Sunday, 9 September 2012

Mississipi Mud Pie.

This sweet American pastry dessert is my sister's favourite, she loves this dessert so much she asked me to bake her this for her birthday. I'm unsure why the Americans refer to this as a pie, as to me it's a chocolate tart, but what is in a name. I have made this dessert several times over the last few years, and have experimented with the filling combinations. I have used a dark chocolate filling, milk chocolate filling, white chocolate filling, half dark, half milk chocolate filling etc. I prefer this with a milk chocolate filling with dark chocolate shavings over the top. My sister requested a milk chocolate filling with a white chocolate shavings over the top, so a milk chocolate with white chocolate shavings it was. The pictures for the end results are not the best, but the texture, flavour and gooeyness is delicious, I must share. Here is how my Mississippi Mud Pie turned out:
Mississippi mud pie.
I made the white chocolate topping first and melted the white chocolate and placed and spread on a piece of baking paper. I left this to set until the pie was made and cooled.
White chocolate melted
I started by making the pastry for the tart, this was a combination of plain flour, butter softened and caster sugar.
Dry ingredients for pastry.
I then added an egg to the mixture and formed into a ball.
Pastry moulded into a ball.
I let the pastry chill in the fridge for thirty minutes, until firm and ready to roll into flan dish. Meanwhile, I began to make the topping. I placed milk chocolate ( and few sneaky pieces of dark chocolate), butter and golden syrup into a pan on a low heat until melted.
Filling ingredients in the pan.
Melted filling
Once the filling was melted I took the pan off the heat, and rolled out my pastry and placed in my flan dish.
Pastry rolled out 
Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the pastry in the flan dish, but after I done this I poured, very carefully the filling into the flan dish.
Pie pre baking.
After around 35 minutes the pie was cooked, I tested this by inserting a knife into the mixture, and once no wet filling appeared on the knife, I knew the pie was cooked.
Mississippi mud pie straight out of the oven.
I then let the pie cool and tore pieces of the white chocolate topping and placed on top.
My old and trusted baking card
Recipe for Mississippi Mud pie.
Serves 8-10
175g self-raising flour
25g caster sugar
40g margarine
40g white vegetable fat (I used 80g margarine)
1 egg, beaten

Filling and topping.
175g golden syrup
75g butter or blocked margarine
175 g plain (dark) chocolate broken in pieces (I used 140g milk and 35g dark chocolate)
3 eggs
50g plain melted chocolate (I used white chocolate).

1) Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. Rub in the fats with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the egg to give a smooth dough. Wrap in oiled cling film and chill for about 30 minutes.
2) Roll out the pastry on a lightly flavoured surface and use to line a 23cm (9 inch) round pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges. Chill for 30 minutes.
3) Preheat oven to 180C/35-F/gas mark 4. For the filling, put the syrup, fat and chocolate pieces into a pan over the gentle heat, and stir until melted. Whisk the eggs together then beat in the chocolate mixture. Pour into the pastry case.
4) Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is set, then leave to cool completely.
5) For the chocolate topping, spread the melted chocolate as thinly as possible on a non-stick baking parchment and chill until it sets hard. Peel the chocolate off the paper and break into small pieces.
6) Arrange the chocolate pieces on the pie and chill.


Monday, 6 August 2012

Successful baking - crunchy apple tart

Successful baking was a collection of cards that used to come weekly and contained around 3-5 recipes. I was around 12-14 when my nan started collecting them, so they have been somewhat treasured at home. I have made the occasional bake from my successful baking folders and had some success.
I set up some new years resolutions to improve my baking skills. These aims have loosely been based upon the format of  the Great British Bake Off. I thought one week I could have a chocolate bake, pudding bake, show stopper bake (for the right reasons) and an easy bake. I also thought I could apple this same level of forward planing to bread bakes (e.g complex bread, easy bread, sweet bread etc).

I haven't stuck my new years resolution, but have started experimenting with other bakes besides chocolate cake.
I don't think you can buy these anymore but my childhood consisted of these bakes.

 Next my crunchy apple tart, required some jam. Luckily for me I have some jams that I made over the summer (using Nigella's jumbleberry jam recipe from her kitchen book), and thought it would be a good idea to use some of my homemade jam.

The only thing with my homemade jam is that it is very sweet, still, I can't complain, as the jam turned out pretty well, considering I'm a novice at making jams/chutneys. I think it's far easy making a mixed berry jam, compared to making a strawberry jam (my strawberry jam NEVER sets!)
Pastry case

When I saw the pastry case come out of the oven, my first thoughts were "Is this going to work?". I instantly remembered that Lorraine Pascale stated to reduce the levels of puff in the pastry, the pastry needs to be beaten (with a rolling pin). I forgot to do this prior to baking, but managed to reduce the level of puffiness by patting down the pastry. Next time, if there is a next time, I will be using shortcrust pastry.
I also came across another mishap, I started to dice a cooking apple to put on the topping, but my nan informed me that cooking apples are not sweet and I may have to add sugar. So heres a picture of a lovely diced apple with lots of sugar to sweeten it.

Finished product
Tart cut into slices.

Above is the finished result "crunchy apple tart". It made a very nice change to a chocolate dish. I probably will not make it again, as I want to work my way through my nan's three folders. Just glad it was enjoyed by my family. 


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