and combine in a large mixing bowl. Cut-in the butter by pinching with fingers or using 2 forks to work the cold butter in. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a ball of dough forms. Note: you might need 1 tablespoon of extra water if the dough is still dry. Set aside for later.
measure + whisk
In a new mixing bowl, we will create the pie filling. Measure 3/4 cup milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, and 1 pinch of salt and whisk together thoroughly. Whisk in another 1 T of flour if filling is too runny. Set aside to fill the pie crust after its initial baking.
preheat + roll + shape
Preheat your oven to 350 F and return to the pie crust. Cut the dough into at least 12 tablespoon-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a flat disc and press each disc of dough into the wells of a muffin pan. Adults, place the muffin pan in the warming oven for 2 minutes to lightly cook the dough. This will prevent the filling from seeping into the crust. (Tip: Using cupcake liners sprayed with non-stick cooking spray will make pie removal and cleanup easier.)
pour + bake
Adults remove the muffin pan from the oven and pour 1 tablespoon of the pie filling into each pie crust. Make sure each crust is at least 3/4 full. Place the muffin pan back into the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
cool + serve
Once the pie filling is no longer runny, remove the pies from the oven to cool. Once cooled, serve with a dollop of Sweetly Whipped Cream (see recipe). Bon Appetit!
Hi! I'm Chocolate!
"Hello! Let me introduce myself! I can be dark brown, light brown, or even white. I'm sometimes bitter, sometimes a little sweet, and often very sweet. I add flavor and excitement to many other foods! Have you guessed yet? I'm Chocolate! You may be familiar with me from candy bars or chocolate sundaes, but I can liven up many other foods, too, including chili, butter, and milk!"
- The cacao (kahKOW) tree is native to equatorial South America and the rainforests of Mesoamerica. It was first used 5,300 years ago by indigenous people in South America. Mesoamericans who lived in the rainforests of Mexico and Central America domesticated the tree about 1,500 years later. They drank chocolate as a bitter beverage—far from the sweet treat most of us are familiar with today.
- The Mayan people of Central and South America used cocoa as currency and as medicine: it was very valuable, just like vanilla! In fact, it was so precious that they made counterfeit cocoa beans out of clay and avocado seeds!
- The Aztec people are a nomadic tribe in Northern Mexico. When the Aztec empire began to expand, they demanded that the Mayan people pay tribute to them through gifts of cacao.
- The Aztec people ruled until Spaniards arrived and conquered the land and its people. The Spanish explorers took cacao beans back to Europe, where they experimented by adding cinnamon and sugar to sweeten it. For a long time, only aristocratic people enjoyed chocolate.
- Princess Maria Theresa married Louis the 16th from France and gave him chocolate as a wedding present! Demand for chocolate soon grew very fast, and as a result, people were enslaved on plantations to grow cacao to meet the high demand.
- In 1847, Joseph Fry invented the first chocolate bar. By 1907, Hershey was manufacturing millions of chocolate kisses each day.
- Cacao trees grow best in the rainforest underneath the branches of taller trees. However, they won't bear fruit until they are at least three to five years old.
- Most early Spanish sources refer to chocolate as "cacahuatl" (cah-cah-Hwat), which translates to "cacao water."
- The word chocolate comes from a combination of a Mayan word for hot, "chocol," and an Aztec word for water, "atl."
How Chocolate is Made
- All chocolate comes from the beans of the cacao tree. Cacao trees produce pods containing pulp-covered seeds. Before cacao is processed, it would be hard for most of us to recognize it as chocolate! This is because the pulp-covered seeds taste bitter and raw and look nothing like the chocolate products we see in stores.
- The seeds go through a process called fermentation, and then they are dried and made into nibs before being turned into chocolate.
- A cacao pod contains about 30 to 50 almond-sized seeds—enough to make about seven milk chocolate candy bars!
After roasting and grinding cocoa beans, chocolate liquor is left, which is about equal parts cocoa solids and cocoa butter. After the cocoa butter is mostly extracted, the result is dry cocoa solids. Cocoa powder is the powdered form. Natural cocoa is a light brown color and tastes bitter.
Dutch chemist Coenraad van Houten created the "Dutch process" method in the early 19th century to reduce the acidity in natural cocoa powder by treating the beans with alkaline salts. As a result, Dutch process cocoa is less bitter and has a dark brown color.
How to Enjoy Cocoa & Chocolate
- You can add unsweetened cocoa to milk with sugar, honey, or stevia for a delicious and warming beverage. You can also add it to smoothies for a delicious chocolaty taste and an extra hit of magnesium and polyphenols.
- Chocolate comes in many forms: bars, kisses, chips, powder, shavings, puddings, syrups, and sauces.
- Unconventional chocolate flavor pairings: cardamom, lavender, wasabi, chili, chipotle, sea salt, lime, matcha, curry, ginger, mint, figs, fennel, sesame, parmesan, and Earl Grey tea. Seriously, what doesn't go well with chocolate?! Can you think of any other fun and delicious pairings?
- Dark chocolate helps protect your heart, blood, and brain! To get the full health benefits of chocolate, choose at least 85% cocoa content or higher. The higher percentage makes the chocolate more bitter, but those bitter compounds, called polyphenols, are antioxidants that provide several health benefits. Many people prefer very dark chocolate!
- Polyphenols help prevent heart disease by maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, keeping vessels flexible and allowing the blood in our body to flow easier (good circulation), and reducing inflammation. In addition, they help control blood sugar levels, lower cancer risk, and boost immunity. Polyphenols also promote good digestion.
- Cocoa is a great source of magnesium. We need magnesium for good health! For strong bones, healthy teeth, and as a building block for proteins within the body.
- Cocoa can protect our teeth?! Cacao contains antibacterial elements that fight tooth decay. However, this is true with unsweetened cocoa only, as most mass-produced chocolate has a lot of sugar. We know what sugar does to our teeth—it causes decay!
- One study has shown that the smell of chocolate may actually relax you by increasing theta waves in the brain!
History of Tarts!
- Food historians tell us that tarts were introduced in Medieval times. Like pies, they could be savory or sweet. Generally, the difference between a tart and a pie is that the former does not have a top crust. This made tarts a popular choice for cooks who wanted to present colorful dishes.
- The term tart occurs in the 14th-century recipe compilation The Forme of Cury, and so does its diminutive ‘tartlet.’ The relevant recipes are for savory items containing meat. However, a mixture of savory and sweet flavors was common in medieval dishes and typical of the elaborate, decorative tarts and pies served at banquets.
- Thanks to brothers Michel and Albert Roux, the tarte au citron (lemon tart) is now considered as much a quintessentially French dessert as the tarte tatin or crème brûlée. The two chefs, who are half English and half French, opened Le Gavroche restaurant in London in 1967, and the lemon tart served there popularized the dessert.
Tarts can also be made with other fruits, such as apples, peaches, or a mix of berries. Fruit tarts are also classically French in origin, and consist of a slightly sweet crust, vanilla pastry cream, and glazed fresh fruit.
Tarte au chocolat is another popular French tart that has a dark chocolate custard in a cookie-like pâte sucrée crust. It is similar to a rich chocolate cream pie.
Let’s Learn About Valentine’s Day!
- Every February, we celebrate Valentine's Day by giving flowers, candy, and cards to those we love. We do this in honor of St. Valentine. You may be wondering, "Who is St. Valentine?" Time to brush up on your Valentine's Day history!
- There are different ideas as to where or how the celebration of Valentine's Day began. The Romans celebrated a festival called Lupercalia on February 15. This festival was held to ward off the danger of wolves to their flocks and honor their God, Lupercalia. Some people think that Valentine's Day is based on this festival.
- Another legend is that St. Valentine was a priest who served in third-century Rome. During that time, there was an Emperor who ruled Rome named Claudius II. Emperor Claudius II thought single men made better soldiers than married men and so he outlawed marriage for all young men serving in his army. Supposedly, Valentine decided this decree just wasn't fair and chose to marry young couples secretly. When Emperor Claudius II found out about Valentine's actions, he had him imprisoned and later put to death. Some stories say that the young couples, which Valentine had married, gave flowers and letters to Valentine when they visited him.
- In a slightly different version of the legend, Valentine was an imprisoned man and fell in love with his jailor's daughter. While in prison, he sent the first "valentine" letter to his love and signed it "Your Valentine." These words are still used on cards today.
- Perhaps we'll never know the true identity and story behind the man named St. Valentine, but this much we know for sure: February has been the month to celebrate love for a long time, dating way back to the Middle Ages. In fact, Valentine's Day ranks second only to Christmas in the number of greeting cards sent.
- Another famous person from Valentine's Day that you may be wondering about is Cupid. In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus, the goddess of love. His counterpart in Greek mythology is Eros, the god of love. Cupid is often said to be a mischievous boy who goes around wounding both gods and humans with his arrows, causing them to fall in love.