My friend James’ opinion is the standard I set all my desserts against. He is outrageously addicted to chocolate, and all derivations thereof. Whenever we have a dinner party or a lunch, I am usually tasked with bringing dessert – and I hastily set about scouring recipe books in search of something new that will meet his approval. It’s a game we play – he is the captive audience/critic, and I am the aspiring dessert chef. Can I make something that he likes more than the last dessert? Can I?? In this case, yes. He specifically asked me to give this Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie an 11/10 on my blog. That’s the highest praise I’ve heard in a long time – a James 11! So rest assured, if you make this pie, you won’t be disappointed. The chocolate layer is rich and dark and the peanut layer is mild and light – a great combination. It is very simple to make too – you just need a bit of time for it to set properly.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie
– adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery’s ‘Cake Days’
300g chocolate biscuits
175g butter, melted
For the filling:
150g caster sugar
3 tblsp cornflour
3 large egg yolks
100g dark chocolate (85% Lindt)
180g crunchy peanut butter
250ml double cream
Cocoa, for dusting
Chopped peanuts, for decorating
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Or put the biscuits in a large ziplock bag, seal tightly and bash repeatedly with a full wine bottle. Then pour yourself a glass of wine for your hard work. Mix the butter with the biscuit crumbs, and press into a 23cm springform tin. Press the biscuits fairly thin, and go as far as you can up the sides. Probably about three-quarters of the way up the side. Make sure the biscuits are nicely packed together – use the back of a spoon to press them down tightly, but without any gaps. Put the tin in the fridge and let the base set – it won’t take long.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix the cornflour and the caster sugar together in a saucepan, then mix the egg yolks and milk together and add it to the saucepan. Add it slowly – add a very small amount of milk and whisk it in, and then add about a third of the remaining milk, whisk, and add the rest. This is to avoid getting upsetting cornflour lumps. No one wants those. Place over a low/medium heat and cook until the mixture has thickened dramatically, stirring/whisking often so the mixture doesn’t burn on the bottom. It will probably take in the region of 10-15min. Then remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter.
Break the chocolate into a separate bowl and ladle about half the peanut mixture over it. Mix the chocolate in until it’s incorporated. Pour it into the biscuit base and smooth over the top with the back of a spoon so that it’s about even and reaches the edges. Cover the filling with clingwrap and pop the pie into the fridge. Cover the rest of the peanut filling with clingwrap and let it cool in the fridge. Once it’s completely cool, beat the cream and fold half the cream into the peanut filling. Remove the clingwrap from the pie and pour the peanut filling over the chocolate layer. Smooth the top, and put it back into the fridge.
Once the peanut layer has set, spread over the remaining whipped cream – it won’t be a lot, just a thin layer – and leave it to set for as long as possible. Overnight is best. Then when you are ready to serve, dust with cocoa and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Delicious!