Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

This pie offers a spicy chocolate filling in a gingersnap crust with a cinnamon whipped-cream topping. I tweaked the recipe from Serious Eats to create a dessert that warms the palate, making you feel as if you're gliding down the Silk Road on a magic carpet.

one 9.5-inch pie




2 1/2 to 3 cups gingersnaps (I used Trader Joe's triple gingersnaps)
6 Tbsp melted butter
dash ground ginger
dash cinnamon
dash cayenne pepper




12 oz dark chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
dash ground ginger
dash cinnamon
dash cayenne pepper
pinch salt




1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch red pepper flakes
dark chocolate bar for shaving




Preheat the oven to 350.

Obtain a 9.5-inch pie pan. If you're going for a 10-inch, you may want to increase the quantity of gingersnaps to 3.5 cups. If you're going smaller, this is your lucky day!

Pulverize the gingersnaps in a food processor. You should have about 2 cups' worth of crumbs (2.5 for a 10-inch pan).

Pour the crumbs into a bowl, then add the melted butter and spices. Toss with your hands until you have a delightful and uniform mound of cookie fluff. Try not to accidentally tip the bowl into your mouth.

Pat the mixture into your pie pan, forming a crust around the bottom and edges. If it seems too thick, you may remove some of the crumbs and spoon them into your maw. Just like cereal!

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Set it aside to cool. It should achieve room temperature before you pour in the filling, but no one will suffer if you can't wait that long. It helps to pop it in the refrigerator after a minute or so.


Pour the chocolate chips into a large heatproof bowl.

Warm the heavy cream in a saucepan until it is just boiling. Pour over the chocolate and let stand for about one minute. You may stir. The chocolate chips will ribbon out into gooey strands that embrace one another before chocolate and cream become one.

To help unify the ingredients, gently whisk them until the mixture is smooth and glossy. If it's a little grainy, no one will suffer.

Add the egg. I like to crack the egg into a separate container first to make sure there are no bits of shell. If you do this, muddle the egg with a fork a bit and add to the chocolate.

Pour in the vanilla.

Add spices and salt.

Pour into pie crust and bake for 25 minutes. The filling should be slightly wobbly in the center.

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.


Pour cream into a mixer. Add the sugar and cinnamon.

Whip until soft peaks form. I'm not sure what this means, so I usually over-whip and get tough hillocks of cream. No one will suffer.

Mound the topping over the cooled filling. What will happen if your filling isn't that cool? Not much. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top and decorate your pie with chocolate shavings. I use a Swiss peeler that some guy sold me at the Eastern Market, but the large blades on your grater will do in a pinch.



  • Serious Eats' recipe called for a little more than half the chocolate used here. Try a slice and imagine it with half the chocolate missing! Too sad to contemplate.
  • I would love to try a chipotle version of this. The Hot Chocolatier, a gourmet chocolate shop in Chattanooga, sells a chipotle truffle (The Hottie) that I'd love to re-create in pie form.
  • This pie is wonderfully smooth. The cream and egg make it softer than a ganache, but firmer than a pudding. It's hard to beat when edged with a crunchy layer of snaps.
  • I served this after a meal comprising strawberry-spinach salad with smoky bleu cheese, chili, and cornbread. It stands up to assertive courses and would dominate skimpy ones.
  • As you savor the first bite, take a moment to thank the conquistadors, mercenaries, and shady characters who plundered exotic lands to make the ingredients accessible to all.


5 stars. This one is hard to beat.

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