Monday, December 1, 2008

Rich Concoctions

I'm good at following recipes, but not at coming up with my own, especially where baking is concerned, since baking is more of chemistry than art, unlike cooking. But I can say that this is an exception. I came up with this recipe on my own, and to this day, (I'm embarrassed to say) this is one of the very few dessert items that are actually of my own concoctions.

The inspiration came from a cream pie from McDonald's a sister was serving at a gathering. As I devoured the smooth and velvety pie, I thought to myself, I can make something like this. I know the properties of most of the baking ingredients I have been using all these years.

So, I ventured on that experimental path, using heavy cream as the main ingredient that will provide structure, well, somewhat of a structure. My original recipe was raspberry cream cheese layer topped with a whipped cream chocolate layer, but in this one, I was out of raspberry puree, so I changed the flavors a little bit.

I cheated too. I used the pre-made graham cracker pie crust instead of making my own. Oh well. Maybe when I'm feeling 'from scratch' I can make my own.

The bottom cream cheese layer is tangy and embodies whatever flavor I have incporated into it, in this case, plain and chocolate. One recipe make two 9 inch pie plates of Luscious Trifle Pie. The top layer is a whipped cream layer, yes, this one from scratch. I have never used the ready version. So the top layer is both creamy and somewhat light. A combination of the two, along with the crust is pure richness! Rich, rich, rich! I call it my Luscious Trifle Pie. Though, because I was out of raspberry puree, I alternate the flavor for the bottom layers, since one recipe makes two pies (or you can half it and just make one). One is chocolate flavored on the bottom and plain on top, and the other is the yang of the yin.

Luscious Trifle Chocolate Pie I and II

The bottom cream cheese layer:

2 8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 14 oz sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C heavy cream

5 Tbs cocoa

The whipped cream layer:

1 1/2 - 2 C heavy cream

1/2 C powdered sugar

3 Tbs cocoa

2 9 in pie crusts

Cream Cheese Layer
  1. Beat softened cream cheese till there are no lumps
  2. Add condensed milk , vanilla
  3. Add flavoring (the 5 Tbs cocoa for one of the pie, and none for the other one)
  4. Drizzle in heavy cream
  5. Beat till smooth and thick
  6. Pour this onto the premade crust

Whipped Cream Layer

  1. Beat heavy cream , sugar, and cocoa (for one of the pie) till it reaches the consistency of whipped cream
  2. Spread on top of the cream cheese layer
  3. Garnish with grated chocolate or drizzle with chocolate syrup if you wish
  4. Refrigerate overnight to firm it up

Cook's Notes:

  • Don't overwhip the heavy cream. If you overwhip the heavy cream, it will curdle. To rectify this, add some more heavy cream and beat till it reaches the whipped cream consistency and STOP whipping, especially if you have no more heavy cream left.
  • It's best to refrigerate this overnight to get a firm slice, otherwise, you will just get a blob of a slice.

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