Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pug Cake





My sister turned 30 on Tuesday and I'm still trying to process it. To me, she will always be a sulky teenager who's into Metallica and George Stroumboulopoulos.

On Sunday, the fam gathered at my mom's to celebrate the end of her youth and I knew I had to bake something special. It isn't every day your little sister becomes an adult (in age only).



When I asked her what she wanted me to make, I expected her to excitedly text me some suggestions. Instead, she said she didn't care. At first, I was like "Well then, she doesn't care? I'll make something shitty!" But, I realized that I shouldn't ruin my reputation as a baker just because my sister didn't give a shit about what I was making.



I mulled it over with my husband. Should I make a decadent cheesecake? A classic vanilla birthday cake with sprinkles? Chocolate cupcakes? Mike came up with the idea: of course, a pug cake!

Ever since I got our pug Rosie, my sister has taken to being an aunt. Her name is "Auntie Sweet." She loves Rosie, and therefore, loves pugs. So it made sense.



We turned to YouTube to see if we could find a recipe that was even remotely easy to make and lo and behold, we found one, courtesy of a brave, selfless woman who loves to make desserts shaped as adorable dogs.



Thank you, baker lady who refuses to show her face in her videos. We salute you.





Pug Cake

Adapted from this YouTube video.

Peanut butter icing recipe from here.

Note: we tweaked the original recipe to suit our needs and our limited supplies from our local No Frills.



Ingredients:

Cake:

- 1 box cake mix (I chose Betty Crocker marble)

Peanut Butter Icing:

- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tbsp milk, or as needed
- 2 cups confectioners sugar

Decorations:

- 2 biscuits for the ears. (These can be any biscuit that's not round like a graham cracker. I went with Papadopoulos biscuits)
- 1/2 container of Betty Crocker chocolate icing (or use whatever recipe for chocolate icing you want)
- 2 Oreos for the eyes
- White decorating/writing icing (or use your own vanilla icing)
- 2 round chocolate candies (like M&Ms, etc. Make sure they are brown) for the eyes
- Black writing icing
- Chocolate sprinkles
- 1 pink fruit chewy taffy (like a Starburst candy) for the tongue
- 2 edible white round sugar candies OR use white decorating icing, to create white spots on top of pupils

Tools:

- Piping bag
- Small piping tip
- Medium piping tip

Note: You can also find decorating icing in individual plastic bottles at Bulk Barn that allow you to pipe straight from them (which is what I did for the black and white decorating icing). If you buy these, don't forget to buy the piping tips and the white attachments that fit the tips onto the plastic bottles.


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Grease 20cm (8inch) round cake baking pan with cooking spray.

2. Make batter as directed on cake mix box. Pour batter into pan.


3. Bake 28 to 33 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed in centre. Turn cake out of pan onto cooling rack. Cool completely.


4. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate the milk one tbsp at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get fluffy.

5. Frost the cooled cake with a thin layer of peanut butter icing, refrigerate or freeze until set. Frost cake with second layer of peanut butter icing, making the surface as smooth as possible.


6. Trim the 2 biscuits so that they're in the shape of pug ears and apply a smooth layer of chocolate icing to both pieces. Press these into the chocolate sprinkles and then press them (angled) into the top portion of the cake so that they overhang the edge of the cake slightly. 


7. Cover one side of each of the 2 oreos with a layer of chocolate icing. Press them (icing sides up) into the cake just underneath the biscuit "ears." 
Use white decorating icing fitted with the round tip to pipe 2 mounds of white icing onto the cookie "eyes". Place chocolate candies into the white icing mounds.  Place round white candies OR pipe white icing into a small circle shape on the candies.

8. Pipe a rounded triangular shape (the mouth) onto the bottom third of cake with the chocolate icing. Fill in the outline with piped icing. Gently smooth the entire shape with an offset spatula or teaspoon. Use black icing to draw the nose and mouth. Using a spoon, fill in the drawn-on mouth with chocolate sprinkles.

9. Place pink chewy "starburst" in the microwave on high for about 7 seconds. On the counter, straighten the candy with a rolling pin and cut a teardrop tongue shape with kitchen scissors. Make an indentation with the side of spoon handle. Apply the pink candy to the mouth.


10. Store the cake loosely covered in the refrigerator. Allow cake to come to room temperature before serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Makes 8-10 servings.



Saturday, May 7, 2016

Lemon Bars









For the past few months, I've been wondering whether to get a food processor. Do I actually need one or can I use a decent substitute? When I made a cheesecake, the recipe called for a food processor and I used a hand mixer instead, with not-so-great results. But I was never sure if it was because I didn't use a food processor or if I did something else wrong that led to the middle not setting completely.



This recipe also calls for a food processor, so I was a bit hesitant to try it because I didn't want to have another disaster on my hands. However, my desire for sweet, succulent lemon bars overcame any misgivings I had and I went full in, and substituted the processor for a stand mixer and low and behold, they turned out fantastic.

The debate rages on.



Two weeks ago, I started a new, full-time job. During my last week "off" I knew I had to get in some baking time because that time would be severely cut once I started working in an office again.

I had all these grand plans to make a five-layer cake, which turned into a three-layer cake, which turned into a pie which turned into bars. It's funny; even though I had plenty of time to make a cake for the ages, all I wanted, in the end, was something simple. Something comforting.



My husband urged me to take a trip during my last week before I started work. First Vancouver was batted around, then New York and Montreal and then Paris—one of my favourite cities which I last visited three years ago. I looked up last-minute flights and was nearly set to go. Hours could be spent reading in Shakespeare & Co. or strolling around Montmartre or picking up old issues of Vogue along La Seine.



I decided to stay home. I went for long walks with the pug, spent hours at the ROM with my mom; visited my mom back in Mississauga and finished up my 12-season-long Grey's Anatomy marathon.

Oh yeah, and I baked these squares. #NoRegrets.



Lemon Bars
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 16 bars

Crust:

- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp table salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus extra for greasing pan

Filling:

- 1 small-to-medium-sized lemon
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp table salt



1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut two 12-inch lengths of parchment paper, and trim each to fit the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Press the first sheet into the bottom and up the sides of your pan in one direction, then use the second sheet to line the rest of the pan, running it perpendicular to the first sheet. Lightly butter exposed parts of the parchment or coat them with a nonstick cooking spray. Set pan aside.

2. Make the crust:

Blend the flour, sugar, and salt together in the work bowl of a food processor. (Note: I used a stand mixer.) Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is powdery, but if firmly pinched, will hold the pinched shape. (Note: mine didn't come out that powdery, it was more doughy, but it still turned out fine in the end.) Turn the dough crumbs into the prepared baking pan and press the dough evenly across the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Should any parts bubble up, gently prick them again with a fork. Leave the oven on.

3. Make the filling:

Cut the lemon in half and make sure the white part of the skin is 1/4 inch thick or less. If it's thicker, remove the the skin. Cut the lemon halves into thin rings and discard any seeds. Toss the lemon rounds - lemon flesh and peel - in the bowl of your food processor, add the sugar, and run the machine until the lemon is thoroughly puréed, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and again run the machine until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, cornstarch, and salt and pulse the machine in short bursts until the mixture is evenly combined.

Pour the lemon mixture over the crust and bake it for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is set. You can test this by bumping the pan a little; it should only jiggle slightly. They may slightly brown on top too.

Let the pan cool completely on a rack or in the fridge. Gently cut around the outside of the parchment paper to make sure no sides have stuck, then gently use the parchment "sling" to transfer bars from pan to cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.

Optional: dust the squares with icing sugar before you cut them.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Creamiest Crème Brulée





I take crème brulée very seriously. For a good chunk of my life, I thought it was gross. (Sacrilege, I know.) It wasn't until my first trip to France, when I was 21, where I realized that not only was crème brulée not gross, but it was one of the most delicious desserts in the world. Vive le France, amiright?



It wasn't until I came back from that trip, thinking I was all cultured and shit, that I realized it's really difficult to make a great crème brulée. For months after my return home, I ordered crème brulée at any restaurant that offered it, and was often disappointed.

Much of the crème brulée I devoured either had a watery filling or a too-thin top that didn't have enough "crackle."

Since then, I've found a couple of great restaurants that serve delicious crème brulée (The Ancaster Mill had an excellent Smores version and La Societe makes a really great citrus version) but I always wondered how hard it would be to make one at home.



Turns out, pretty damn hard. It took several tries to perfect this recipe; and even after that I found it was hard to perfect it every single time.  Sometimes the top was either too thick or too thin; sometimes the sugar was uneven or burnt; sometimes the filling was too watery or too thick. Basically, a lot of things can go wrong when making this bastard dessert.

But when you get it right? Oh damn, it's so worth it and so so good. Like, ermahgerd I'm in sexual heaven right now Idris Elba has nothing on this good. Like, make you believe in monogamy you'll never look at another dessert again good.



Try it once. Try it again. And then try it again and tell me I'm not right. I dare you.

Crème Brulée
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
Makes four servings

Ingredients:

- 6 egg yolks
- 6 tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp brown sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Beat egg yolks, 4 tbsp white sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.

3. Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to a boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.

4. Pour cream mixture into the top pan of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove mixture from heat immediately and pour into a shallow heat-proof dish, or four ramekins.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.

6. In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tbsp white sugar and brown sugar. Sift this mixture evenly over custard. Use a culinary torch to heat the sugar topping, and make sure to heat all sides evenly. Watch it carefully so you don't over-heat it. If you don't have a torch, turn on the broiler in your oven and place dish (or ramekins) under broiler until sugar melts, about two minutes. (But it's much more fun if you use a torch!)

7. Allow to cool and refrigerate until custard is set again.



Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mini Egg Brownies







If you know me, then you know that I'm a Mini Eggs fiend. I live for the excuse come Easter time to stock up on the family size packs (which is actually perfect for a family of one - ME) and eat them until my stomach turns inside out.

Normally, I make Mini Egg cookies for Easter but this year I was craving even more chocolate so I came up with the brilliant idea of making Mini Egg brownies. 


Because I wanted this baking process to be quick and dirty (I'm nearing the end of a Grey's Anatomy hate-watch marathon and holy Shonda this show really sucks without Cristina - sorry, S!) I used ingredients that I already had in my pitifully small kitchen and used a recipe from a box of Baker's chocolate. 

I've never been that person who cuts out recipes from the inside of packages. Chocolate, cereal... and that's all I can think of. You get the point. But this recipe? This recipe changed MY LIFE.



In fact, I'm eating one of the brownies (that's right- I made a second batch) right now for breakfast and I'm totally OK with my life choices.

This brownie is really sweet, dense, moist (ugh, I hate that word. It's right up there with my hatred for the word 'panties.' EW.) and really filling. In short, you should totally have one for breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, lunch and supper.


The original recipe calls for chopped pecans (which are also delicious and go really well with brownies) but I substituted them for the Mini Eggs because I had two large bags of them and I felt  that it wouldn't be the greatest idea to eat both bags on my own, although let's be clear: I can do this no problem. 

I also thought it would be great to have double chocolate brownies because brownies on their own clearly don't have enough chocolate.


I also cheated a bit. I didn't make the icing. (Sacrilege, I know.) Instead, I used something even better: Duncan Hines chocolate icing (#NoRegrets). It's so smooth and creamy and utterly mouth-watering and perfect for the lazy baker such as myself.

Alright, let's do this!


Mini Egg Brownies

Ingredients:

- 4 oz. Baker's unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup crushed Mini Eggs (can be substituted for your favourite nuts like pecans or walnuts)

1. Heat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a pot on medium low heat until the chocolate is melted. Turn off the heat. Stir until butter is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add sugar and mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and Mini Eggs.

3. Spread mixture into a 13x9 inch greased pan.

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre comes out mostly clean, although it's ok for it to have a bit of chocolate on it, as long as it's not too wet. Do not overbake!

 

Monday, March 21, 2016

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake






After making the previous post's chocolate cupcakes, I decided to take a little break from baking because I didn't want to overdose on sugar and butter. (Health is important sometimes, guys.) But I'm back - this time with something even more decadent (obviously): cheesecake!



I've heard from a few people (aka one or two friends) that they don't like cheesecake, which flabbergasts me because I find it to be such a classic, simple, easy-to-digest dessert.

Years ago, when I lived at home in Mississauga, my friends and I would buy those $4 Sara Lee cheesecakes from Rabba and it would be a big deal trying to choose between the chocolate chip vanilla (my fave) and the strawberry vanilla. After spending too much time debating this, we would inevitably buy one each (because $4!!) and take them home.



If we were too lazy to wait and let them defrost, we would put them in the microwave for a minute, and then eat them straight out of the tin with forks. Mmmm half-frozen store-bought cheesecake! Then we would either watch MuchMusic or that reality show that created O-Town. #Memories.

Although my husband recently reminded me that I made a pumpkin cheesecake a couple years ago, I have no recollection of this and I stand by my affirmation that it's been at least 10 years since I attempted to make one. (And if somehow that pumpkin cheesecake recipe is on this blog, then my sincere apologies to my husband.)



Let me say right off the bat that this recipe didn't turn out how I wanted, and I'm not exactly sure why but I can make a guess. The middle part of the filling never set even though I left it in the oven for an extra 20 (!!) minutes. [Note: when you take it out of the oven, the middle shouldn't be completely set. It should have some jiggle but it shouldn't look like what's in my pics - as in, it shouldn't be this watery.] Even after being in the fridge overnight, it was still a bit jelly-like, albeit delicious.

Here's a good video that'll show you how to know when your cheesecake is done:





Here's why I think the filling didn't set: The recipe calls for a food processor and since I don't have one, I used a KitchenAid stand mixer, which can mix ingredients really quickly if you're not careful. It's really important that the filling not be over-mixed but I think the mixer did exactly that. So, I'm definitely investing in a food processor!



Even though the filling didn't set completely, it was still delicious! This cheesecake is very sweet (see: white chocolate) and the raspberries give it a nice, refreshing tang. I call it... Cheesecake Pudding!

And now I don't think I should bake for at least a month :0




White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Adapted from The Cook and Baker cookbook

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

Biscuit base:

- 125 g shortbread, finely crushed (although you can use any plain, sugar cookie)
- 50 g butter, melted

Topping:

- 500 g (two bricks) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 400 g white chocolate, melted
- 300 ml whipping cream
- 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen



1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease the base and side of a 23 cm (9 inch) spring-form cake tin.

2. Mix together the crushed shortbread and butter and press evenly into the base of the prepared tin. Set aside until ready to use.

3. In a food processor, process the cream cheese until smooth, add the eggs, sugar, vanilla and corn starch, and process until completely incorporated. Pulse in the melted chocolate and cream. Do not overmix!

4. Pour the filling over the crumb base and scatter with raspberries.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, the filling won't be completely set and should jiggle a little bit in the middle, while the sides should be lightly browned and set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate until firm, about an hour. Remove from the tin to serve.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Dark Cocoa Cupcakes With Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing





Ever since Prairie Girl Bakery opened in my neighbourhood, my life hasn't been the same.

I've never encountered a cupcake quite like a Prairie Girl cupcake, and so much of that has to do with the quality of their icing. Their chocolate icing is hands down the best in the city, nay, the country. It's creamy, not too sweet, and full of intense flavour. I basically orgasm in my mouth every time I take a bite.



So, when I read that Prairie Girl was coming out with their own cupcake cookbook, I immediately pre-ordered it and counted down the days until I could whip up a batch myself (and then die of cupcake overdose. What a sweet death that would be).

I don't make cupcakes that often, usually because my icing doesn't come out as great as I want it to, and, as I've mentioned before, I'm horrible at cake decoration. But, I had to try to perfect Prairie Girl's simple but beautiful piping to get as close to the real thing as possible. It got a bit messy but I think the results weren't so bad! (But I'll let you guys be the judge of that.)



I tried to stay true to the recipe as much as possible but I did make a couple substitutions, mostly because I couldn't find the brands at my No Frills. I don't think they should make that much of a difference in terms of taste and I've noted the changes I made below.

The result? I think I got pretty close to what the original Prairie Girl cupcakes taste like. The cupcake base is a rich chocolate and the icing is thick, creamy and definitely orgasm-worthy.

Make them for yourself and eat them all. This is a judgement-free zone.



Dark Cocoa Cupcakes

Adapted from The Prairie Girl Cupcake Cookbook

Yields two dozen cupcakes

Ingredients:

- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa (Note: I used Fry's premium cocoa)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

2. Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Blend on low speed for 1 minute, or until well mixed. (Note: I found that I had to blend it a bit longer because the mix got caught in the whisk a lot.)

3. With the mixer stopped, add the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla, then beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer twice during that time to scrape down the sides of the bowl. (Again, I mixed it for a minute longer because of the problem of the mix sticking inside the whisk attachment.)

4. With the mixer stopped again, pour in the boiling water. Blend at the lowest speed until combined, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. This batter is fairly thin.

5. Place cupcake liners into the cupcake pans. Using a large measuring cup with a pouring lid (and this is really important otherwise you will have batter going everywhere), pour the batter into the liners. Fill each liner three-quarters full.

6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 17-18 minutes (note: I had to bake mine for an extra two-three minutes and I used toothpicks to check if the batter was still liquidy). When done, the cupcakes will be rounded and the tops will spring back when lightly touched. If there is a raw circle in the centre, the cupcakes need a minute or two of additional baking time.

7. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes until they can be easily removed to a rack. (Note: I used a knife lightly around the edges of the cupcakes to get them out of the pans.) Cool the cupcakes completely on the rack before icing them.



Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

Ingredients:

- 12 oz (one and a half 250 g packages) brick-style cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 4 oz 70% Belgian chocolate, melted and cooled (I used one 100 g bar of Lindt 70% chocolate. Hey, the Swiss make excellent chocolate, too!)
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Place the cream cheese and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and, using the whisk attachment, beat on low speed until combined, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2. Add the cocoa, melted chocolate, 1 cup of the icing sugar, and vanilla and mix again on low speed until blended.

3. With the mixer on medium speed, add the rest of the icing sugar, one cup at a time. Stop the mixer twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl, folding from the bottom until everything is blended together. This should take about 5 minutes total.

4. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat the icing for an additional 4 minutes until fluffy. (Note: I added another minute to blend everything.)

5. Frost or pipe the icing (I used a 824 star-tip pipe) onto the cupcakes.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Chocolate Silk Pie


 



The past week has been a busy one that's left me a bit emotionally exhausted. On Tuesday, Fashionmagazine.com posted a story I wrote for them about the Jian Ghomeshi trial, one that revealed my own experiences with sexual assault.

I, like a lot of Canadians, have been following the trial obsessively on Twitter, watching journalists' tweets flood my feed in real time as the trial proceeds. The result though has left me feeling drained and exhausted. And, as much as I feel it's important to follow the trial and have a public discussion on topics such as consent, reporting incidents of sexual assault and victim blaming, I definitely needed a break. So I logged off Twitter for a few hours to bake.



Sometimes baking makes me a bit stressed, especially if I'm making something for a friend or if I need to do some fancy icing work. (Which is why I basically never do fancy icing work.) But most of the time, baking relaxes me. It allows me to work with my hands, something that I don't get to do with my day job, and the thought that something tasty is waiting for me on the other side makes me happy. And, weirdly enough, I love staring at my stand mixer as it happily whips butter and sugar. It's almost meditative in a way. Who needs Reiki when you have a stand mixer, am I right? (Charlotte, if you're reading this, I love Reiki and I need to see you for a session STAT.)



I decided to make Smitten Kitchen's chocolate silk pie because god dammit I DESERVED to eat something decadent after a stressful and emotional week. #NoApologies.

I don't know which part of the pie is my favourite: the chocolate wafter crust (so crunchy!) or the whipped-until-you-die-and-go-to-heaven filling. It's the perfect answer to a tough day.

I mean, look at this crust:



Here we go!

Chocolate Silk Pie

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients

Chocolate crust:

- 1 1/2 cups (130 grams) chocolate-wafer crumbs
- 2 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

- 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Garnish:

- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Chocolate curls shaved from a bittersweet bar with a peeler




1. Make the crust.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, sugar and salt. Stir in melted butter until evenly dispersed. Press crumbs evenly across bottom and up sides of a standard 9-inch pie dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then let cool completely (you can put in fridge to speed up this process) before using.

2. Make the filling.

In a large stand mixer, whip butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. While mixer is running, drizzle in melted chocolate. Add eggs one at a time, beating mixture at medium speed for five minutes after each addition, and scraping down the bowl. Add vanilla, and blend well. Spread chocolate filling in prepared crust, and smooth the top. Set pie in the fridge until fully chilled, at least six hours.

3. Top it all off.

Just before serving, beat cream with sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie and garnish with bittersweet chocolate shavings.