Wednesday, March 13, 2013

French Silk Pie

If you ask me what pie I recommend you get, this is it. It's an over-the-top, amazing pie that is full of rich chocolate flavor. My first memories of this pie was a Mrs. Smith's frozen French Silk pie that my parents would get for themselves and keep in the freezer--away from us kids. I didn't understand why we couldn't have this pie that looked so pretty and so chocolatey. I might or might not have tried to sneak a taste or two along the way.

I put those memories away for years until I was reading Pioneer Woman and came across her recipe. I remembered the forbidden pie and whipped (literally) one up. I've never been one to worry about raw eggs, and this pie proves that you have nothing to lose with 4 raw eggs.

If you keep pie crusts on hand, once one is baked, this pie comes together in about 20 minutes. And I always keep unsweetened chocolate close by, just in case I have a pie emergency where I need to throw one of these together quickly. If you don't even want to worry with a pastry pie crust, apparently the traditional version of the pie uses a graham cracker crust, and that's a super easy one. I'm still working on getting my blind-baked crusts to not shrink as much. I've tried a number of tricks, but they're still sliding down a little too much for my taste.

I don't tweak anything about the recipe above, but I don't add the whipped cream or chocolate shavings. I honestly don't think this pie needs anything except maybe a glass of milk or a cup of coffee.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Red Velvet Cake

Is it March already? Where did the time go? It just seems like I was making chiffon cakes, and here is it almost a month later.

For Greg's birthday (last month), he requested Red Velvet Cake with a chocolate filling. I'd never baked a red velvet cake before, mainly because I find the flavor weird. I like it as a vector for cream cheese frosting though, and who am I to say no to a birthday request?

For the cake, I stuck with my trust America's Test Kitchen Family Baking book, because it has yet to lead me astray. I used the traditional Red Velvet Cake recipe, Cream Cheese frosting, and the chocolate filling recipe that I used for wedding cakes. I do like that in their recipe, they have you mix the food coloring and the cocoa together into a paste before adding it to the rest of the batter. I think that helps with even mixing, and keeps the food coloring contained better than just splashing it in.

It came out quite well. Not really anything I would change on this one. Except to next time remember to whip the filling in the stand mixer so it's stiffer than when I just whisk by hand. I also like the frosting practice this cake gave me with my spatulas and cake turntable. I feel like I need to get more practice in, but pies always seem to be a more popular order. Maybe I'll work on frosted pies...