Chocolate Pecan Pie

So! I’m back! I’m finished my masters (which involved plenty of procrastination on my part) and I finally have more time to devote to baking! My friend Lisa over at Mettle Magazine asked me to bake something with an autumn themed for them (which was definitely the kick I needed to get back to blogging). Bear in mind, this was posted in October over there, I’m just a bit behind on posting it up here too.

All I could think of was pumpkin related desserts. Don’t hate me, but I’m just not that excited by them. I mean, they’re fine (it’s still dessert after all) but I’d rather carve a pumpkin than eat one.
Instead of going with some sort of Halloween inspired baking, I decided it’s the season to eat everything, so why not make something rich and decadent. Bikini season is over so it’s time to stop kidding yourself and gorge on all the cake or in this case, pie (not that summer stopped any of us doing that before).

I tried this pie years ago in Avoca and fell in love. So I was very excited when I stumbled upon this recipe this recipe. The only thing that might make it better would be some salted caramel sauce. Drool.

A slice (or seven) of warm gooey chocolate pecan pie, a mug of tea and series to binge watch, all accompanied with a pile of comfy blankets sounds like the perfect way to spend a cold evening indoors. Seriously though, don’t eat seven slices in one sitting… Although I’m not one to judge if it’s done so over the course of one day, let’s say.

For the Pastry:
225g flour
130g butter
2 egg yolks
Cold Water

For the Filling:
225g dark chocolate
115g butter
115g caster sugar
115g brown sugar
115g flour
140g pecans
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

Begin by making the pastry. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir in the caster sugar. Then add the egg yolks and a bit of cold water to combine into a dough.

Wrap in cling film and leave the dough to cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

While waiting for the pastry to chill, you can start making the filling to speed things up. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Chop up half of the chocolate (using chocolate chips would have helped with this step) and also chop the pecans. Mix these with both sugars and the flour.

Melt the butter and the other half of the chocolate together, and mix this into the dry ingredients.

Add in eggs and the vanilla to the mixture.

Take the dough out of the fridge now and roll it out on a floured surface. I just greased my tin without lining it and it worked fine, so I’m leaving it up to you to decide.

Place the dough in a round tin, about 25-30cm. A loose-bottomed tin would be easier but it’s not essential (I couldn’t find one).

Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.

There may be still a slight wobble in the middle. Leave to cool for a few minutes and then dive in head first. It’s recommended you dive in with some vanilla ice cream on hand.

Embrace your inner pig by shovelling pie in your face.


Coconut Pecan Brownies

Three words: Coconut. Pecan. Brownies. What better way to kick start my blog than with this recipe!

1.11I may have a slight obsession with coconut, pecans AND of course brownies, so when I stumbled upon these beauties about 4 years ago from The Craving Chronicles I was itching to test them out. And yes, I found this recipe through procrastination (Stumble Upon). Who ever said procrastination was a waste of time? I could literally spend hours salivating over the photos from Theresa’s blog. Make sure to check out the foodgawker gallery, although you may need something to wipe the drool from your mouth after you do. I can’t begin to describe just how amazing these golden, crunchy yet gooey brownies are. Don’t hesitate! You need to get up and make these right now. I mean it. Reeaaaddddyyyyy? Go! You won’t regret it.

1.05     1.131.09     1.08

After I first made these, I was hooked. Addicted – as was everyone else who ate them. These chocolaty delights are now my go-to dessert, and are often requested (or demanded) to be present for special occasions.

Makes 24-32 *(may vary depending on greediness)

For the Brownie Base:
170g salted butter
240g caster sugar
55g cocoa powder
85g self-raising flour
2 large eggs

For the Coconut Crust:
397g tin condensed milk
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g desiccated coconut
100g pecans
150g chocolate

As wonderful as the original recipe was, I made a few adjustments and changed the measurements from cups because that’s just how I roll. Roll? Mix? Whisk? You get the idea.

The original recipe says to use unsalted butter and salt, so I usually cut out the middle man and use salted butter. Laziness at its finest!

I generally use Odlum’s Tritamyl flour so my wheat intolerant mother can enjoy them too. It’s a gluten free flour and substitutes for wheat flour very well in most recipes – unless you’re making bread, maybe. Or waffles. Or most things with yeast.

And as for the coconut M&M’s that Theresa uses, yeah, well that’s just not happening in Ireland… If the glorious day comes when I can find them, maybe I’ll give it a go. For now it’s good ‘ole Dairy Milk (a staple food group in the average Irish diet).

I am a firm believer in using chopped chocolate over chocolate chips – bigger chunks, more substantial etc. This is not a debatable discussion in my opinion: Chunks > Chips.

1.14 Directions:
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a 9×13 inch tin, or any other similar rectangular tin, with foil or parchment and grease.

I’m lazy, so this is all getting done in one bowl. Melt the butter and whisk in sugar.

Then whisk in eggs to make a thick batter. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and whisk to incorporate.

Pour the batter into the baking tin and put in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Leave brownie layer to cool slightly while preparing the coconut crust layer and lower the oven to 175°C.

Still using the same bowl as the previous step, whisk the condensed milk and egg. Add in the vanilla.

Chop the chocolate into chunks. Cut or break pecans. (Note that breaking pecans by hand is extremely satisfying.) Add this and the desiccated coconut to the mixture and stir together.

Spread this mixture over the brownie layer, covering the entire surface of the brownies.

Back in the oven they go for around 20 minutes to get the top crust a nice golden colour.

If you have any self-restraint at all, leave the brownies to cool before cutting into bars.