Really this post was supposed to be about the Red, White, and Blue Zebra cake I made...but it had some 'blending' issues. I was so hopeful this cake was going to turn out spectacular but something (ok, me) went wrong.
If you're into Pinterest you may have seen lots of Zebra cakes floating around lately. Basically a zebra cake is white and chocolate cake batter layered on top of each other in small amounts (about 1/4 cup per layer) like so:
Once it bakes the layers of batter take on a zebra like pattern
You know if I were friends with Snooki and was throwing her baby shower I would SO bake her a zebra cake...
Sorry Jersey Shore is the ultimate distraction. Anyway, I though well what if I swirl red, white, and blue batter instead of the white and chocolate, assuming it would have the same effect. Nope...not even a little bit. I got a turquoise, purple, and spots o' red cake. The colors they went a runnin'. I wanted to call it a 'Firecracker' cake but I'd only be kidding myself.
Feeling pretty disappointed with myself and the Mardi Gras cake I figured the best thing to do to lift my spirits would be to bake something with booze. Because doesn't everyone enjoy eating boozy treats for breakfast? I found a vanilla rum cream pie recipe that sounded perfect, but yeh the boozers in the house drank all the Captain Morgan. Shafted again! Before declaring defeat for the week I figured let's try a chocolate and Bailey's cream pie because those are two ingredients for sure you can find in our house.
I've always been a bit hesitant to make cream pies out of fear of scrambling the egg yolks. I've done this in the past with other recipes and it just gets nasty. Ick. Scrmbled eggs are only for breakfast and only with toast...not with a side of pie.
But since this blog is all about experimentation I figured let's go for it. I already f'ed up the cake, if I end up with a scrambled egg pie I'd just finish off the Bailey's and call it a day.
But no the pie was amazing. The chocolate cream is thick and rich, but still velvety smooth. The mountain of whipped cream is light and sweet against the buttery, crispy crust. Yep all your textures are covered.
Lastly, let me give you the secret to perfect cream pies. Whisk. Whisk. Whisk. And once your arm starts to cramp, keep whisking. If you end up with a numb arm you're guaranteed a perfect pie. You should also strain the mixture through a fine sieve before pouring into the pie shell. This step guarantees a silky, smooth finish in case any little bits of egg did cook and want to 'lump' around in your pie. Naughty eggs.
Happy 4th of July!
Bailey's & Chocolate Cream Pie
makes one 9" pie
For the crust: (This makes 2 tart shells. You can freeze the other dough and use at a later time)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1/3 cup ice water
For the pie filing:
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder (not instant coffee)
1 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup Bailey's
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To prepare the crust, add flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add chilled butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 8-10 seconds. The mixture should NOT come into a ball at this point. It should still be loose and crumbly.
With the food processor running, slowly add the cold water (be sure to remove the ice first!) down the feed tube. Continue running the processor until the dough starts to slowly come together. It shouldn't be wet or sticky at this point. Do not pulse longer than 30 seconds.
Place two pieces of plastic wrap on your counter and equally divide the dough (a kitchen scale is helpful here to guarantee two equal portions). Pick up either side of the plastic wrap and gently pull the mixture into a ball.
Gently flatten the dough into a thin disk. This will help with rolling out the dough later.
Chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator prior to rolling.
On a lightly dusted counter roll out dough to a 1/8" thickness. Roll dough onto your rolling pin and un-roll over your tart pan. Trim off any excess dough by rolling pin over the top of the pan. The dough should slice off. If you're using a pie dish, roll dough into dish and trim edges, leaving a 1" over-hang. Tuck overhang under dough so edges are flush with rim, and crimp edges. Lightly prick bottom of dough with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line dough with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake until edges begin to turn gold, 15 to 18 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment. Place back into the oven and bake until bottom and sides are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare the filling, cream together egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of a stand up mixer.
Whisk together the cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Be sure to sift your cocoa powder. Without sifting these clumps of cocoa could have lurked into the mixture causes ugly lumps down the road.
Add the dry ingredients to the eggs and sugar mixture and mix to combine. With your mixer on the lowest speed, add the milk and Bailey's, mix till combined.
Pour mixture into a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until boiling. Continue whisking for another two minutes while the mixture boils. Remove from heat and pour through a fine sieve to catch any lumps of egg that may have cooked. Stir in butter and vanilla extract. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into pastry shell.
Chill for at least 4 hours (over night is best!)
To prepare the whipped cream, add the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low, slowly beat the cream. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture begins to thicken. Increase speed to the highest setting and beat until peaks form.
Give your pie a generous dollop of cream and let the fireworks begin!